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Fri, Jul

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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