November 24, 2020, 02:16:17 PM

Author Topic: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread  (Read 4812 times)

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Offline Flex

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2020, 02:15:36 AM »
Ascension Football League on hold.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (Newsday).

THE ASCENSION Invitational League has been postponed, pending final approval by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram.

Tournament organiser Richard Ferguson confirmed the committee’s last-minute decision, on Wednesday, to delay the tournament’s second staging after seeking advice from Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.

The much anticipated competition was scheduled to kick off with a double-header at Phase II Recreation Ground in La Horquetta on Friday from 6 pm.

“We have been advised by the Commissioner of Police that we must attain approval from the CMO first, if we are to proceed. This is the message Mr Griffith has passed on to us so we’re in the process of trying to get it done. The tourney is therefore, postponed until we receive this confirmation,” said Ferguson.

The Terminix La Horquetta Rangers technical director remains uncertain when such a decision would be made pending the swearing-in of the new Cabinet by the re-elected Government.

“We are trying for next week but as you know right now there’s no Minister of Health so Dr Parasram may not be able to act on this matter at the moment,” he added.

Ferguson has been communicating with the health ministry over the past week but was yet to receive an official response due to the general elections on Monday.

He, however, remains confident the Ascension Invitational will get underway since organisers have implemented several protective measures to ensure players and officials abide the Government’s guidelines for sporting events.

All matches will be played without spectators. He affirmed players have been mandated to receive temperature checks before entering the field of play while off-field officials and staff must wear a mask throughout the entire duration of the game.

“We are following the mandated protocols regarding no spectators so we are not breaking the law. We have sent messages outlining our protocols to Ministry of Health and also invited their suggestions or change,” he said.

On Friday, 2019 League Two champions San Fernando Giants were scheduled to do battle against Central FC. Two hours later, reigning Ascension Invitational League One champions Defence Force were expected to meet 2019 runners-up Terminix La Horquetta Rangers FC.

According to Ferguson, the four teams had already confirmed their participation at Friday’s welcome resumption.

“We were in contact with the teams and they were ready to go. Everyone had already signed their contracts and all players were registered. We wanted to be careful and not stir up any trouble with Ministry of Health so our safety protocols remained top priority,” he continued.

Ferguson reiterated the committee’s commitment to providing a safe and secure environment for the resumption of the league.

“Teams such as Police and Defence Force confirmed participation so we know they would have been given approval by the Commissioner of Police. We remain stern in our decision to observe all the required protocols lay down by the T&T Government,” Ferguson concluded.


Ascension Tournament on hold; Griffith advises organisers to liaise with CMO first.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).

The Ascension Tournament has been postponed, following advice from Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, until the tournament protocols are reviewed by Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram.

Griffith met with Ascension organisers yesterday and urged them to liaise with the Ministry of Health before proceeding, so as to avoid a repeat of the Central T10 cricket tournament fiasco.

Last week, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), on Griffith’s person orders, shut down the cricket competition in Charlieville for breaching the Public Health (2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV) Regulations. A probe was also initiated into the conduct of police officers who were not only present at the event but participating as well.

The cricket contest attracted a large crowd that, according to a TTPS statement, caused ‘a traffic nightmare’ along Pierre Road.

“I recommended that [the Ascension Tournament organisers] seek guidance from the Ministry of Health to ensure that they comply to the restrictions,” Griffith told Wired868, “hence avoiding possible police intervention and being shut down, as we were forced to do in the T10 Cricket Tournament last week—which the Police team would have won, by the way.”

Ascension director Richard Ferguson confirmed that the competition is now on hold ‘pending approval from the CMO’. Ferguson dispatched the tournament protocols by email this morning.

The Ascension Tournament, which involves two tiers of 10 clubs each plus the respective zonal divisions, was due to kick off on Friday with a Division One double header at La Horquetta Recreation Ground in Phase II featuring Central FC versus San Fernando Giants from 6pm and Defence Force against Terminix La Horquetta Rangers from 8pm.

The Friday night games will be broadcast live on SportsMax and streamed on the tournament website while TV6 is expected to air the second match of the double header.

Griffith stressed though that the TTPS cannot stop a sport event before time, as it is not illegal to play—even during the pandemic. The potential issue lies in the congregation of supporters.

However, the Ascension Tournament has already outlawed supporters from matches, which will be played at closed stadia. Among other safety protocols are:

1. All technical staff members must wear masks and observe physical distancing;

2. Temperature checks are mandatory before games;

3. Teams will be asked to remain on the field at half-time (weather permitting).

“There is nothing that can stop [the Ascension Tournament] from going on,” said Griffith. “But I strongly recommended that they contact the Ministry of Health to assure them that everything is within the guidelines set out by the CMO.

“I think that is important for the event to be a success.”

Griffith and Parasram were at loggerheads over the former’s plans to hold the Commissioner’s Cup, which is a nationwide football youth tournament. In the end, despite the CMO’s concerns, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said it was fine to play so long as spectators were reduced to groups of 10.

In the end, Griffith opted to postpone the TTPS competition until 2021.

Ascension Tournament teams

Division One:

AC Port of Spain, Central FC, Cunupia FC, Defence Force, Deportivo PF, Police FC, Real West Fort, San Fernando Giants, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, Tobago 1976 FC Phoenix.

Division Two:

Bethel United, Central Soccer World, Malabar FC, Miscellaneous Laventille, Moruga FC, Petit Valley Diego Martin United, Police FC (S/L), RSSR FC, UTT FC, Valencia Lions FC.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 08:59:49 AM by Flex »
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Offline Trini _2022

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2020, 06:11:54 AM »
things must come back to normal people
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Offline Flex

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2020, 07:57:54 AM »
Coaches agree with Ascension postponement.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (Newsday).

PARTICIPATING clubs of this year’s Ascension Invitational League are in agreement with the committee’s decision to postpone today’s kickoff pending final approval by the Ministry of Health.

Even though coaches Michael De Four (Cunupia FC) and Ron La Forest (Real West Fort United) have been fine-tuning their respective squads in anticipation of today’s return to competition, the pair acknowledges that player and staff safety remains the top priority.

The second edition of the league was scheduled to get underway with a double-header at Phase II Recreation Ground, La Horquetta.

However, on Wednesday, tournament organiser Richard Ferguson was advised by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith that he must attain approval from Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram.

This consent has now been forcibly placed on the backburner pending the swearing-in of the new Cabinet by the re-elected Government.

While in agreement with the league’s decision, all participating teams are raring to go. Today’s matches would have seen San Fernando Giants up against Central FC followed by reigning Ascension Invitational League One champions Defence Force facing 2019 runners-up Terminix La Horquetta Rangers FC.

On Saturday, Cunupia FC and Real West Fort United were scheduled to lock horns in battle.

“Our preparations have been going good for us and we were ready to start on Saturday. The additional time augers well for us to have more time to prepare. We were really looking forward to the start of the league. They said the league would be postponed for one week. It’s a very understandable situation. The entire world is still sceptical to return to normalcy and we should be too,” said La Forest.

Meanwhile, De Four shared similar sentiments and applauded league officials for taking such a bold step to push back the tourney. With the recent spike in covid19 cases, he believes organisers made the right choice to safeguard those involved with the Ascension Invitational.

“Right now, we understand that there’s a spike in covid19 cases and that the Government, who we feel has done a good job up to recently, has to take the necessary precautions. The players will understand. The virus is hitting us head-on and we must take preventative measures. We were and still are excited to come back out to play, in spite of all that is happening,” said De Four.

Even if the tournament gets cancelled due to continued spread of the novel virus, De Four believes teams will turn their attention to the TT Pro League, which is scheduled to start at the end of September.

Likewise, there is a possibility the TT Pro League may also get pushed back or cancelled if local coronavirus spread continued at its current pace.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 08:00:58 AM by Flex »
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2020, 02:25:05 PM »
Eternal optimism writ large regarding the Pro League.
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Offline Tallman

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No play: 2020 Ascension tourney off; Pro League doubtful
« Reply #64 on: November 05, 2020, 10:30:30 PM »
No play: 2020 Ascension tourney off; Pro League doubtful
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)

THERE will be no Ascension Invitational football in 2020 and unlikely to be a Trinidad and Tobago Pro League competition, due to the continued onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It just not prudent,” Terminix La Horquetta Rangers official and Ascension Invitational organiser Richard Ferguson told the Express. “I think most likely it should start around late February. The last week in February. I think that is what we are looking at.”

A second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak has shut down league football in the Czech Republic. However, in England where the Government is to begin a second national lockdown today, the world’s most popular and lucrative football league—the Premier League—has so far been spared, although non-essential shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities are being closed for at least four weeks.

Given the daily infection rate in T&T, Ferguson believes it’s not smart business to have a 2020 tournament. He added that all is in place for the start of the competition, but the virus makes it prudent to wait further.

“It’s not looking viable, there is too much Covid-19 virus going around,” he said. “We have all the approvals. We have contracts signed up with the clubs, SportsMax and TV6 and so.”

Ferguson continues to pay his players, although they are not training. However, he noted that some of his players are high-risk and have not been socially responsible, posting videos of themselves at Covid parties, minus face masks and not observing social distancing protocols.

Having personally known two persons who have died from the virus, Ferguson said it made little sense to either have his staff or others exposed to the ravages of Covid-19.

“Even if the Prime Minister in his wisdom decides to open up (allowing football to resume), I am not doing it,” Ferguson declared.

Pro League uncertain as well

The TT Pro League will also not likely start until next year. Like Ferguson, Pro League acting chairman Brent Sancho is concerned about increasing instances of Covid-19 infections. The Pro League was originally projected to start in September.

“We were ready to go along (with resuming football), from the Ascension Invitational, into the Pro League, but we (Trinidad and Tobago) have not been able to open up,” stated Sancho.

Speaking as the Central FC owner, Sancho said: “We are talking about players being off for eight months. Then there is the Christmas season coming up, and we do not know what the restrictions will be then, and so we have to be mindful of that.”

Sancho said discussions are still being held among clubs, although the Government’s final year of a three-year arrangement with the Pro League has still not been finalised. But Sancho felt that pronouncements from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe during the recent FIFA/TTFA dispute indicate an interest in the well-being of the sport.

“If I was to gauge, the Government showed their interest in the sport by obviously trying to guide the process that was happening. So, I would suspect that was a good sign and hopefully now they understand the importance of football in the country and they would like to be part of whatever is going on next,” he said.
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