The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Premier League fixture between Beterverwagting (BV)/Triumph United and Riddim Squad at the Georgetown Football Club ground on Sunday was called off without a ball being kicked, following the latter’s refusal to play over the non-eligibility of their player Kester Alleyne.
Alleyne who is a centre half was said to have been banned by the federation for allegedly assaulting and spitting on referee Leon Stewart during a match in March 2013.
Following the aforesaid incident, match officials over the last seven months have ensured that Alleyne was not allowed to represent his club in any officially sanctioned matches.
However, a GFF letter signed by GFF General Secretary Noel Adonis and addressed to Alleyne dated November 13th 2013 stated “This matter was addressed by the Competitions Committee of the GFF and after careful consideration of all of the circumstances, it has been decided that the seven month period during which you were not allowed to represent your club will be regarded as ‘time served’ in suspension from participation from football”.
It added “Additionally, it has been further decided that you should be and are hereby placed on a two year suspended sentence whereby, should you be found guilty of any similar misconduct during a period of two years commencing from the date of this letter, then the period of suspension for two years in football and football related activities will immediately take effect”.
Management of the Mocha-based side is arguing that the referees took matters into their own hand by disregarding the judgment of the sport’s highest local governing entity, the GFF.
The referees however contended that they appealed to the GFF against their earlier judgment as they say the matter was not processed through a disciplinary committee. It was further stated by the referees that the GFF had accepted their appeal and that the matter will now be placed before a disciplinary committee.
Riddim Squad officials have since stated that they were not aware of any such developments and due to the fact that nothing official in writing was received by the club from the GFF, their player should be eligible to compete based on the last received correspondence.
However GFF President Christopher Matthias during a brief comment to Stabroek Sport stated that following a meeting with 36 registered GFF referees on November 21st, the ‘Leon Stewart law’ was ratified which states that any player who is found guilty of physically assaulting any match official, will be suspended for a minimum of three years.
Matthias stated that while the matter was initially dealt with by the GFF’s competitions committee, an appeal by the referees was lodged with the GFF and as such Alleyne will be suspended until the appeal is heard.
“Alleyne is officially suspended until the appeal is heard and can’t compete in any sanctioned matches until then. The appeal will be heard pretty shortly because an injustice was meted out to both parties. This matter should have been dealt with since March”, added Matthias.
He further stated “There was a lateness in communication, they (Riddim Squad) would have received the first letter but not the second”. However the match commissioner would have known of our decision and the match will be replayed” said Matthias.