PLB revised playoffs schedule follows FFB Appeals Board ruling in favor of BDF FC
BELIZE CITY, Mon. May 14, 2018– As we were about to go to press last Thursday night, word was received that the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Appeals Board had ruled in favor of BDF FC, overturning the previous decision of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Disciplinary Committee which had turned down their protest of the April 29 semifinal game 2 against Verdes FC, that Verdes had won, 3-nil. BDF had protested the game on the grounds that the referee failed to allow a re-take of their scored penalty kick, after he had ruled an infringement by a BDF player. The Disciplinary Committee hearing had been followed by sanctions for both the referee and linesman involved in the incident; but it had also ruled that the game result stands, as the PLB Tournament Regulations said the referee decision is final. BDF then took their case to the FFB Appeals Board, who found that, while the referee’s decision is final regarding play, as stipulated in the PLB Tournament Regulations, the superseding FIFA Laws of the Game, Law 14 on penalties, to be specific, was violated when the referee resumed play without allowing a re-take of the penalty, which is required by Law 14, and not up to referee discretion.
A release from the PLB secretariat on Friday, May 11, said the Verdes FC vs BDF FC semifinal game 2 “will be re-played, and the (Finals game 1) match that (was) played on May 6th, 2018, between Verdes FC vs Belmopan Bandits SC is null and void.” Therefore, all goals scored or cards issued in that game have been wiped off the books. (BDF FC had won 2-nil in their semifinal game 1 against Verdes FC at the MCC.)
No doubt in consideration of the CONCACAF League Draw scheduled for May 23, the PLB on Friday evening had presented a revised and accelerated playoff schedule, with the Verdes vs BDF re-play set for this Tuesday. But just after 6:00 p.m. this evening we received a further revised schedule, “in consultation with the FFB,” as follows (TBD = to be determined):
Wednesday, May 16
8:00 p.m. – Verdes FC vs BDF FC – Norman Broaster Stadium
Saturday, May 19
4:00 p.m. – TBD vs Belmopan Bandits SC – TBD
Monday, May 21
8:00 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits SC vs TBD – Isidoro Beaton Stadium
Verdes FC is the PLB 2017-2018 Opening Season champion. Belmopan Bandits SC has the most points for the Opening and Closing regular seasons combined; the next most points belong to Verdes FC. The champion with the most aggregate regular season points gets the berth to the 2018 CONCACAF League tournament. So, if Bandits emerges as Closing Season champions, they go to CONCACAF; if Verdes or BDF wins the Closing Season, Verdes will represent in CONCACAF. Three games, and a lot will be decided in the next few days of the PLB playoffs.