Nevick Denoon, coach of Northern Football Association (NFA) campaigners Morvant Elements, is claiming victimisation for the past two years for a stance taken against the Regional Association tournament.
The team's cry range from outright threats by referees during matches, to having their home matches played at the Dibe Recreation Ground in Long Circular, St James although they were given the assurance that their home matches would have been scheduled for the Queen's Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain.
The team, which once provided the national team in the past with top players, has had to apply for their home matches to be played at the Savannah because of the unsuitable condition of their home ground in the Morvant community. "During the week, to reach Long Circular, Dibe, anybody going up there for 7 pm will know it's a real trick, and coming from Morvant is another inconvenience. We were told prior to that, that all our home games, as our field was not prepared, would be at the Queen's Park Savannah. Subsequent to that, it didn't occur and we failed to produce the type of football that we wanted to, because of that situation which brought us to a point where we almost quit the zone."
However, Anthony Harford President of the Northern Football Association (NFA) told Guardian Media Sports that, "While Denoon is making that claim publicly he has not submitted any written complaint to the league to date. As far as for his team playing at the Dibe Recreation Ground, Mr Denoon complaint to the NFA and asked for help and we assisted and his team with a venue in the Savannah for their weekend matches and during the week they play at one of our natural venues since the League do not play week matches at the Savannah. So far, Elements is unbeaten at the venue, so I don't understand the complaint."
Denoon who turned 60 on Sunday, also explained that the unthinkable happened last season when his team never got the chance to play against the winning Premier Division team last year, though the teams were listed on the fixture to face-off each other twice.
Denoon said, "We didn't play against the champion team, first round and second round, and no decision has been made to date. I tried since December to find a resolution and had been told the committee would meet on it. I look at the fixture list and realised that the committee is being headed by Peter Rampersad, but when I called him (Peter) he said he is not a member, so I really don't know what is going on," Denoon said.
However, Harford explained to us that despite both teams (North Coast United and Morvant Elements) present for their match, the latter refused to play because the referee who showed up was not assigned to do the match. Although the NFM disciplinary Committee awarded the match and points to North Coast, Elements have appealed the decision and the NFA's Appeals Committee is yet to meet on the matter."
Denoon is calling on T&T Football Association president David John-Williams and other authorities to help with their plea, as the end result has been a severe blow for his football team based in Petunia Drive, Morant as well as the Morvant community which continues to be severely affected by crime.
Four months after the completion of the NFA League, the Morvant outfit is unsure of its final position on the standings, and now faces paying a registration fee of $6,500 to assure their participation.
Harford explains that the $6,500 registration represents insurance for the team and TTFA fees.
The NFA which has been holding it prize-giving awards in April is yet to do so because of the pending appeal be Elements which lies fourth on the standing with 19 points and a plus-two on goals. Even if Elements wins its appeal and its final match, the club will total 25 points, the same as Petit Valley United, but will stay in fourth place because on an inferior goal difference.
At present North Coast is on 32 points and Trendsetter Hawks on 30. The winning NFA team in the second division gets $20,000, the runner-up $15,000 and third place $12,000. There no cash prize for fourth place.
Denoon pointed out that team's increased cost for travelling added to the recruitment of a number of young players to replace the older ones, have left them financially dried, and because of this Denoon is calling on corporate T&T to come out and assist his players and community, even if it means by providing football boots, balls and uniforms.
In addition to the NFA, the team is also preparing to participate in the Caribbean Charity Shield Soccer Classic in Grenada from August 18-21 and its members have been holding fund-raising ventures to fund their travel and stay.
Rashawn Mars, secretary of the NFA said the Appeals Committee will meet on Element's case soon. However, he said if they (Elements) were to win their appeal it will not affect the winner of the league. He explained the Morvant team was hampered by their inability to consistently field full teams for games.
Harford said, "I personally spoke to Denoon last week and told him that his matter will be dealt with soon. We are aiming for the Appeals Committee to meet next week. Douglas James is chairman with Richard Piper and Kevon Long the other members."
SOURCE: T&T Guardian