April 13, 2024, 04:33:31 AM

Author Topic: PM's response to murder rate leaves Police, D/Force sweating on Pro League fates  (Read 3875 times)

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Offline SWF Reporter

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PM’s call to arms leaves Police, D/Force sweating over Pro League futures
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)


Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s response to Trinidad and Tobago’s crime problem might again spell chaos for the local Pro League competition as the Defence Force and Police football clubs admitted that they were waiting anxiously for news on their immediate futures.

Defence Force is the defending Pro League champion club and will represent Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean stage of the CONCACAF Club Championship tournament in just over a month’s time. While, on the field, Police FC is enjoying a surprise resurgence as the “Lawmen” are second in the nine-team table at present.

However, Persad-Bissessar’s knee-jerk reaction to 22 murders in the first eight days of 2014 could mean the servicemen are forced to postpone football duties.

“We trained as normal this morning and no one has told us anything yet,” said Defence Force assistant coach Marvin Gordon. “But I heard they stopped basketball already...

“We have registered and everything for CONCACAF already and we are going about things as normal for now until the management calls us and says otherwise.”

Police coach Richard Hood, a sergeant in the Guard and Emergency Branch, has heard the rumours too that policemen might be banned from all “extra-curricular activities” and is waiting anxiously on confirmation.

“I heard the talk this morning but nobody has told me anything (from inside the Police Service),” said Hood. “So, we just have to wait.”

The Pro League might balk at being considered a recreational tournament for anyone; but it has suffered from the People’s Partnership wrangle with crime before.

Two years ago, a State of Emergency meant the immediate withdrawal of the Defence Force and Police teams for almost three months and wreaked havoc with the Pro League fixtures. Defence Force was the defending champion then too but eventually finished well behind DIRECTV W Connection in the standings.

Ironically, just two Police players were members of the Service last year. But there has been a significant increase in recruitment since then and the “Lawmen” have benefited on the field.

“Only about six or seven players are not in the force right now,” said Hood, who played during Police’s glory era in the late-1980s and early-1990s. “It has helped us tremendously because we are now able to train with consistency and the players can attend sessions all the time, whereas when they were civilians they had to go hustle to make a dollar.

“Now one of their duties is to play football and that has made our job in administration much easier.”

The new Police recruits could soon have a more sober calling as Persad-Bissessar attempts to make a statement to the electorate.

At present, Police is scheduled to face leaders W Connection from 6 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday 10 January. Utility player Clevon McFee has returned to Hood’s ranks after a brief stint with St Ann’s Rangers and he is joined by former Rangers teammate Kurdell Braithwaite.

McFee and  Braithwaite, like teammates Jason Lewis, Christon Thomas, Jabari Williams and Adrian Foncette, are not policemen but  could find themselves looking on at the Pro League from the sidelines if the Police squad is withdrawn.

The Defence Force team, which is on a bye at present, is further hit by the possibility of missing out on CONCACAF competition, which is a privilege enjoyed only by the top two League finishers each season. However, the “Teteron Boys” have been more closely hit than most by the recent bloodletting after footballer and Lance Corporal Rawle Fletcher was murdered outside a Couva bar on Sunday 22 December 2013.

“He was a real instrumental part of the team for the last few years,” said Gordon, in a previous interview. “He was in my batch too and we were really close, so it real hit me hard.”

The Government is committed to doing whatever it deems necessary to halt violent crime. The Pro League will hope the withdrawal of the country’s uniformed footballers would be unnecessary to that plan
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 06:01:16 PM by Tiresais »

Offline dreamer

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Interesting.
Supportin' de Warriors right tru.

Offline asylumseeker

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The public should steups at this. However, some ppl won't see this as window dressing.  Hence, they won't steups and the essence of this issue will be lost.

I would like to hear the government articulate its position. Following that, the Opposition should be relentless in slamming it.

Aside from all of that, the policy (as it's trending) is a slap in the face of Rawle Fletcher.

Offline MEP

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is this a another 90 day plan????

Offline soccerrama

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Roger Sant just announced on CNC3 that all Defence Force teams have been suspended from participation in all sporting disciplines.

Offline Deeks

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I am of the opinion that DF and Police should not play in the Pro-league. They should go back to TTFF football. They are gov't employees and their primary goal is to protect the citizens. Football is secondary. The pro-league cannot run in this manner. This is the second time this is happenning. I think they should be playing football. It is not like they goofing off. Now how allyuh expect fans to support this. The season will never end. Sorry , Coops. Something different has to be done.

Offline Coop's

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I am of the opinion that DF and Police should not play in the Pro-league. They should go back to TTFF football. They are gov't employees and their primary goal is to protect the citizens. Football is secondary. The pro-league cannot run in this manner. This is the second time this is happenning. I think they should be playing football. It is not like they goofing off. Now how allyuh expect fans to support this. The season will never end. Sorry , Coops. Something different has to be done.
      I totally agree with u.How ever my understanding of DF playing Football is more of a public relations/image involvment in society,it has brought the public closer to the military that's besides the parades and different exercises that they put on for the public.

      When u look at it realisticaly,the amount of leagues DF play in,yes trophys to show what they played for,what they really do with prize money?do they need it?yes they have produced some of the best players/teams in the country,will it be a big loss if they are not playing top level Football?

      The thing is they have done/given so much to T&T Football i would just like to think what Football in the country would be without them.When u look at the situation it's very hard for me to say it's the end of the road for DF Football because it was my career and history.Yes something has to be done but what i can't say.

Offline Deeks

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I am of the opinion that DF and Police should not play in the Pro-league. They should go back to TTFF football. They are gov't employees and their primary goal is to protect the citizens. Football is secondary. The pro-league cannot run in this manner. This is the second time this is happenning. I think they should be playing football. It is not like they goofing off. Now how allyuh expect fans to support this. The season will never end. Sorry , Coops. Something different has to be done.
      I totally agree with u.How ever my understanding of DF playing Football is more of a public relations/image involvment in society,it has brought the public closer to the military that's besides the parades and different exercises that they put on for the public.

      When u look at it realisticaly,the amount of leagues DF play in,yes trophys to show what they played for,what they really do with prize money?do they need it?yes they have produced some of the best players/teams in the country,will it be a big loss if they are not playing top level Football?

      The thing is they have done/given so much to T&T Football i would just like to think what Football in the country would be without them.When u look at the situation it's very hard for me to say it's the end of the road for DF Football because it was my career and history.Yes something has to be done but what i can't say.

The things is Coops, I never expect me to say this about DF and Police. Society was not like this in we times. DF and Police, to a lesser extent, had respect from the football going public in our times. Steve David leading Police. You, RonLa, Murrel, Prince leading DF. Times have change. We can't control crime and the crime is affecting the very section of the country that carry the weight of football on their back. Who want to go out at night to see football when bandit killing willy-nilly and all you seeing is  people in white overalls snapping pictures and gathering evidence. How much people get charge for these murders.  Very, very, very few. This is another stake into the heart of football.

Offline asylumseeker

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What next? Pull cops pursuing studies out of the classroom?

How many officers and soldiers are involved?

Offline Tiresais

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Well maybe it's time that they get replaced by some of the community teams in the Pro League such as Guaya and Sando. Hell WASA and Malabar have done good recently, and Joe Public seems to have more resources than anyone else.

A larger league would lesson the impact of these types of things - we play each other 3 times for 24 games, what about a 13 team league playing each other twice?

Offline Deeks

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Well maybe it's time that they get replaced by some of the community teams in the Pro League such as Guaya and Sando. Hell WASA and Malabar have done good recently, and Joe Public seems to have more resources than anyone else.

A larger league would lesson the impact of these types of things - we play each other 3 times for 24 games, what about a 13 team league playing each other twice?

Dexter and them will have to lessen some of the requirements for the "community teams". These teams don't have any rich sponsors to take some of the financial load.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:02:13 AM by Deeks »

Offline Tiresais

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Well maybe it's time that they get replaced by some of the community teams in the Pro League such as Guaya and Sando. Hell WASA and Malabar have done good recently, and Joe Public seems to have more resources than anyone else.

A larger league would lesson the impact of these types of things - we play each other 3 times for 24 games, what about a 13 team league playing each other twice?

Dexter and them will have to lessen some of the requirements for the "community teams". These teams don't have any rich sponsors to take some of the financial load.

Then they'll have to live within their means like all sustainable clubs - surviving without rich backers should be the norm

Offline SWF Reporter

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Police FC shakes off withdrawal rumours to face Connection today
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

Police FC coach Richard Hood sent his players text messages this morning that read: “The game is on.”
At 6 pm today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Police will face DIRECTV W Connection in Digicel Pro League action. At present, Connection is top of the standings and unbeaten with 20 points from eight games while Police is second with 13 points although only goal difference separates the “Lawmen” from North East Stars and Defence Force.
Police and Defence Force spent the last 48 hours trying to determine whether they would be allowed to meet their Pro League obligations at all after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar declared that the Government would try to get maximum use from servicemen in the war against violent crime.
“Some of the players had called me yesterday asking about if the game (against Connection) is on,” Hood told Wired868. “I still haven’t heard anything but rumours about if we will be able to play (in the long term). As far as I know, we can.”
The situation is similar for the Defence Force team, which is the defending Pro League champion outfit. Club officials are awaiting official word although Wired868 expects to be updated soon.
Defence Force is on a bye this weekend, though, while Police is facing a Connection side that has looked unbeatable in the Pro League so far this season. But Hood, whose team lost 1-0 to a weakened Connection team in the TTFA FA Trophy tournament, is not overawed.
“I won’t say Connection is unbeatable,” said Hood, “I will say they are unbeaten so far…
“When we played them in the FA, we created a lot of good chances and they scored because we gave away an easy goal. So I think we can upset them this evening.”
The Police/Connection clash will be followed by a match-up between Caledonia AIA and Central FC from 8 pm at the same venue.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/01/10/police-fc-shakes-off-withdrawal-rumours-to-face-connection-today/

Offline Flex

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Thanx for the continued update Lasana.

I wonder when the official league would not have let anyone know that team could have and have (Army) withdrawn or they would have had fans show up to the game for nothing, we done already doh get crowd, this would have made it ever worst.

Its relieving to see someone outside of the league circle keeping us constantly updated on such matters.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline SWF Reporter

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No problem Flex. And much appreciated.

Offline Tiresais

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Yea thank in general man - your news on the Pro League is top-draw. Would be much harder to make Trini league for Football Manager without ya.

Have a request - when you state the formation could you tell us where each player played please? For example I saw that Dwayne James was playing in a 3-4-2-1 and would have assumed he was CB but heard from guys he ended up playing Attacking mid!

Offline SWF Reporter

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I break-up the systems using semi-colons. In a 3-4-2-1, it would be goalkeeper; three defenders; four midfielders, two attacking midfielders; striker. We always start from the right to left... So in a 4-4-2, it is goalkeeper; right back, stopper, stopper, left back; right wing and so on.
That is like a standard short-hand in the business. ;-)

Offline SWF Reporter

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Defence Force allegedly withdrawn from Pro League; Police plays… for now
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)

Defence Force’s 2013/14 Pro League football season was thrown into limbo today after an alleged directive from the Chief Staff Officer that all sporting teams must be “recalled” immediately.
Defence Force, the defending Pro League champion, is on a bye this weekend and, even this afternoon, assistant coach Marvin Gordon was in the dark with regards to his team’s immediate fate.
However, another Defence Force officer told Wired868 that the Pro League outfit along with other sport teams were withdrawn from competition with immediate effect until further notice.
Wired868 has not had official confirmation yet from Defence Force but the regiment’s Super League match against Guaya United on January 12 was officially announced as postponed today.
The decision is directly linked to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s stated directive to use every possible resource to tame the recent spike in violent crime, which led to 22 murders already in 2014.
Ironically, it might the second time that the spiralling murder rate has damaged the Defence Force football team’s chances of retaining the Pro League crown.
In 2011, the Defence Force and Police FC teams were withdrawn from Pro League competition for three months after Persad-Bissessar called a State of Emergency. It led to a packed schedule for the “Teteron Boys” who were asked to play three times per week towards the end of the season and finished well behind eventual winners, DIRECTV W Connection.
There could be regional consequences too for Persad-Bissessar’s decision to somehow use the likes of Devorn Jorsling and Curtis Gonzales to police criminals. Defence Force is due to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean qualifying series of the 2014 CONCACAF Club Championship, which starts in late February.
At best, coach Ross Russell’s men could miss out on vital match practice before their CONCACAF campaign starts; while, at worse, Defence Force could miss the series altogether.
Read more: http://wired868.com/2014/01/10/defence-force-withdrawn-from-pro-league-police-plays-for-now/

Offline Tiresais

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I break-up the systems using semi-colons. In a 3-4-2-1, it would be goalkeeper; three defenders; four midfielders, two attacking midfielders; striker. We always start from the right to left... So in a 4-4-2, it is goalkeeper; right back, stopper, stopper, left back; right wing and so on.
That is like a standard short-hand in the business. ;-)

Yea I know that much, but which players fit in each side - sometimes I think it's ordered in goalkeeper-defence-midfield-striker but then Dwayne James, playing AM, comes 5th (or something)on the list (when in a 3-4-2-1 would suggest centre mid). So in that example, do you order players GK-CD-CD-CD-RM-CM-CM-LM-AM-AM-ST?

Offline SWF Reporter

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I won't be able to consistently nail the teams. Some teams like Central defend and attack with different formations and some like Connection don't have a rigid system. So I just use it as a guide otherwise it might get overly complicated.
One can say that Connection plays a variant between a 4-1-1-1-3 and a 2-1-2-1-1-3 system. Its three midfielders are Gerard Williams, Silvio Spann and Jones and they line up vertically rather than horizontally. Their full backs are just nominal defenders. At times, Gerard Williams is right between the other two central defenders.
I know some people want the full breakdown but I feel it would confuse the layman and create unnecessary debate too. So I really do offer more of a guide.

Offline Coop's

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I won't be able to consistently nail the teams. Some teams like Central defend and attack with different formations and some like Connection don't have a rigid system. So I just use it as a guide otherwise it might get overly complicated.
One can say that Connection plays a variant between a 4-1-1-1-3 and a 2-1-2-1-1-3 system. Its three midfielders are Gerard Williams, Silvio Spann and Jones and they line up vertically rather than horizontally. Their full backs are just nominal defenders. At times, Gerard Williams is right between the other two central defenders.
I know some people want the full breakdown but I feel it would confuse the layman and create unnecessary debate too. So I really do offer more of a guide.
     Does it really matter what system these guys play?the bran of Football is still the same,i agree with SWF don't hot up yu head trying to explain that,it's like taking Football to the classroom.

Offline Tiresais

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I won't be able to consistently nail the teams. Some teams like Central defend and attack with different formations and some like Connection don't have a rigid system. So I just use it as a guide otherwise it might get overly complicated.
One can say that Connection plays a variant between a 4-1-1-1-3 and a 2-1-2-1-1-3 system. Its three midfielders are Gerard Williams, Silvio Spann and Jones and they line up vertically rather than horizontally. Their full backs are just nominal defenders. At times, Gerard Williams is right between the other two central defenders.
I know some people want the full breakdown but I feel it would confuse the layman and create unnecessary debate too. So I really do offer more of a guide.
     Does it really matter what system these guys play?the bran of Football is still the same,i agree with SWF don't hot up yu head trying to explain that,it's like taking Football to the classroom.

It's for me rather than anyone else :) Helps me figure their preferred positions. W Connection's role sounds really interesting tho, presume you're talking about Alvin jones as Joevin plays on teh wing? What can I say I like debating formations and tactics, call me a football geek :p

Offline asylumseeker

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Any public statement or media release by the Pro League re: this issue?

Offline SWF Reporter

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No public release yet from the Pro League. Tiresais, I'm happy to answer your questions on tactics even when I may not have put them in the story. Dwane James does not play as an attacking midfielder for Jabloteh by the way. Jabloteh use two holding midfielders and prefers to attack down the flanks.
But James has a good engine and he will get forward whenever he can.

Offline Tiresais

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No public release yet from the Pro League. Tiresais, I'm happy to answer your questions on tactics even when I may not have put them in the story. Dwane James does not play as an attacking midfielder for Jabloteh by the way. Jabloteh use two holding midfielders and prefers to attack down the flanks.
But James has a good engine and he will get forward whenever he can.

Yup that's what I thought, but I was talking to the guys from Brazil Link and they said he had played AM at some point during the game, but he prefers DM. Thanks a lot for that mate - do you have skype?

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Offline AB.Trini

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Mr. Shabaka for minister of National Security - look fuh the man on a green ticket- yuh hear it Hera first. All joke aside there is some sense here with want he is saying. Having these teams link up with the communities should be a positive partnership and could forge some bridges  as a deterrent in helping with the crime situation.
Removing these teams serves what purpose? This government already showed their hand during the SOE fiasco by mobilizing the forces and rounding up so call big players in the  criminal realm and what was the  major impact of that exercise?

So tell me what would be gained by removing these teams from the league?

Offline SWF Reporter

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Why the National Security Ministry should let Defence Force footballers play
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2014, 02:19:08 PM »
Stop playing with those soldiers, Griffith!
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)


It has been four weeks since the Defence Force football team along with all other sport and cultural teams within the local regiment have suspended all “involvement in national, regional and community type/level sporting activities.”

No one has ever explained how the likes of Curtis “Boyo” Gonzales, Kevon Carter and Devorn Jorsling will give better service to Trinidad and Tobago behind rifles as opposed to on the football field.
Gonzales, Carter and Lawrence all played important roles, last year, as the “Soca Warriors” advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time in seven years.

It was a former soldier, Dennis Lawrence, whose headed goal against Bahrain took the “Soca Warriors” to the Germany 2006 World Cup while he had three ex-servicemen, Jason Scotland, Carlos Edwards and Clayton Ince, for company when Trinidad and Tobago showed up at the world’s largest single sport event.
Defence Force also gave the domestic football league its proudest moment when it was a joint winner of the CONCACAF Club Championship in 1978 and then won the competition outright in 1985.

At present, the “Teteron Boys” have a Pro League title to defend and, perhaps more importantly, they kick off the Caribbean qualifying phase for the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League next month in Jamaica.
But, because of the increase in crime, the Defence Force team was not even allowed to practice for the last month; let alone play games.
In the absence of clear information regarding the use of these men, who were recruited to the army as footballers, there is a concern that this amounts to mismanagement of the army’s resources as well as a possible disregard for the cultural and sporting impact that Defence Force has on this country.

One would like to think that former army captain and present Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, as an ex-national hockey team manager and top flight player, would be more attuned with the importance of the Defence Force’s sporting programme.

But then experience tells us that we should not expect too much of Griffith.

There is one point that makes this whole Defence Force withdrawal even worse, though.

Police FC has not missed a game.

For the same aforementioned reasons, the Police players probably would not add much to the supposed war on crime by quitting the Pro League. Departed Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs insisted the problem was not a lack of numbers in the force; but poor management of the men.

In other words, it is the senior officers who should be feeling the heat and not the young men and women who are dedicating themselves to excellence in the field of sport and culture.

Still, Police FC’s ability to take the football field while Defence Force, the defending champion team, looks on begs the question: Just who does the National Security Ministry think is responsible for dealing with crime?

After years of rum talk and hot air, none of the four National Security Minister appointees over the past 20 months has ever articulated a feasible crime plan to the population. And Griffith has talked more and articulated less than probably anyone else in Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s Cabinet—with the notable exception of Health Minister Fuad Khan who did not know the laws of the land take priority over the Hippocratic Oath.

So allow me to get you started, Minister Griffith.

Step one: Find out whose job it is to enforce the law and keep criminal elements in check.
(Hint: It is not Devorn Jorsling).

And, while the Trinidad and Tobago’s national athletes in several different sporting activities are kept away from the sporting grounds, Griffith continues to enjoy the health benefits and camaraderie of life as an amateur hockey player.

On Wednesday 5 February 2014, Griffith scored five times for Queen’s Park Cricket Club in a 13-0 hammering of Shape at a Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB) mixed veteran’s match. Bet he enjoyed that.

An employer who asks employees to make sacrifices he has no intention of mirroring is the very definition of a horrible boss.

Enjoy your sweat, Griffith. But the Defence Force footballers must represent Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Champions League qualifiers in a month’s time.

And Gonzales hopes to be testing himself against global football sensation Lionel Messi when the “Soca Warriors” play Argentina in a friendly international this June.

So can they play too?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 02:11:08 PM by FF »

Offline Tiresais

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I like the redesign of the site btw. Good article, although I think that the pulling of the team is possibly perceived as symbolically important - (cynically) it wouldn't do for them to be 'prancing' around the football field while tens of Trinidadians die in gang battles. Of course the question then is why Police are playing? Surely they're the most natural targets.

All smacks of mis-management, I'm sure the lads are capable army personnel, but I can't help but feel they're more useful on the football field as a public relations bonus.

Offline elan

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I like the redesign of the site btw. Good article, although I think that the pulling of the team is possibly perceived as symbolically important - (cynically) it wouldn't do for them to be 'prancing' around the football field while tens of Trinidadians die in gang battles. Of course the question then is why Police are playing? Surely they're the most natural targets.

All smacks of mis-management, I'm sure the lads are capable army personnel, but I can't help but feel they're more useful on the football field as a public relations bonus.

The soldiers eh have nutten to do with controlling crime as it stands, let them play.
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