The Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) has officially requested that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees’ Association (TTFRA) refund the body to the tune of TT$19,206 for “unrecoverable expenses” in its maiden 2017 season.
The sum, according to TTSL general secretary Camara David, represents the expenses for three matches which were not played owing to refereeing boycotts.
The TTSL claimed TT$10,700 for the postponed fixture between Bethel FC and Siparia Spurs at the Mt Gomery Recreation Ground in Tobago and TT$7,206 for the postponed contest between 1976 Phoenix FC and WASA FC at the Canaan and Bon Accord Recreation Grounds in Tobago—both on 12 November 2017. And there was an additional TT$1,300 for the postponed game between Siparia Spurs and FC Santa Rosa at the Palo Seco Velodrome on 19 November.
All three games were deliberately boycotted by referee,s who were unhappy with comments attributed to TTSL president and FC Santa Rosa head coach Keith Look Loy against match officials.
On 27 November, representatives from the TTFRA, the TTSL, the Trinidad and Tobago Referees’ Committee and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) met to hammer out a truce, which saw the referees agree to resume service once all TTSL stakeholders promised not to criticise them in public.
“It was mandated that no segment participating in the League’ operations would further air their discontent in such a manner as to bring the League and/or its Officials into public disrepute or odium,” stated the TTFA release.
The truce lasted until the final whistle of the 2017 TTSL season on 10 December, as Look Loy slammed referee Rodphin Harris for his officiating in their 1-0 loss to UTT at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
Santa Rosa needed three points in that encounter to win the inaugural TTSL season but saw the title go to Guaya United instead.
Look Loy told Wired868 he did not blame Harris for the loss but he made it clear that he was displeased with the referee’s performance all the same.
“It is little wonder that, as [ex-Trinidad and Tobago Referees’ Department chairman] Ramesh Ramdhan said, two years ago we had 13 FIFA referees and today we have two and none of them are men—they are two women,” said Look Loy. “This referee […] can’t even pass the fitness test but he keeps coming back match after match after match. Now the season is done, I can begin talking again and I can begin posting videos again…
“The referees don’t have a problem with the Super League, they have a problem with Look Loy and with Santa Rosa. And I guarantee you that they will continue having a problem because the footage from the selected incidents from this game will be on Facebook [on Monday]! Let them strike!”
Up to the time of publication, the TTFRA had not responded to the TTSL’s request.
(TTSL letter to TTFRA president Joseph Taylor)
Firstly, the TT Super League wishes to thank the members of TTFRA for their services throughout the 2017 TT Super League season. We look forward to working with you for the 2018 season.
With regards to the 2017 season, the following matches were not played as a result of an unannounced boycott by the members of the TTFRA and thus unrecoverable expenses [of TT$19,206] were incurred by the TTSL. […]
As such, the TTSL is officially requesting reimbursement of these expenses from the TTFRA due to the breach in our contractual arrangements made before the start of the 2017 season.
We look forward to your response.