Sat, Aug

The term of suspension and the amount of the fine sanctioned against Starworld Strikers goalkeeper Marvin Phillip have been reduced.

The decision was made by the Appeals Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) and announced in a media release yesterday.

According to the release issued by the T&T Pro League, Phillip's initial suspension from the league had been reduced from "20 months to six months commencing retroactively" from October 19, 2004. And the fine had been reduced from $2,000 to $1,000.

The new rulings came out of a meeting of the T&TFF Appeals Committee on January 10 when Phillip's appeal against the October 19 Pro League decision was considered. The incident in question dates back to an altercation between Phillip and referee Ramesh Ramdhan during a Strikers/CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh match on October 3.

Phillip allegedly spat on Ramdhan, before the referee retaliated by striking the player. On October 19, the disciplinary committee ruled that "after consideration to all the facts and evidence", Phillip was suspended for 20 months and fined $2,000 for "abusive language, violent conduct and spitting on a referee", with immediate effect.

After the T&T Pro League referred the matter to the T&TFF, Ramdhan was "reprimanded" by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association, under a directive of the T&TFF, and advised his action was unacceptable and he should not take such a course in the future. Ramdhan faced no other repercussions over the incident and continued his refereeing duties unhindered.

In the release yesterday, the T&T Pro League said the T&TFF stated that "after considering the facts and circumstances of the event" and representation made by the respective parties, the Federation found Phillip's conduct to be "reprehensible" and considered that abusive and violent behaviour of any player on the field to be "highly undesirable".

But after considering "special and mitigating circumstances", the T&TFF decided to reduce the punishment on the former national under-17 keeper.