BFA ruling unjust’ says Minors
St David’s refused to play last night’s rescheduled FA Cup first-round match against Southampton Rangers in protest against the Bermuda Football Association’s decision to allow their opponents back into the competition.
Rangers beat St David’s 4-2 in the initial tie at Lord’s last month but were forced to forfeit the win after it emerged second-half substitute Najiyah Raynor was not listed on their teamsheet.
The club appealed against the BFA competition committee’s ruling, which was upheld by the association’s appeals committee upon further scrutiny on Monday, with the tie rescheduled for North Field last night. However, the BFA postponed the match yesterday after it emerged St David’s would not be turning up to play.
Otis Minors, a St David’s player and member of the club’s management committee, said they believed the BFA’s decision as “unjust” and pointed to a similar case in the Friendship Trophy final in 2015 when Dandy Town beat Robin Hood 4-3.
Town were stripped of the title the next day for bringing on late substitute Kevin Hurdle, who was not listed on their teamsheet.
“Dandy Town had the same situation happen to them, where they lost the cup after winning it,” Minors said. “The BFA gave Robin Hood the game and for us it is simple: the game should have come to us.
“For them to overturn it is a slap in our face. We’re not an elite football club. It’s as if [the BFA] are saying, ‘They’re a small team, let’s pick on them, they’re not going to say anything’.
“We are taking this to arbitration; we have appealed it. It’s unjust, and the timing is not right, and on Monday afternoon we were refusing to play. Last night, we sent a letter stating that this case is going to arbitration.
“We’re going to take it as far as we can, but it shouldn’t have to go that far. It’s an open and shut case for me. We should have to play BAA [in the next round].”
St David’s lost in the First Division to bottom team Vasco last weekend. It was Vasco’s first win of the season, however, Minors feels things could have been different in the FA Cup.
“We had the discussion after the loss to Vasco that our focus wasn’t the league but trying to make a good run in the FA Cup,” Minors added.
Rangers were fined $150 and had both Raynor and coach Jomar Wilkinson suspended for one game, with the BFA confirming in a statement yesterday that the fine and suspensions would stand, even though the club were successful in their appeal.
The statement added: “St David’s Cricket Club has informed the association that they will not participate in any rescheduling of the match and are exploring options to address the committee’s ruling,” the statement read.
“As a result, the BFA’s Competitions Committee has postponed this match until further notice. In order not to jeopardise the FA Cup competitions all remaining matches will proceed as scheduled.
“There will be no further comments on this matter at this time.
“The association wishes to advise that the decision by the Appeal Committee causes concern and therefore is exploring options to address this concern.”
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