Former national coach wants review of disciplinary committee brawl ruling

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Former national coach, Rowan “Porridge” Benjamin, has called on the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) to overturn last month’s decision regarding two teams that became embroiled in a brawl during the finals of the Super 8 competition.
The Super 8 finals, held in April this year, ended prematurely following a brawl at the Antigua Recreation Grounds involving players from the Pigotts Bullets FC and the Swetes FC.
The FA’s disciplinary committee, in May, decided to suspend the players involved in the brawl for a number of matches while the clubs were also fined.
The suspended players would however be able to serve their suspensions during a number of community leagues sanctioned by the ABFA.
Benjamin however disagrees with the punishment dished out, stating that the suspensions should have been limited to only matches hosted by the ABFA.
“There is nothing in either the football association rules and guidelines or the FIFA disciplinary code that says anything about sanctioned matches. It says official match so if the ABFA wants to do anything then they would need to have a league or a knockout before the Premier Division starts and then these players can use these games. I am asking and advising the ABFA to overturn this decision because it is not the very first time they would overturn a decision by the disciplinary committee,” he said
The move, Benjamin added, could be the start of a dangerous trend where it pertains to how suspensions are served.
“During the season now, in the Premier Division and one guy also gets matches, can he use those matches, in terms of business league because we know the business league plays within the same period as the ABFA league. The point that I am making is that it is a very dangerous precedence we are setting here,” he said.
Swetes players, Devaughn Thomas, Rodney Michael, Joel Jacobs, Craig Martin and Shelorn Knight were all suspended for five ABFA sponsored and or sanctioned matches while Alickson Montoute, Carim Smith and Lyndon Thomas of Bullets were also suspended for five matches.

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