By Ishmail Saidu Kanu
Relegation-threatened Wilberforce Strikers have been gifted six points by Freetonians SLIFA and FC Kallon after ‘deliberately’ fielding ineligible players and failing to honour their match respectively.
Freetonians SLIFA’s CEO Benjamin Gordon conceded before the Premier League Protest and Disciplinary Committee that he used two unregistered players during their match with Wilberforce Strikers on 8 July 2023.
“Alie R. Kabia (Lacazette) in 19 Jersey and Osman Mansaray (Karason) in 7 Jersey who were fielded by Freetonians [SLIFA] FC against them in the match of 8th July 2023, were unqualified because they were not registered in time with the Premier League Board (PLB) to play the said match,” a statement from the Committee reads.
It says: “Accordingly, the match result between Wilberforce Strikers vs [and] Freetonians SLIFA played on 8th July 2023 is declared void and Wilberforce Strikers is awarded three points and three goals.”
The Committee notes that Freetonians SLIFA violates Rules 8(2) and 8(8) and makes the players unqualified by Rule 11.
The Committee in an earlier notice called for the remaining minutes between FC Kallon and Wilberforce Strikers to be played at a neutral venue on a particular date and behind closed doors after the match officials left the pitch in the 86th minute, claiming that FC Kallon fans shoved and slapped him while celebrating a goal.
The remaining minutes were supposed to be played on Tuesday 18th July at Attouga Field, but FC Kallon ‘deliberately’ did not show up to honour the fixture.
Article 24 (1) (g) of the Premier League Rules and Regulations states that ‘A team that fails to report for or fails to honour a match without just cause’, 24 (2) says ‘…the offending team shall be considered as having lost the match, and accordingly three points and three goals shall be awarded in favour of the other team’.
Before six points and six goals were gifted to Wilberforce Strikers, the Cotton Tree Boys were second from the bottom (17) with 33 points. They have now been catapulted to thirteenth with 39.
Wilberforce Strikers, formerly Central Parade, is owned by SLFA President, Thomas Daddy Brima who, during the SLFA Congress early this month, promised not to undo the gains his administration has made for selfish reasons.