Tue, Jun

National Quarries North East Stars, the defending champions of the T&T Professional Football League, have opted out of the current CONCACAF Caribbean Football Union Club Championships, due to unforeseen circumstances.

“Stars” were scheduled to meet SV Robinhood of Suriname in their first-leg match in Suriname on Wednesday, but on Thursday last they informed CFU general secretary Kerry-Ann Alleyne of their decision not to contest the home-and-away quarterfinal.

Contacted yesterday, Darryl Mahabir, manager of the “Stars” said: “We at Stars hold ourselves totally responsible for what has transpired.

“I don’t think we understood fully how costly the competition would have been to the club even at this early stage, and knowing we had the capabilities to go very far in the competition we decided to take that decision now to find ourselves in a worse of position.

Mahabir noted that prior to registering his club for the tournament they were informed by the local officials of the CFU about the possible financial burden and commitment needed.

“At first we felt that we could have coped, but it is only now that we realise how costly the competition could be, and with no cash prize guaranteed to the winner, we had to make a decision.

“Our sponsors, National Quarries, are totally behind the club, but even with their help it would have been a mammoth task for us. Mahabir noted that the trip to Suriname alone would have cost the club $90,000.

The “Stars” owner added: “We even tried getting help from the Ministry of Sport, but with the budget debate taking place, there could not be a release of any funds that was provided for before hand.

Having won the home-and-away series by default, SV Robinhood became the first team through the semifinal round.

The three remaining quarterfinal home-and-away fixtures are also scheduled for this month.