By Carlena Knight
Head Coach of defending Antigua Premier League (APL) champion PIC Insurance Liberta Blackhawks, Rowan “Porridge” Benjamin has addressed criticism that the club is involved in the illegal transfer of one player.
Last week on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show, both Liberta and First Division team, FC Aston Villa were accused of covering up an illegal transfer of player, Omega Jeffrey but Benjamin quickly clarified that issue assuring the public that the champion team does every process by the book.
Jeffrey, who originally played for the Blackhawks without receiving the approval of transfer played a number of matches for Villa having in fact scored a winning goal for the team in their match versus Willikies.
Benjamin is, however, saying that they never gave Jeffrey the permission to play and that a rule which states that after a week of the transfer request, the ABFA can grant the transfer approval cannot be used as it was only days after the request was sent to Liberta that Jeffrey played for the First division side.
“On the 14th, Villa made a request for Omega transfer online. On the 15th or the 16th, he went and represented Villa against Willikies so you tell me is that a week? I don’t want to be seen or the Liberta Sports Club want to be seen as covering up anything.”
He went into further detail as to why the transfer was not granted and even revealed that Last Friday Jeffrey would have to sit before a disciplinary board for the club.
“A $100 is to become a member of the Liberta Sports Club as a adult and $50 for children. All the players know that that is their obligation and they cannot leave unless they fulfill that obligation. This was told to them on numerous occasions [and] that is the issue. The issue is not a $100 that was paid the 21st this very week. The issue is going out and representing another club while being a duly registered player by the Liberta Sports Club,” he added.
The former national coach says unlike others who have pointed the finger at the ABFA for the illegal transfer he instead is blaming FC Aston Villa.
“It’s not the ABFA that is the issue here you know, it’s Villa doing as they please. I am not faulting the ABFA at this present moment. They need to get their house in order because I have since sent a letter to the General Secretary pointing out these things and if Omega went and played yesterday in which I told him not to because he has not met the disciplinary committee as yet, if he went and played, then that is their business, but we are not doing any work for the other club; we are protecting Liberta Sports Club.
“We are not in any cover up and I am just here to let the public know that the Liberta Sports Club is not involved any cover up and will not be involved in any cover up when it comes to rules and regulations of the football season,” Benjamin said.
There has not been any word on the way the ABFA will take with this ongoing issue.