Referees abandon Futsal final owing to crowd encroachment

The GT Beer/Keep Ya Five Alive Futsal Champion-ship final between Future Stars and West Front Road-Gold is Money on Saturday ended unceremoniously as the referees abandoned the fixture due to crowd invasion on the playing area.

It was an embarrassing scene and equally distressing outcome at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue.

The incident occurred after the match progressed to the sudden death penalty kick realm following a 2-2 score at the end of penalty kicks. The score at the end of regulation and extra time was 4-4.

The lack of police officers and security officials did not help the cause as the mammoth crowd, which numbered in the hundreds, refused to depart the playing area, despite the repeated pleas from the tournament coordinator Kevin Adonis and the match referees.

Akeemo Anthony (left) of Future Stars and Randolph Wagner of West Front Road-Gold is Money battling for possession of the ball during the extra time interval in the final GT Beer/Keep Ya Five Alive Futsal Championship

These requests highlighted the entirety of the penalty shoot-out as the initial round of spot-kicks were taken with the crowd surrounding the goal and the players, relegating the process to a laborious task which lasted close to an hour.

With the appeals of the coordinator falling on deaf ears, the officials abandoned the match without a winner being identified, much to the disappointment of the same unruly gathering.

Subsequently, the teams, through their respective captains and the coordinator came to a settlement. The coordinator added $50,000 to the original prize money of $750,000 [$500,000 for the winner and $250,000 for second place] and each team received $400,000.

Prior to the unfortunate ending, Future Stars started the penalty shoot-out and scored through Jeremy Garrett. West Front Road responded through Jamal Pedro who netted to the lower left side.

Future Stars maintained their efficiency from the distance as Keiron Solomon scored to start the second round. However, West Front Road answered ardently compliments of a Randolph Wagner conversion.

Scenes illustrating the mammoth crowd that encroached the penalty shoot-out area seconds before the GT Beer/Keep Ya Five Alive Futsal Championship final between Future Stars and West Front Road-Gold is Money was abandoned

West Front Road was then handed an opportunity to take the lead in the third round when Kevin Cummings missed from the mark at the start of the third round. However, the chance was spurned with Hubert Pedro drilling his effort onto the woodwork. Another opportunity was then presented to West Front Road, this time to seal the title as Curtez Kellman was denied by the goalkeeper low to his left.

Once again, West Front Road wasted the chance with custodian Devon Charles denying veteran midfielder Phillip Rowley to send the game into sudden death penalty kicks, which proved to be its ultimate end.

Earlier in the matchup, Future Stars took the lead in the 30th minute, with Garrett unleashing a powerful strike from just over the left of the half way mark, which took a slight deflection and settled into the back of the net.

The large support staff of Future Stars was given another reason to celebrate in the 35th minute when Garrett netted his second, blasting a right foot effort from the right flank into the lower left corner.

West Front Road eventually pulled one back in the 37th minute when Jamal Pedro slotted into the roof of the net, after collecting a left side cross from Wagner.

Pedro made his presence felt once more, equalizing in the 42nd minute with a, placed left foot shot into the lower left corner from the right side of the field.

Wets Front Road then took the lead in the 48th minute as Wagner scored, cutting across the centre of field, before hammering a right foot shot into the top right corner.

Not to be outdone, Future Stars levelled proceedings with less than one minute remaining in the 60-minute affair, as Solomon upon dribbling his marker in the centre of the area, rifled a powerful shot into the lower right corner.

Solomon then handed Future Stars the lead two minutes later, blasting a right foot shot into the roof of the net, after collecting a pass on the left side of the penalty area.

Nevertheless, penalty kicks was required to settle the matchup after  Wagner restored parity in the 67th minute, volleying from the left side into the lower left corner.

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