An investigation is underway to determine a possible course of action, if any, to deal with players of Morvant Caledonia United in Wednesday's top of the table clash in the Ascension Invitational Football League with Defence Force at Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar Arima.
Video footage being circulated showed assistant referee Kirt Charles being assaulted by players from the Morvant Caledonia team while the match officials were making their way off the pitch.
It is uncertain what caused the altercation, but it is understood that players from the Eastern Stallions (Morvant Caledonia United) were furious over the Army's winning goal from Jerwyn Balthazar which appeared to have come from an off-side position in the 90+5 minutes of the match. Following the goal the players and supporters protested, nevertheless, the game was completed and the Morvant Caledonia players continued their protest of the goal with match referee Crystal Sobers and Charles.
But yesterday Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed by players from Defence Force that referee Sobers allegedly reacted to constant verbal challenges from the Morvant Caledonia players.
Her action led to an immediate reaction by the players, which then triggered Charles to spring into action to defend his fellow referee.
Video footage showed Charles at the end of a brutal attack, as players and officials from the Defence Force players making attempts to quell the matter.
When contacted by Guardian Media Sports on Thursday, Kyle Duprey who was the Match Commissioner, was reluctant to comment, saying the matter was being investigated by League officials. He explained, however, the match was professionally done by some of the country's top officials (Crystal Sobers - match referee; with assistants Kirt Charles and Ainsley Rochard). He said Morvant Caledonia players appeared to have been enraged with the last-minute goal, with such a hefty cash prize ($250,000) at stake.
Key official Richard Piper could not be reached for comment on Thursday. It is understood he had been engaged in meetings all day, trying to secure a legal opinion of how to treat with the matter. Piper had also been attempting to get the accounts of several eyewitnesses.
With the goal, the Defence Force won the game 1-0 and returned to the top of the standings with 25 points with one round of matches to go. They lead Morvant Caledonia United by one point going into their final game against Matura Re United on Sunday.
Caledonia will be up against FC Santa Rosa's 'Big Cannons', who were at the losing end of 7-0 drubbing by Terminix La Horquetta Rangers at La Horquetta.
SOURCE: T&T Guardian