Noel suspension rescinded, refs allegedly admit error in Connection red card

W Connection right back Adan Noel will be allowed to represent his club in Pro League action against Point Fortin Civic tomorrow night after the league ruled that he was unjustly sanctioned during Saturday’s affair against Terminix La Horquetta Rangers in Phase 2, La Horquetta.

Noel was shown a straight red card in the sixth minute of play after referee Keilon Bacchus—on the advice of his assistant, Caleb Wales—incorrectly ruled that he used his arm to stop a goal-bound header by Rangers captain Jamal Creighton. A video replay confirmed that Noel used his chest.

Photo: W Connection right Adan Noel advances with the ball, just seconds before referee Keilon Bacchus incorrectly showed him a red card for hand ball and awarded TLH Rangers at La Horquetta on 15 February 2020.
Rangers went on to win the Pro League affair 4-1.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/Wired868)

Creighton scored the resulting penalty kick and Rangers went on to whip the 10-man Connection outfit 4-1.

Wired868 understands Bacchus and Wales admitted their error after the match and it meant that Connection’s subsequent appeal was uncontested.

There was a suggestion too that Connection could go a step further and push for a replay. According to one informed source, who chose to remain anonymous: ‘a referee’s decision is final always correct except when he errs on a point of law’.

There is precedent. On 3 September 2005, Uzbekistan edged Bahrain 1-0 at home but protested that the match referee robbed them a chance of a second item by misapplying the law.

Uzbekistan scored a second goal during the affair, only for the referee to disallow it for encroachment. Uzbekistan took their case to Fifa and asked that they forfeit the match and award them a 3-0 win.

Fifa rejected the forfeiture request and awarded the replay instead, which, ironically, Bahrain drew 1-1 and then went on to draw goalless at home to advance to a Fifa World Cup play-off against Trinidad and Tobago. The Soca Warriors, of course, eliminated Bahrain at that stage.

Photo: Stern John (second from right) celebrates with goal scorer Dennis Lawrence (centre), Kenwyne Jones (far right), Aurtis Whitley (second from left) and Cyd Gray after going ahead against Bahrain in a famous 2006 World Cup playoff contest on 16 November 2005.
(Copyright AFP 2014)

W Connection coach Earl Jean said he will not demand a replay, though.

“We did lodge the appeal and they rescinded the red card,” Jean told Wired868. “For me that was the end of it. I am not looking for a replay. I thought [the red card] was unjust and I was disappointed with what happened to my player because I know he didn’t do it.

“I am satisfied that they dealt with that.”

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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