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Author Topic: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread  (Read 10924 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.

RELATED NEWS

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 _2026

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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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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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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

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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Offline Tallman

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Ascension Football Show
« Reply #65 on: March 22, 2021, 01:22:43 PM »
Episode 1

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Offline Tallman

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Re: Ascension Football Show
« Reply #66 on: March 22, 2021, 01:23:14 PM »
Episode 2

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/KYOTsfyxd3E" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/KYOTsfyxd3E</a>
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Ascension Football Show
« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2021, 01:24:00 PM »
Episode 3

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/bEp_sz9pk6M" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/bEp_sz9pk6M</a>
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Ascension Football Show
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2021, 01:24:34 PM »
Episode 4

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/qGh7LRICsHc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/qGh7LRICsHc</a>
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Ascension Football Show
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2021, 01:25:18 PM »
Episode 5

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/wVZRlFtaFFY" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/wVZRlFtaFFY</a>
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Ascension Football Show
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2021, 01:26:04 PM »
Episode 6

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/gI_nLMaEHlc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/gI_nLMaEHlc</a>
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Re: Ascension Football Show
« Reply #71 on: May 29, 2021, 08:20:30 AM »
Episode 5

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/wVZRlFtaFFY" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/wVZRlFtaFFY</a>

RE: The comments from ~11:30 ... Has no middle ground been achieved?

And, how likely is it that Rangers will see conpetitive action any time soon?
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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline Flex

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2021, 12:28:55 AM »
$5m Ascension Football League targets September kick-off.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


The long-awaited Ascension Football Tournament, which caters for all football in T&T, inclusive of the T&T Pro League, the T&T Super League, the Regional Associations (Northern FA, Southern FA, Eastern FA, Central FA, Eastern FA), the Women's Football League (WoLF), Beach Football and Futsal, is now set for a September start.

Ascension's Football Director Keiron Edwards confirmed that approval to run the tournament was given last year, and now with the vaccination drive a necessity to have action on the field of play, his group has been putting everything in place for the go-ahead by the government.

FIFA-installed Normalisation Committee chairman Robert Hadad had expressed a desire to have a Unified League of the T&T Pro and Super League, which was set to rival the Ascension tournament this year. Efforts to start this Unified League began in 2019 with officials from UEFA, CONCACAF, FIFA and the T&TFA having discussions, but this however never materialised.

Edwards told Guardian Media Sports on Wednesday: "Ascension is looking at playing in 2021, hopefully, once the restrictions are lifted and play is allowed to resume, we would be looking at playing the Ascension League. We did get sanction by Robert Hadad and the Normalisation Committee and by extension the T&T Football Association to have the League played. We were in the process of executing that sanction when the government halted all sporting activities and we put a halt on the League. Once that resumes, we're hoping to have that League held, similar to the Euros that is currently taking place."

He also said: "Further to that we're having discussions with clubs on vaccination among the playing population, the Pro League, Super League, the zonal levels, where clubs are now collecting data to see how many players are comfortable with taking the vaccines, how many players are hesitant to take the vaccines, and if we can do an educational programme, in terms of the importance of the vaccines and what it really means."

Guardian Media Sports was also informed that once the League gets going all players, who have been inactive for almost two years, will get the opportunity to earn a living, as well showcase their talent to local selectors, with an aim of being picked on the national teams.

Edwards made it clear the idea behind the Ascension was born out of the inability of the T&T Pro League to have action back in 2019. But since its successful staging in which the winning club- Defence Force, received a whopping $250,000 prize.

The tournament will feature coverage from regional cable television network Sportsmax, live coverage from a local television station and other providers.

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Edwards wants Ascension League start in October
« Reply #73 on: August 05, 2021, 07:58:08 PM »
Edwards wants Ascension League start in October
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian)


All is being done in anticipation of an October start to the Ascension Invitational Football League, this year.

Keiron Edwards, the La Horquetta Rangers general manager said he is hoping to ensure that all T&T Football Association's (TTFA) member clubs reach a point of at least full vaccination soon, to bolster their chances of having football.

On July 25, Edwards who also holds the position of president of the Eastern Football Association (EFA), said all the Rangers players, coaches, and other staff were either fully vaccinated or had received their first dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The intention now is to ensure that all other club members receive their vaccines.

The Ascension League will cater for nearly all divisions of football in T&T, inclusive of the T&T Pro League and Super League; the six Regional Associations - such as the EFA, Northern FA, Southern FA, Central FA, Tobago FA, and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU); Futsal; and the Women's Football League (WoLF).

However, a proposal for an Under-20 League is now gaining the attention of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee. The League (U-20), has been organised by officials of Club Sando and its sponsor Tiger Tank, Edwards has said, but it is uncertain when it will get going.

The proposal is said to be in the hands of the normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad, who is out of the country, attending the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States. But Edwards and Brent Sancho, interim chairman of the T&T Pro League, are both convinced that the U-20 tournament has won the heart of Hadad, and is certain to be approved.

Edwards and Rangers received approval last year to hold the Ascension League from the normalisation committee, but now he said the organisers are confused after Hadad, told Andre Baptiste during a TV interview in June that no permission would be granted to individuals to hold competitions this year.

He believes that the Under-20 tournament should not be approved if the Ascension Leagues is not given similar approval.

Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed that Hadad held a meeting with the pro league clubs, as well as Clayton Morris, president of the T&T Super League (TTSL) to garner support for the U-20 competition.

From that meeting, the clubs were all given the option to field a team in the tournament if they can.

Edwards said he wrote to Hadad last week and awaits a meeting with the local football boss on his return to the country.
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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #74 on: August 10, 2021, 07:17:51 PM »
Ready to ascend: Caledonia coach admits losing inactive players to negative influences
By Ian Prescott ((T&T Express)


Caledonia AIA head coach Jamaal Shabazz is losing the fight to keep his players away from negative influences and is desperately hoping for a quick restart to local football.

Given Government clearance to restart team sport, Shabazz is among the local club owners and coaches hoping local football can resume via the rich Ascension Invitational Tournament.

Tentatively due to kick off in September or October, the competition seems to have hit a snag, as FIFA normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad allegedly indicated, via radio interview, that he is no longer willing to sanction the Ascension tournament, after initially sanctioning the tournament a year ago.

“I am battling with gang leaders, marijuana and puncheon (rum), who are fighting me for my players,” Caledonia coach Shabazz bluntly declared. “I am starting to lose the battle. I already lose two players. They cross the floor. They had gone over to the illegal side.”

Shabazz admits that his case is acute, coming from the hot spot area of Morvant and Caledonia, where most of his talent is drawn.

“Club Sando have outlined their intention to run an U-20 league, and along with the Ascension league, those are the two leagues we will focus on, providing we get government medical clearance. We have no problem with Ascension football, personally or professionally.”

Contacted yesterday, Ascension Invitational organiser Richard Ferguson indicated that the only hindrance to restart local football are Government’s go-ahead to resume team sport, and Hadad’s sanctioning the 2021 tournament.

Ferguson has produced a signed letter dated July 10, 2020, indicating that Hadad’s normalisation committee had sanctioned the 2020 tournament, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ascension Invitational football has served as a pre-cursor to the local professional league and debuted in 2019 with 24 clubs, competing in two divisions and vying for $650,000 in prize money.

Pro League champions Defence Force were the Division One champions, winning $125,000, while San Fernando Giants won $100,00 as inaugural Division Two winners.

The organiser had catered for a much bigger 2020 tournament (postponed) — estimated to cost $4.3 million and featuring 92 teams, including Pro League, Super League and Zonal clubs vying for $494,000 in prize incentives.

“We are ready to go,” Ferguson told the Express yesterday. “Once Government gives the clearance to play, we want to start.” The only other problem Ferguson has is the reluctance of the normalisation committee to give the Ascension tournament 2021 its blessing.

In a recent correspondence, Ferguson called on Hadad to explain his reluctance. “Can you explain this please?” was the question asked.

Another prominent club owner, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted to being confused by both Hadad’s position and lack of communication with clubs about the tournament. Hadad also did not respond to the Express’ queries on his position toward the Ascension Invitational and why was there a change of heart, a year after sanctioning the 2020 tournament.

“The organisers of the tournament would have used this sanction as the basis for procuring various goods and services for the tournament, including costs to broadcast games on live television in over 20 countries around the world. Tournament organisers would have spent $millions in preparing for this tournament based on the contract you signed,” Ferguson stated via correspondence to Hadad.

“In addition, sponsors would have withdrawn their support after you made public statements concerning the purported cancellation of the tournament. As such, you are exposing FIFA, TTFA, the normalisation committee and your good self to legal action as this is a clear breach of contract, Tort, and case of liquidated damages.

“Therefore, your apparently wild and reckless statements could result in millions of dollars in losses,” the communique further stated.

The organiser argued that, “the Ascension Tournament has sought to provide major sponsorship for various stakeholders in football, including women’s football, zonal football, Super League football and Pro League football and is committed to developing all aspects of football in Trinidad and Tobago.”

“It is ironic that you have been begging for corporate Trinidad to get involved in football but deny the organisers of the Ascension Tournament — a corporate entity, to perform a national service in hopes of improving our local game and giving our talented players the opportunity to showcase their abilities worldwide.”
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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #75 on: November 11, 2021, 01:30:30 AM »
Awai agrees with Minister Deyalsingh's Ascension blank.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


Michael Awai a stakeholder in local football and the former AC Port of Spain Business Development Manager agrees with the decision by Minister of Health, Dr Terrence Deyalsingh to blank permission to the Ascension Football Tournament organisers for the start of their ten-club competition at this time.

This is despite Awai being the owner of one of the teams expected to be involved in the competition, AC Port-of-Spain.

On May 1, the Ascension Football Tournament Director Kieron Edwards wrote to the Ministry of Health proposing a tournament to be played at La Horquetta Recreation Ground which would have featured only fully vaccinated players, staff and officials.

Among the other clubs who were set to compete in the first local football tournament since March 2020 were 2019 Ascension and Pro League champions Defence Force, Police FC, Cunupia FC, West Forte FC, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers FC, Malabar FC, Central FC, Central Soccer World FC and Deportivo PF.

As an added safety measure, the tournament organisers also hinted that only fully-vaccinated fans were to be allowed as they intended to apply strict Covid-19 protocols with the help of the La Horquetta Police.

Overall, the request was supported by a list of some 30 COVID-19 guidelines to be followed by all, to ensure the safety and protection of all involved, either taking part in the games, officiating, or supporting.

However on May 3, in reply to the request to the tournament financed by former T&TFA presidential candidate Richard Ferguson, Minister Terrence Deyalsingh informed Edwards that an exemption had been denied.

Minister Deyalsingh in his reply said: As you may be aware, the Emergency Powers (No.2) Regulations, 2021 (“the Regulations”), as amended by the Emergency Powers (Variation of Curfew Times No.5) Order, 2021 and the Ministry of Health’s Media Release (Statement No.12), provide inter alia:

3. (1) During the period of public emergency between the hours of 5.01 am to 9.59 pm. Every day, a person shall not –

(a) gather in any public place unless the gathering –

(i) for the purpose of the services is specified in sub-regulation (10);

(ii) does not exceed ten persons at a time

(b)…

(m) participate in any team sports,

(o) operate any sports clubs, including cycling, running, hiking, swimming, golf, tennis, football, rugby, and hockey clubs except where authorised by the Minister.

I have received your request for an exemption pursuant to the Regulations, to commence the Ascension Football Tournament of T&T and as further delineated in your letter.

However, due to the community spread of the Delta Variant of Covid-19, I am unable to authorize the conduct of said Tournament at this time.

Notwithstanding, due consideration may be given to your request in the future, ended Minister Deyalsingh’s reply which was copied to the Minister of Sport and Community Development, Shamfa Cudjoe.

And commenting on the decision made, Awai first noted that the approach used by the organisers maybe been a problem.

He said, “I think that Richard Ferguson in his wisdom, I thought that he should have had a joint effort with the T&TFA approaching government.

“I believe he approached the government on his own and copied the T&TFA from what I read in the newspapers but he has every right to ask for what he is asking for as there is every reason why he wants the football to be played.”

“He is concerned about the young people in the country and I think that is very noble but at the same time we do have a pandemic, we do have a Delta Variant and 71 people died in a week albeit older people but the fact of the matter is that people are dying and unless and until the country gets to a point of where they can have what is call herd immunity then I don’t think any sport will play.”

“Yes, they will have a national team training in the Home of Football secluded, yes they will bring a team from Panama and play and stay in one place with no visitors etc, but once you start to say that okay we can play football every Tom, Dick and Harry will play football in the savannah, on the streets and it will be uncontrolled and then we can have spikes there and then we may have a problem again nationally, and I think that’s the reason why the Ministry of Health has been very very careful and very methodical and thoughtful in their whole approach in this whole mess as we call the covid pandemic .”

I think the indiscipline of the people in the country as well has played its role in the decision as could you imagine if they open the beaches this weekend what is going to happen, and football is not as bad as the beach, but just kind of get a que from that kind of excitement and you will get to understand what it is.

Every piece of green grass in this country would be covered with people playing football, no masks, people just playing and we could just have people getting ill all over again and we will have a big spike and then we will all be in a mess again.”

he added, "So I do think it’s a good thing not to start the football now and quite frankly I think January is not a bad time to start because generally, it has never been our practice to play football in December, and November is almost done.

“So I think they can wait, plan and monitor and review and then after a while they can say okay we can start to play football January 1.

In response to Minister Deyalsing’s decision, a group of players, coaches and other football officials are expected to the streets of Port-of-Spain, including at the office of Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe on Thursday morning, to air their concerns on why football is not being played.

The group is being led by Michael De Four, coach of Cunupia FC and others, calling themselves concerned citizens of football.

According to a Guardian Media Sports report on Wednesday due to the limitations to protest or march, the group has printed jerseys they believe will help convey their message.

De Four insisted that his members are not into the business of breaking the laws, hence why they’re not playing football although the sport is allegedly going on at different locations across the country.

"You said, 'vaccinate to operate', that was a government slogan, but here it is an entity, is saying hey, everybody has been vaccinated and we’re ready to go, and you’re telling them no. So, we have a little issue with that, because the less we play football, the more the industry crumbles and crumbles, making it more difficult to recover from where we were, or attain the goals we would like to attain.”

De Four pleaded, “I would like the Minister of Health and the Sports Minister to show some compassion towards the sports fraternity and work with us as sports enthusiasts, at least to overcome this hurdle".

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Football coaches, players march for the return of sports
« Reply #76 on: November 11, 2021, 06:06:39 PM »
Football coaches, players march for the return of sports
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday)


COACHES, players and administrators of local football marched through Port of Spain on Thursday morning to not only resume football but sports.

A few sports, including golf, were allowed during the covid19 pandemic but team sports and contact sports are still prohibited.

The Government, however, did permit the national senior women’s football team to play two international friendlies against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, last month.

The protest followed Government’s decision to blank the Ascension League’s proposal to resume football.

On November 2, the Ascension League issued a statement to the Ministry of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago chairman Douglas Camacho. It was signed by tournament director Kieron Edwards.

The proposal said all the players and coaches are vaccinated.

Three days later, Deyalsingh said permission to start the league cannot be granted at this time.

He said he could not allow the competition to kick off because of community spread of the delta variant of covid19.

Roughly 25 football stakeholders walked along the Brian Lara Promenade, Frederick Street and also gathered at the Red House. Covid19 protocols were followed.

The protestors wore red t-shirts saying “Let Football Play in a Safe Zone.”

A month ago, the Government allowed more businesses to open for vaccinated people called safe zones. They included gyms, cinemas and casinos.

Among those who attended the protest were director and coach of Cunupia FC Michael De Four, Unified Football Coaches of TT interim president Jefferson George, coach of Central Soccer World/Cunupia FC Randolph Boyce and All Blacks FC official Simon Francis.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/u-7QDwZYSLE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/u-7QDwZYSLE</a>
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Football stakeholders demand to play in 'safe zones'
« Reply #77 on: November 11, 2021, 06:08:09 PM »
Football stakeholders demand to play in 'safe zones'
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian)


A more-than-scary statistic, which shows that more than 30,000 young people have lost their jobs due to the government's refusal to allow sport, as an industry to be played, has led to a group of concerned footballers to take to the streets of Port-of-Spain yesterday in a and show the disappointment via a silent protest, calling for football, in particular, to be played.

The group of football players, coaches and other officials wore red T-shirts with the words - 'Let football play in safe zones,' printed on them following the government's decision to shut down sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic almost two years ago.

Their walk, which began at the bottom of Henry Street, near the South Quay, and proceeded through the capital city, via Independence Square, up Frederick Street to Woodford Square, then down Abrecromby street towards the office of the Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe, whose Ministry of Sports and Community Development office is housed at Nicholas Tower on Independence Square, with an aimed at sending a message to her about the apparent unfair treatment being dished out to sports in general, and football in particular, as all other industries are allowed to 'vaccinate and operate' according to a call by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley a few months ago to the business community.

Michael De Four, Director of Football at central club Cunupia FC who was one of the organisers of the peaceful walk, said his team alone has lost three players due to the shut-down. He told Guardian Media Sports on Thursday: "Football in T&T should be an industry. I did some stats and there are about 30,000 people in T&T that play football at some sort of competitive level, separated by another 25,000, who use football as a recreational activity. The industry generates an estimated TT$800,000 in economic activity annually and that has been shut down. So you're talking about some 20,000 to 30,000 young people who are out of some form of income. We're saying that after an entity decided to follow Government's proposal to vaccinate to operate, we were denied and that was the catalyst that provoked us to come to this peaceful walk to do like the business community and make a statement without saying a word. We've lost three players, one to crime, he was not going to come back. We lost one to drugs, not the legal drugs but the illegal drugs, and we've lost another one who just doesn't want to play football again, and these are truly talented individuals. And that is just one team. We have over 120 competitive teams in Trinidad and Tobago," De Four explained.

When the march reached Abercromby street, heading southwards, police officers, both on foot patrol and in vehicles made their presence felt, by stopping some of the participants and fielding questions to the group about the event. However, the march was allowed to continue after De Four, the Cunupia football boss ease the concerns of the officers by ensuring them that the required numbers of 10 persons per groups were maintained during the march.

The Ministries of Health and Sports were singled out by the the football stakeholders, as well as Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as the only ones with the power to affect change from the march, but following the presentation of the budget in October in which no additional funding was given to sports, De Four said he was neither confident that sports will return, disappointed that the ministry of sports could not put forward a case for sports to be returned to play, nor even certain that a case was made at all by the ministry for on-the-field sports to be returned.

Meanwhile, Randolph Boyce, the Central Soccer World coach echoed similar sentiments, saying there was not even an attempt to allow sports to be returned.

According to Boyce, they're not fighting against the health issues, but they want to know or ask if they can be given something in principle. "Give us something that we could work with on when sports would start back to play. There is the Pro League, there is the Super League, there are zones, there are football academies, so you can start at the highest level, where it will be trials and errors. And if you have to shut it down then we could understand that, but you're not starting it at all, so to us, there are no plans at all."
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #78 on: November 11, 2021, 09:14:06 PM »
Football stakeholders demand to play in 'safe zones'
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian)


...

Michael De Four, Director of Football at central club Cunupia FC who was one of the organisers of the peaceful walk, said his team alone has lost three players due to the shut-down. He told Guardian Media Sports on Thursday: "Football in T&T should be an industry. I did some stats and there are about 30,000 people in T&T that play football at some sort of competitive level, separated by another 25,000, who use football as a recreational activity. The industry generates an estimated TT$800,000 in economic activity annually and that has been shut down. So you're talking about some 20,000 to 30,000 young people who are out of some form of income. We're saying that after an entity decided to follow Government's proposal to vaccinate to operate, we were denied and that was the catalyst that provoked us to come to this peaceful walk to do like the business community and make a statement without saying a word. We've lost three players, one to crime, he was not going to come back. We lost one to drugs, not the legal drugs but the illegal drugs, and we've lost another one who just doesn't want to play football again, and these are truly talented individuals. And that is just one team. We have over 120 competitive teams in Trinidad and Tobago," De Four explained.

Football stakeholders demand to play in 'safe zones'
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian)


A more-than-scary statistic, which shows that more than 30,000 young people have lost their jobs due to the government's refusal to allow sport, as an industry to be played, has led to a group of concerned footballers to take to the streets of Port-of-Spain yesterday in a and show the disappointment via a silent protest, calling for football, in particular, to be played.
...

Football coaches, players march for the return of sports
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday)


COACHES, players and administrators of local football marched through Port of Spain on Thursday morning to not only resume football but sports.

...

Roughly 25 football stakeholders walked along the Brian Lara Promenade, Frederick Street and also gathered at the Red House. Covid19 protocols were followed.

...

Notable contrast between a figure asserted to be in the tens of thousands and a yield of less than three tens.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2021, 09:20:43 PM by asylumseeker »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws</a>

Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #79 on: November 12, 2021, 12:10:33 AM »

Notable contrast between a figure asserted to be in the tens of thousands and a yield of less than three tens.
Maybe the Game, Jobs  AND the 'industry' (industry the man say !) not as important to the

" 30,000 people in T&T that play football at some sort of competitive level, separated by another 25,000, who use football as a recreational activity. The industry generates an estimated TT$800,000 in economic activity annually and that has been shut down. So you're talking about some 20,000 to 30,000 young people who are out of some form of income. "

So why would the powers that be take 25 ppl seriously. There's more seriousness and ppl in the safe zone bars on the Avenue, any avenue.

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Coach De Four: Footballers lost to crime, drugs amid sport shutdown
« Reply #80 on: November 12, 2021, 08:17:55 AM »
Coach De Four: Footballers lost to crime, drugs amid sport shutdown
By Michael DeFour (T&T Newsday)


LOCAL stakeholders said footballers have fallen by the wayside to crime and the next generation of talented T&T players at a disadvantage with football, and sport in general, being on the sidelines for almost two years.

Roughly 25 coaches, players, administrators and supporters of local football marched through Port of Spain on Thursday morning to not only resume football but sports.

The group walked along the Brian Lara Promenade, Frederick Street and also gathered by the Red House while following covid19 protocols.

More than an hour after the march began they ended their walk outside the Ministry of Sport and Community Development’s office at Nicholas Towers.

The protestors wore red t-shirts saying “Let Football Play in a Safe Zone.”

Among those who attended the protest were director and coach of Cunupia FC Michael De Four, Unified Football Coaches of T&T interim president Jefferson George, coach of Central Soccer World/Cunupia FC Randolph Boyce and All Blacks FC official Simon Francis.

De Four, speaking to the media outside the Red House, said, “Financially (we have been affected by no football), health-wise…I could give an example (that) we have lost three players. We lost one to crime, he is not going to come back if you understand what I mean. We have lost one to drugs, not the legal drugs, (but) the illegal drugs and we just lost one. He just don’t want to play football again. These were truly talented individuals and I am just one team. They have over 120 competitive teams in Trinidad.”

Francis also spoke about players turning to negative activities.

He said, “I represent grassroots football in T&T. Grassroots football is very important because it is community-based football. Imagine right now in my community of South Oropouche I can take my vaccination card, my son’s vaccination card (or) some of my players vaccination cards and go by a bar and have a drink, but I cannot under the present measures carry those footballers to train and play football and that in itself is fundamentally wrong.”

He added, “We have been down for about 19, 20 months and for 20 months now if we had up and coming Dwight Yorkes, Russell Latapys amongst us we could kiss that goodbye.

“Sports bring discipline…in South Oropouche I have been able to fight crime by young men training and playing football.”

A few sports, including golf, have been allowed during the covid19 pandemic but team sports and contact sports are still waiting.

The Government, however, did permit the national senior women’s football team to play two international friendlies against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, last month.

The protest followed Government’s decision to blank the Ascension League’s proposal to resume football.

On November 2, the Ascension League issued a statement to the Ministry of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago chairman Douglas Camacho. It was signed by tournament director Kieron Edwards.

The proposal said all the players and coaches are vaccinated.

Three days later, Deyalsingh said permission to start the league cannot be granted at this time because of the delta variant.

Boyce is asking the Government to give sport a chance.

“There is the Pro League, Super League, zones, academies. Start at the highest level and if it have trial and error and you have to shut it down then we could understand that, but you are not starting at all. It means to us there are no policies, they put us in a corner…if you have to find a safe zone we are willing.”

A month ago, the Government allowed more businesses to open for vaccinated people called safe zones. They included gyms, cinemas and casinos.

George said the march was not only about football.

“The public must remember that is not just football, but it is sport in general that has been put on the shelf proverbially since last year…we know from research that engaging in sport is one way that we can keep our bodies healthy.”
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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #81 on: December 25, 2021, 04:30:27 PM »
Ascension Football writes to PM for tourney's return: We will play it safe
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (T&T Newsday)


After Ascension Football Tournament officials were blanked by Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh on a possible resumption to the league with vaccinated players only, organisers have now reached out to the Prime Minister in hope of a more favourable response.

Last month, Ascension administrators sent a request to Deyalsingh, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and SporTT chairman Douglas Camacho outlining a plethora of changes and health protocols implemented into the tournament’s operations, in anticipation of a possible restart.

However, Deyalsingh denied their request and said he was unable to authorise the league’s resumption “due to community spread of the delta variant of covid19”. He also said that “due consideration may be given to your request in the future.”

With no update coming from the health ministry to date, tournament organisers decided to reach out to Dr Rowley with a similar letter on Thursday.

Most notably, the statement confirmed that the league’s ten participating teams, players and support staff have all been fully vaccinated.

According to the release, the tournament will adhere to all covid19 protocols and guidelines before it proceeds.

Some of the mandatory requirements are that all players, coaches, support staff and spectators must have proof of full vaccination status before entering the venue.

The committee will designate members of staff as a covid19 support team to be responsible for all related concerns. They will attend all games and ensure the guidelines are adhered to.

If allowed by local health authorities, only vaccinated spectators will be permitted. Every person entering the game venue must wear a mask and non-participating support staff must wear masks at all times.

It added that any person displaying a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius will not be allowed entry. Social distancing (six feet) must be adhered to whether in the stands, players’ bench or sidelines.

Additionally, during half-time, teams will only be allowed in dressing rooms if the weather is unsatisfactory. If it is satisfactory, teams will stay on-field to conduct half-time talk, with social distancing.

If a family member of any player, coach or support staff contracts covid19 or has been exposed to people with symptoms, they must notify tournament organisers.

“Players, coaches, staff and officials must conduct mandatory temperature/health checks for each of the three days prior to each match day.

Players failing to make themselves available to have these tests done will result in them not participating in the games occurring that week,” the statement added.

A list of all names, addresses and other contact information would be taken upon entry to each game to have accurate contact tracing of all those present. There will also be seating arrangements for support staff.

It continued, “The game will be played within a 90-minute time frame followed by an hour sanitisation period.

“The duration of the time players are present at venues will be shortened reducing the time of gathering to limit the possibility of exposure to covid19.

“A cleaning and sanitisation schedule has been added before, during and after all games for contact/surface areas.”

The only international players allowed to participate must have resided in T&T for at least one year. All matches will be hosted at secure venues. Referees must submit weekly reports and must bring to the attention of the tournament director immediately if a player is suspected of having covid19.

The release concluded, “The tournament will also obtain assistance from the T&T Police Service, namely the La Horquetta Police Station to ensure all covid19 guidelines are strictly executed.

“The tournament will be governed by the established rules and regulations of FIFA, Concacaf and T&T Football Association and the disciplinary and appeals committee in operation will be used and applied with suitable variations where necessary.”

The Ascension committee now awaits a response from the relevant authorities to proceed.

Several national sporting organisations and domestic clubs have increased their preparation ahead of a possible resumption to all sport.

This comes after the government and Ministry of Health approved to host two friendly matches (October 21 and 25) between T&T women’s team and Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Before that, no major contact sport has been played on local soil since mid-March last year.
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Ascension seeks Gov’t green light for 30-point Covid-19 protocol plan
« Reply #82 on: December 25, 2021, 04:35:10 PM »
Ascension seeks Gov’t green light for 30-point Covid-19 protocol plan
T&T Guardian


Keiron Edwards, Tournament Director of the Ascension Football Tournament has written to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley seeking permission for the start of the Ascension Football Tournament of T&T.

In a letter dated Tuesday, December 21, Edwards noted that that the league is prepared to commence and as such is seeking the Prime Minister’s permission to proceed.

In early November, the league was denied permission to kick off by Minister of Health, Dr Terrence Deyalsingh who cited the spike in coronavirus cases as one of the key factors.

However, in their new request to the T&T Government and more importantly to the Prime Minister, Edwards pointed out that all the teams that will be competing in the Ascension Football Tournament have players and support staff fully vaccinated.

He stated: As the country continues to strive towards some sense of normalcy during this difficult period, we believe that the restart of contact sports, particularly football, will boost the morale of our citizens and recharge the passion we once had for this sport.

It is also expected to reduce the level of crime within depressed regions of the country.

The Ascension Tournament of Trinidad and Tobago will be broadcast live on SportsMax, a local television network and streamed on the internet in over twenty countries worldwide thereby showcasing our nation's unique football style and culture. The Tournament will adhere to all covid-19 protocols and follow strict covid-19 guidelines before we proceed.

The following are some of the coronavirus procedures that will be enforced during the Ascension Tournament:

1. All players, coaches, referees, their support staff, spectators and any other persons would only be allowed entry on the ground if they have proven that they are fully vaccinated.

2. The Ascension Tournament of Trinidad and Tobago will designate members of staff (COVID-19 support team) to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 related concerns. 3.

3. The COVID-19 support team will attend all games to ensure COVID-19 protocols are adhered to.

4. All teams participating in the tournament must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon entry to the field/ stadium. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol will be used.

5. Only fully vaccinated spectators will be allowed to enter the premises.

6. COVID-19 signage will be posted at all venues.

7. Every person including coaches, staff, officials, players and possible spectators entering the game venue must wear a mask before entering. All support staff not participating in the game must wear masks at all times while in game venue.

8. Thermal imaging systems or non-contact infrared thermometers, which are noncontact temperature assessment devices, will be used to measure the temperature of coaches, staff, officials, and players present at each game. Any person that displays a temperature above the required level (100.4° F/ 38° C) will not be allowed in the venue.

9. During times when players are not actively participating in field of play, attention will be given to ensure the maintaining of social distancing (at least 6ft) by increasing space between players on the sideline, stands or bench.

10. During half-time, teams will only be allowed in dressing rooms if the weather is unsatisfactory. If the weather is satisfactory, teams will stay on field to conduct half time talks. In both instances, social distancing must be adhered to.

11. Coaches, staff, officials and players must notify the Ascension Tournament of Trinidad and Tobago COVID-19 support team if they (staff) or any member of their family become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case.

12. Coaches, staff, officials and players must send a list (at least six hours prior to each game to the tournament director) of all members that will be present from their club including name, address, official form of ID, contact number, emergency contact number and vaccination card to be cross referenced upon entry to each game.

13. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 all areas will be closed off once it was used by that person to be cleaned and sanitized as per the Ministry of Health guidelines (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).

14. Players, coaches, staff and officials must conduct mandatory temperature/ health checks for each of the three days prior to each match day. Players failing to make themselves available to have these tests done will result in them not participating in the games occurring that week.

15. The required PPE will be available at the venue on each match day for the medical staff's use in the event of a suspect covid-19 case. If there is a suspected case, the medical staff will use the PPE to have the person transferred to the nearest health facility.

16. A Thermal imaging system or non-contact infrared thermometer will be given to each team to conduct a daily temperature check with each player.

17. A list of all person's name, address and other contact information would be taken upon entry to each game to have accurate tracing of all persons present in the event of a covid-19 case.

18.All players will be temperature checked prior to leaving their home ground. All players and support staff must not use public transport as their mode of transportation to get to and from the games.

19. Clear seating arrangements will be identified for all support staff with clear consideration of covid-19 requirements.

20. Players and support staff must always sign the temperature record when their temperature is taken.

21. Teams must sign the protocol article and must adhere to all protocols listed to mitigate the risk of contracting covid-19.

22.People conducting temperature checks at venue entry points must be clothed in proper PPE.

23.Any person whose temperature is recorded over 38°C or displays symptoms would be isolated and the relevant authorities would be contacted to have them escorted to seek medical treatment.

24. There would be a designated person to lead media and communication activities. They would be tasked with managing all external communication with national officials, public and the media- Tournament Director.

25. The game will be played within a 90-minute time frame with an hour sanitation period. The duration of the time players are present at venues will be shortened reducing the time of gathering to limit the possibility of exposure to covid-19.

26.A cleaning and sanitization schedule has been added before, during and after all games for all contact/ surface areas.

27. The tournament organizers have acquired masks for every participan,t staff and official to help reduce transmission of covid-19.

28. There will be no international participants that would have entered the country within the last year. All international players must have resided in Trinidad and Tobago for at least one year.

29. All matches will be hosted at secure venues to ensure identification of all persons entering the venue as well as reduce the spread of covid-19 and to easily trace all players, and support staff in the event that a person present at the game displays symptoms of or contracts covid-19.

30. Referees must submit weekly reports and must bring to the attention of the tournament director immediately if a player is suspected of having covid-19.

With regards to security, Edwards pointed out that the league will also obtain assistance from the T&T Police Service, namely the La Horquetta Police Station to ensure all covid-19 guidelines are strictly executed, while the league also has adequate security and remains incident free.

In keeping with the high standards set by its inaugural competition two years ago, the tournament will be governed by the established Rules and Regulations of FIFA, Concacaf and the T&T Football Association while the Disciplinary and Appeals Committees will be used and applied with suitable variations where necessary.
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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #83 on: December 30, 2021, 02:40:29 AM »
10. During half-time, teams will only be allowed in dressing rooms if the weather is unsatisfactory. If the weather is satisfactory, teams will stay on field to conduct half time talks. In both instances, social distancing must be adhered to.

All well and good. But how will they relief themselves ? Will there be mobile putty for each team so a player goes one at atime ?

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #84 on: January 25, 2022, 01:36:31 PM »
Ascension Football League targets March kick off.
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday).


ASCENSION League director Richard Ferguson is targeting early March for the start of the league following the announcement on Sunday that the safe zone return to play proposal has been approved by the Ministry of Health.

On Sunday, a media release by the Ministry of Sport and Community Development said, “National governing bodies (NGBs) and sport serving bodies will now be able to host sporting events and execute sporting activities for fully vaccinated athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators at specific sporting facilities.”

Since the covid19 pandemic started to affect TT in March 2020 sport has been on the sidelines, with few exceptions being made. National athletes and teams have been permitted to train periodically during the pandemic. A few sports, including tennis and golf, have been allowed.

Fans who are vaccinated will also be allowed to attend sporting events.

“Approval has also been granted for fully vaccinated spectators to attend events at 50 per cent facility capacity for outdoor events, and 25 per cent facility capacity for indoor events subject to guidelines to be issued by the Ministry of Health.

“The new Public Health Regulations will be published today (Sunday) and will take effect from tomorrow Monday, January 24, 2022.”

Ferguson said, “It is a positive reaction by the Ministry of Sport and by extension the Prime Minister and we welcome the move and we look forward to be active in a competitive league in the future.”

Ferguson said he has been in dialogue with clubs and the normalisation committee, who is in charge of local football.

“We have been doing that awhile now, that is nothing new. What we actually need to do now is to work on getting the approval from the Ministry of Sport, the Ministry of Health to play the league.”

Asked if he thinks footballers and stakeholders in the sport who are still hesitant to take the vaccine would get vaccinated now, Ferguson said, “I hope so.”

Ferguson is hoping to start a league in the coming weeks. “We looking at probably the first week in March.”

Football stakeholders have been clamouring for the return of sports, not only football.

On November 11, coaches, players and administrators marched through Port of Spain.

The protest followed Government’s decision to blank the Ascension League’s proposal to resume football.

The protestors wore red t-shirts saying “Let Football Play in a Safe Zone.”

On November 2, the Ascension League issued a statement to the Ministry of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago chairman Douglas Camacho. It was signed by tournament director Kieron Edwards.

The proposal said all the players and coaches are vaccinated.

Three days later, Deyalsingh said permission to start the league cannot be granted at this time.

He said he could not allow the competition to kick off because of community spread of the delta variant of covid19.

Following T&T’s 5-0 defeat against Bolivia on Friday in an international men’s football friendly, coach Angus Eve called for the return of local football.

Former T&T midfielder Densill Theobald, an assistant coach and director of football at Morvant Caledonia, is excited that football can resume.

“This is great news,” Theobald said.

“We are not only anxious for football to restart, but also just for the youths to look forward to some sort of positivity and using their time wisely in a productive way. That augurs well for the rest of the year. That is a fantastic step in the right direction for everyone involved in the sporting fraternity.”

Theobald said footballers are in “desperate need of competition” with many of them not belonging to a club.

Theobald, who represented T&T at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, thanked the Government for taking the decision to resume more sporting activities.

Interim president of the Unified Coaches of T&T Jefferson George said, “It is obviously pleasing to know that sport is at least going to be on the same level like industries which have been allowed to open so long (ago).”

In October, multiple sectors of the entertainment industry were allowed to open for vaccinated people. Some of those businesses included gyms, casinos and cinemas.

George questioned the delay in giving sport the green light.

Discussing the mandatory vaccination rule for people who want to get involved in sport, George said, “I am speaking on behalf of the coaches association of course and we had always maintained that any type of vaccination should be a personal choice. It should not be mandated.”

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Offline Flex

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2022, 08:40:15 PM »
TD Corneal to have input in Ascension decision.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


Newly installed technical director of the T&T Football Association (TTFA), Anton Corneal, will have a part to play in the granting of permission by the Normalisation Committee, with regards to the start of the Ascension football tournament next month.

The Ascension Invitational was first held in 2019, as a pre-season event to the T&T Pro League season with record-domestic league champion Defence Force capturing the Division One crown and $125,000 top prize while San Fernando Giants won Division Two and $100,000.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition was not held in 2020 or last year, but tournament organisers are very hopeful of staging the second edition from next month, following the decision by the government to allow the return to sports, but under strict health guidelines and protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health. 

On Wednesday, the 58-year-old Corneal was appointed to the position of TTFA technical director for the third time in his career.

His appointment came on the eve of Thursday’s meeting between key stakeholders in local football inclusive of the Ministry of Sports and Community Development, Sports Company of T&T (SporTT) and representatives of the Ascension Football League with regards to the resumption of local sporting competitions.

Among those at yesterday's meeting were Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, TTFA normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad, TTFA general secretary Amiel Mohammed, Ephraim Serrette, Special Advisor Minister of Sports and Community Development, Chief Executive Officer SporTT, Jason Williams and Ascension League tournament director, Keiron Edwards.

Before the meeting, Edwards had related that a key sticking point in the league coming off was that they were directed by the Ministry of Sports to get a letter of endorsement from the TTFA which is under the leadership of the Hadad-led normalisation committee.

Edwards said they then had a meeting with the TTFA at which they were told they had two options by which the league would go ahead, which were for the football body to collaborate or control or run any league which they are giving a sanction to, or which they are endorsing.

Edwards said he believed those suggestions to have the tournament played under the umbrella of any TTFA-sanction tournament such as the T&T Pro League, the T&T Super League or the six Regional Associations such as the Eastern Football Association, Central FA, Southern FA, Northern FA, the Tobago FA and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU) was a mandate to the TTFA from Concacaf and FIFA, the sport's world governing body.

He noted that they already sent out correspondence to all the regional associations, but is yet to reach out to the T&T Super League which is being headed by new president Lee Davis. Ascension, while discussions have also been held with the T&T Pro League through its chairman, Brent Sancho, more dialogue is set to take place with the directors of the Pro League.

Edwards upbeat after meeting

But commenting Thursday, a more upbeat Edwards said the meeting went fairly okay as they had some discussions about hopefully having the Ascension League started and how it will look and how they can move forward.

He said, "We have some positive news as there was a commitment by the Ascension Tournament and as well as the TTFA to smoothen out the relationship and the framework behind having the tournament play and getting the approval from TTFA or the blessings of TTFA in terms of having the tournament play and in the next coming days we would iron out how that would look and basically come up with a framework in which I believe would be the framework moving forward for third parties wishing to have a football league and be given the endorsement by the TTFA.

Asked if any drastic changes are set to be made with regards to the running of the competition, Edwards said, “I  don't believe it would be anything in terms of changing the name, but more the involvement of FIFA and Concacaf in the restructuring of the TTFA which would have instructed the normalisation committee, in terms of, how to deal with third-party involvement.

“And coming out of those discussions on the normalisation committee side, they would have engaged us and said that anyone that they are giving an endorsement or sanction to, they would want to have some sort of collaboration or some clear defined oversight of the league.

"So I think that's where we are right now, in terms of, working out what a collaboration would look like."

Expressing a bit of frustration with the slow progress, Edwards said, “There is only so much things you can do in football, in terms of, running a league so it's straightforward, we would sit down and iron out those fine details and we will get to the real important part which is getting our senior players back on the field in the shortest possible time to assist coach Angus Eve with regards to Nations League qualifying and then for the next World Cup campaign," stated Edwards.

TTNA gen sec agrees meeting went well

Reached for comment yesterday, Mohammed said the meeting went well with all the stakeholders involved.

Questioned about the endorsement letter needed by the Ascension Tournament, Mohammed replied, “We continue to discuss with the Ascension League and others with regards to the new health regulations and protocols that have been put in place for the return to sport as announced by the minister recently and we hope to have some sort of solution soon.

“We have been going through the Ascension proposal along with the Tiger Tank Under-20 Tournament and the Next Level Consulting Limited U-19 Community Invitational among the others that we have received since the announcement of the resumption of sport last month.

“So it’s slow and steady progress as we now have to discuss these proposals with our new technical director, Anton Corneal before we can make a final decision on them," said Mohammed.

The Ascension League is set to kick off in mid-March and will be aired by SportsMax and another local television station.

Edwards also welcomes any involvement by Corneal in the decision-making process to have the league up and running as soon as possible.

He said, "TD Corneal was recently installed and my dealings, he would have been a coach of mines when I would have been part of our national youth set-up, and I think he's one of the best minds we have within football in the country right now, and at this time, it's really a boost to the TTFA, in terms of, having him (Anton Corneal) on board.

“So if they see it fit to have a footballing mind like Anton (Corneal) to give some assistance to the process, I think it would only augur well, in terms of, the final composition of that collaboration, in terms of what that would look like.

“But I'm not seeing it being an issue and if Anton (Corneal) is there I welcome his input in terms of how that collaboration would look."

In expanding on what final details need to be ironed out between the TTFA and Ascension League Edwards stated, "It's basically the parameters of the collaboration, in terms of, what would be in control of simple things like referees, disciplinary committee matters if they arise and venues to see about and it's just to figure out who would do what and basically, once we figure out who would do what and who will be responsible for what we will move ahead."

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NOT READY: Clubs cautious, unprepared for football resumption
« Reply #86 on: February 15, 2022, 10:27:39 PM »
NOT READY: Clubs cautious, unprepared for football resumption
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)


Richard Ferguson, the main man behind the Ascension Invitational football tournament has revealed that his own Terminix La Horquetta Rangers professional club is not yet training.

This comes despite the green light being given for a return to the football field for the first time in nearly two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

In January, Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe announced approval had been given for the Ministry of Sport and Community Development’s Safe Zone Return to Play proposal.

A release from the Minister explained: “National Governing Bodies and Sport Serving Bodies will now be able to host sporting events and execute sporting activities for fully vaccinated athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators, at specific sporting facilities. Approval has also been granted for fully-vaccinated spectators to attend events at 50 per cent facility capacity for outdoor events, and 25 per cent facility capacity for indoor events subject to guidelines to be issued by the Ministry of Health.”

The new Public Health Regulations took effect from Monday, January 24, 2022. However up to yesterday, Rangers owner Ferguson revealed his club is still grounded.

“We cannot train,” Ferguson declared. “Remember, unless we first get approval, it is still against the law for us to begin training.”

The Ascension Invitational, the only competition offering cash prizes, began in 2019, as a pre-cursor to the local professional league. Initially, 24 clubs, competing in two divisions competed for TT$650,000 in prize money. However, the tournament has not been played in two years due to Government’s restriction of contact sports at the onset of the pandemic.

This year’s tournament will be carried on the SportMax cable television network. However, the wait for Ministry of Health approval means that Ferguson cannot yet announce a start date for the 2022 edition. He would have liked to begin at the end of March.

“We still do not have approval from the Ministry of Health,” Ferguson told the Sunday Express. “When we get approval, we will be able to issue a start date, but we haven’t gotten approval as yet.”

At club level, there is also uncertainty for several reasons. Two years away from football has seen a turn-up at many clubs, with those clubs that would pay players especially affected, since there is no funding from Government or otherwise.

San Juan Jabloteh have put out social media notice that they are recruiting Under-20 footballers. So far, their only hint at preparation has been on-line. The club was seeking a February 7 meeting with interested players and parents of persons wishing to represent Jabloteh at the upcoming Tiger Tanks Under-20 Invitational tournament.

Meanwhile, Cunupia FC coach Michael DeFour hinted that the pandemic may force teams to go even younger this year, as some of the more seasoned players have had to make economic decisions to survive over the past two years. DeFour said his likely player pool is vaccinated but he expects them to be very young.

“The goalpost has shifted because where players were playing actively and trying to better their careers (pre-Covid-19), some have had to make decisions based on the economic situations, in terms of looking for employment and the new batch of players are young or younger and out of playing time for two years.”

DeFour stated that the economics also dictates that teams will only begin training when an established date to start any league is established.

“We are expecting a league (Ascension Invitational),” he said. I would not say (we are) training but we have started a gathering and coming together to prepare men for the pre-season.

“Nothing too regular until we have a (start) date and then we can go with a plan to resume full training,“ he added.

Police FC head coach Richard Hood thinks six weeks is sufficient time to get his team ready for competition. But the former T&T national women’s coach is still awaiting approval for the Lawmen to begin training, hopefully this week.

“We have not begun our preparation as yet because we are still awaiting approval from the CoP (Commissioner of Police) to start to prepare. We are hoping that we would receive such approval so that we can start on Monday,” Hood stated.

Hood also revealed that there may be changes in his team since some of the Lawmen are not willing to meet the conditions set down by the Health Ministry for play to begin.

“We have to operate within a safe zone and we have some players that are refusing to take the vaccination, so they will not be part of the effort,” he added.

For the most part though, Hood felt that the impending resumption of play was great news for the local football fraternity.

“We have been off the field for two years and for our peace of mind and the development of football in the country, that has set us back considerably,” he said. “So we are really looking forward to getting back on the field and doing the job we love.”
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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #87 on: February 16, 2022, 07:43:09 AM »
 ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

Offline Flex

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #88 on: February 17, 2022, 12:51:15 PM »
Cudjoe tells clubs: 'Stop making excuses'
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe believes football clubs expressing concerns that they are unable to train because of restrictions are only making excuses.

Since the government's return-to-sports order on January 23, clubs have not taken to the training pitch for several reasons, including a violation of the law of the land and their inability to assemble all their players.

Richard Ferguson, the owner of Terminix La Horquetta Rangers who is set to put on the Ascension Invitational Football League next month, said it is still against the law to begin training. Other clubs are complaining of not having an enclosed facility to train and play while others have resorted to recruiting younger players as it would be more economically feasible.

Speaking to Guardian Media Sports on Wednesday Cudjoe, whose decision it was to have on-the-field sports action this year, said clubs are making excuses without trying. She explained the Ministry of Health Regulations has catered for all eventualities.

"That's an excuse I am telling you because if you don't have a naturally enclosed facility you can cordon off your area and so on because there is legislation that provides for us to approve facilities. So let's say a specific group is playing at X place and they can explain how they cordon off and control their crowd in their proposal, of course, we will consider it and grant the approval accordingly. But if you have never made an application or a proposal, or even tried, and then say this thing isn't working, that is an excuse," the minister explained.

To date, three organisations have received approval by the T&T Football Association to stage tournaments this year - the Tiger Tanks under-20 Tournament, the Ascension Invitational Football Tournament which is scheduled to begin in mid-March and the Next Level Consulting Under-19 Development Tournament that is set to kick-off later this year.

Cudjoe said her ministry and the sports company have given sporting bodies and its officials' ample opportunity to express their concerns about the scheduled return-to-sport play, saying: " When you apply for clearance to train, you have to tell us we intend to train and play at this venue and so on, or this is how we intend to control the crowd. But to say you can't train because you don't have access to an enclosed area, that is an excuse.

We met with groups, we had a meeting inviting sporting bodies so that they can ask questions and so on, and anybody who is truly concerned about those things would have been at that meeting, and still if they have questions they can ask SPoRTT or ask the ministry so you can't say it's not working if you haven't tried."

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Re: As­cen­sion Foot­ball League Thread
« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2022, 01:17:18 AM »
Ascension League one step away from March 18 kick-off.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


The second instalment of the Ascension Invitational Football League is one step away from being confirmed for a March 18 kick-off at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground.

This was confirmed by Ascension League tournament director, Keiron Edwards when contacted on Tuesday for an update on the league competition.

The league was first held in 2019, as a pre-season event to the T&T Pro League season with record-domestic league champion Defence Force capturing the Division One crown and $125,000 top prize while San Fernando Giants won Division Two and $100,000.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition was not held in 2020 or last year, but tournament organisers have been very busy and in consultation with officials from the Ministry of Sports and Community Development, Sports Company of T&T (SPoRTT) and Ministry of Health to start the tournament which has a budget of $3.5 million by mid-March.

Last month following a meeting of sporting stakeholders T&TFA General Secretary Amiel Mohammed said that the granting of the endorsement letter needed by the Ascension Tournament would be discussed by the association with the help of the newly installed Technical Director of the T&TFA, Anton Corneal.

Reached for response on the tournament Mohammed confirmed that following discussions by the Normalisation Committee-led T&TFA and its officials the Ascension Invitational were granted its endorsement letter which gives the competition the full backing of the local football body.

Mohammed also stated that two other tournaments, namely the Tiger Tank Under-20 Tournament and the Next Level Consulting Limited U-19 Community Invitational are expected to be informed by the end of the week if they too will be given the green light for their staging,

Edwards also confirmed that the Ascension Invitational received the endorsement letter from the T&TFA while they were also given the all-clear by the Ministry of Sports and Sports Company of T&T with regards to the health and safety guidelines and protocols to be implemented at the venues, with only the all-clear to be given by the Dr Terrance Deyalsingh's Ministry of Health, the only obstacle standing in the league's way.

An upbeat Edwards said, "We are anticipating a positive reply from the Ministry of Health soon on this as we have done all that we can to make sure that we have a very safe environment for all involved and hopefully by March 18 we will have the start of the league."

For this year's tournament, the ten participating clubs in the Premier Division are expected to be Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, T&T Defence Force, T&T Police, Malabar FC, Central FC, Deportivo Pt Fortin, Central Soccer World, AC Port-of-Spain, Cunupia FC and Real West Fort FC who will compete in two rounds of football providing 18 match days.

The additional venues to be used include the St James Police Barracks Grounds, St James; Diego Martin Sporting Complex, Diego Martin; Arima Municipal Stadium, Arima; and the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

While the focus, for now, is on the staging of the top flight ten-club competition, Edwards noted that discussions are also continuing with representatives of the six T&TFA regional associations inclusive of the Eastern Football Association (EFA), Central Football Association (CFA), Southern Football Association (SFA), Northern Football Association (NFA), Tobago Football Association (TFA), and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU) to host their tournaments to the $1.5 million as well.

The Ascension League is also expected to be aired on SportsMax and two local television stations so far.

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