Local football giants Defence Force are one of seven T&T Super League clubs facing immediate expulsion from the tournament if the Board of Directors of the Super League vote on a proposal by its president Keith Look Loy.
The move could have serious consequences one top official from the T&T Defence Force said, ranging from either legal action or totally pulling out their support in local football completely. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Guardian Media Sports on Monday that he is disappointed to see the way an organization that has played such a pivotal role in the development of local football, is being treated. The Army Coast-Guard Combination, Central 500, Harlem Strikers, Marabella Family Crisis Centre, 1976 Phoenix, WASA and Youth Stars from the sister isle of Tobago, could be sent packing for reasons ranging from being non-compliant or unable to pay the TT Super League’s registration fee.
Jameson Rigues, vice president of the TT Super League said Look Loy circulated a proposal on January 27 to have the clubs expelled because they did not play in two consecutive seasons (2018 and 2019). Look Loy in his request to the Board said: “Morning, I believe the Board should suspend the following clubs and propose their expulsion by an EGM (Emergency General Meeting): Central 500, Defence Force, Harlem, Marabella, Phoenix, Phoenix, WASA, Youth Stars. They have not participated for two years.”
In an almost immediate response, Rigues said: “Good morning, I think we should look at each member/club on a case by case basis, put together the circumstances of each club/member before any decision.”
The Army official is contending that his team was left out of the Super League in 2018 because their payment for registration in the league did not reach in time. However, he noted, that last season the league was hastily put together without them even being given an invitation to join. “We were not even called to a meeting ahead of the start of the tournament last year, but now they want to expel us.”
The Defence Force official, known for his involvement in the sport said he would personally recommend legal action be taken against the super league, or we pull all our support out of local football, such as our personnel functioning as trainers to a physiotherapist for the national teams etc,” the source explained.
He said the Super League president is on a personal agenda to get rid of all the clubs that opposed him in the past. “He has been having meetings among certain clubs and not the total membership. In 2019 there was a makeshift meeting among a selected few clubs and the Army was not even contacted to start a league.
Unlike the Defence Force, Central 500 were non-compliant for the two years they were out of the tournament while Harlem, Marabella Family Crisis and 1976 Phoenix were all denied due to late registration in the 2018 but were non-compliant last year.
The other team WASA missed the registration date two years ago and dropped out due to financial reasons, while the Youth Stars were non-compliant.