It was an abbreviated weekend of football in the Belize City Mayor’s Cup due to intermittent showers during most of the preceding week and throughout the weekend. All the Premier League Belikin Cup games, scheduled for Sunday, were cancelled; but the Mayor’s Cup did get in two games on Friday night, while their Saturday and Sunday games had to be called off because of the weather. And there is a different type of cloud looming over the management of the Belize City Mayor’s Cup.
In the opener this past Friday night at the MCC, Tulish FC bombed Third World, 8-2, with 2 goals from Jermin Aval and 1 apiece from Misael Munoz, German Sandoval, Reynaldo Gonzales, Marlon Gutierrez, Brandon Cacho and Isau Suazo. Both Third World goals were by John Smith.
The much anticipated nightcap clash between league leaders Fort George United and West Lake ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Wayne Miller shook the net for West Lake, while Henry Gillett hit the target for Fort George, who maintain their 1 point lead in the standings over second place West Lake. But the game was not without an element of controversy.
West Lake manager Melbourne Rice called the Press Show on Krem FM on Sunday morning to complain that the veteran Charlie Slusher was in goal again for Fort George on Friday night, although he had been red-carded the previous weekend. Rice maintains that he was personally informed before the game by a member of the Disciplinary Committee that they had not yet met to discuss the previous games’ actions, and thus Charlie should have served at least a game suspension, since he was red-carded in the last game.
Dangriga’s Mayor’s Cup originator Howard Flores, who was in Belize City and at the MCC for that game last Sunday, also called the Press Show to condemn the unsportsmanlike conduct by Charlie, who he said has a history of such outbursts. Indeed, after Charlie was shown the red card last week Sunday in the game against Caye Caulker Tsunami, which was drawn 3-3, his vociferous and belligerent approach toward referee Fahreed Ahmad had resulted in policemen swarming the field to maintain order and escort Charlie off the field.
After that game, tournament coordinator Ken Vasquez had advised us that the Discipline Committee, which we have since been informed is, like the Referees Committee, under the authority of the FFB, would make a decision on the red card issued to Charlie, since there had apparently been a referee error after the first yellow card, which could possibly nullify the subsequent red card.
This morning, we were informed by Vasquez that the ruling was that, by physically touching the player when issuing the yellow card (the referee had attempted to spin Charlie around to see the number on his back) the referee had violated a law of the game, and therefore the player’s reaction had to be viewed in this context. The red card against Slusher was therefore nullified, and he was thus free to perform in Friday night’s game.
But this afternoon, another prominent football figure, Stanley “Jordan” Reneau said that he spoke to one Disciplinary Committee member when he arrived at the MCC on Friday night, and the member confided that the letter from the Mayor’s Cup Committee had only reached his desk at 3:00 p.m. on that same day, and so they had not yet had time to meet and make a ruling on the matter.
Whether there was an impromptu meeting right there at the MCC before the game time, what is certain is that West Lake team members and others in the competition are expressing some disenchantment with the way tournament rules are being applied in the Belize City Mayor’s Cup. It is a pity, because the competition is becoming more and more interesting as it progresses, and it is made no less exciting by the lucrative prizes being offered.
At Week 7, the race is very tight, considering that Kephawn has 2 games in hand, and Tsunami could also catch Fort George with a victory from their 1 game in hand. Only Fort George, West Lake and Tulish have played 7 games so far at Week 7. Each team will play 11 games, and who makes the most points wins.
Tournament coordinator Ken Vasquez said this afternoon that they were trying to get the back matches played tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, but he just got word that the MCC is closed. He promised to have the coming weekend schedule ready by tomorrow, Tuesday.