The Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) wants a refund of almost $20,000 from matches boycotted by referees during the recently concluded Trinidad and Tobago Super League season.
Referees failed to show up to officiate in three matches this season. In Tobago, referees failed to report for duty in the match between Phoenix and WASA and another contest between Bethel and Siparia Spurs. In Trinidad, referees did not show up for a match between FC Santa Rosa and Siparia Spurs at the Palo Seco Velodrome.
The referees decided not to officiate in Tobago after president of the TTSL and FC Santa Rosa coach Keith Look Loy allegedly questioned the objectivity of officials in the sister isle.
The officials decided to protest the match in Trinidad after Look Loy and FC Santa Rosa assistant coach Jovan Rochford verbally abused referee Cecile Hinds in a Santa Rosa-Guaya United FC match. Look Loy and Rochford disagreed with how Hinds handled a collision between a Santa Rosa player and a Guaya player.
Look Loy said the teams affected by the referees protest are asking for a reimbursement.
“We have written them (TT Football Referees Association). The secretary (of the Super League), on a directive from the board of directors (of the Super League), has written to them requesting a refund of just over $19,000 for all the matches that they boycotted starting in Tobago, and continuing over into Trinidad in Palo Seco involving the match between Santa Rosa and Siparia.”
Look Loy said the figures includes the cost of air fare, ground transportation, meals and other match-related expenses.
Look Loy is hoping the TT Football Association (TTFA) gets involved if the TT Football Referees Association (TTFRA) does not respond favourably to their letter.
Look Loy said, “The email was copied to David John-Williams, who is the president of the TTFA, which has oversight over the Referees Committee and the appointment of referees.
Ultimately the body responsible is the TTFA. If we don’t get satisfaction by the way of proper response from the referees committee, then we are going to have to bypass them and pick it up with the TTFA and the board of the TTFA and then see where that goes.”
Look Loy believes their request is on solid ground as before the season kicked off, a contractual arrangement was signed and the referees were paid in advance.
“If you have been paid for something and you did not deliver the service, we want our refund,” Look Loy declared.
Responding to the email, president of the TTFRA, Joseph Taylor, is also calling on the TTFA to get involved.
“A lot of misinformation was given in that letter and I don’t think the media is the forum to air it in. But again, other parties think that is the way to go, if they feel that is the way that they have to go, that is not the way I am going. I would rather the TTFA, the general secretary or the management of (the TTFA) to address it first because sometimes people make a story when there is not a story,” Taylor said.
The referees boss added, “As always, in the interest of football, I think this matter – if it is addressed by the TTFA management – will be cleared up very quickly. There is a first time for everything.”
Originally published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday