BFA to impose tougher sanctions for next season
Following a recent workshop with FIFA officials, the Bermuda Football Association has moved quickly to introduce some proposed changes for the 2013-14 season, including expelling teams that default three matches in one season.
Tougher sanctions are also proposed for clubs with outstanding BFA fees and fines are proposed for away clubs who wear colours that clash with the home team’s and cause the home team to change their kits.
The BFA put the proposed changes to club affiliates at a meeting on Thursday evening at Devonshire Rec as plans were revealed to start the new season on September 1 with the traditional season-opening Charity Cup, followed the next night by the opening round of Dudley Eve matches. First Division matches are planned to start on the weekend of September 14-15 and Premier Division matches on September 22.
Clubs who failed to show up for three matches during the season could find themselves “removed from an further participation in the respective league(s) or other competitions for the remainder of the season.” The rationale, the BFA say, is that a club that fails to keep its commitment will be deemed to be bringing the game into disrepute and after missing three matches the Association will no longer tolerate the actions of the club.
Defaulted matches will see a 3-0 scoreline and three points awarded to the non-offending team, but in the event that a match is not played through no fault of either team the BFA will have the power to award a 0-0 score in any case where the match cannot be rescheduled because of unavailable dates.
First vice-president Cal Blankendal, who chaired the meeting in the absence of BFA general secretary David Sabir and president Larry Mussenden who are attending the FIFA Congress in Mauritius, stressed to the affiliates representing some 21 clubs of the importance of securing home and night fields for the new season. So far Dandy Town and promoted clubs Hamilton Parish and St David’s do not have night fields confirmed while Wolves have not confirmed their home and night fields. They played home games at Devonshire Rec last season.
First Division club Boulevard, who had a dispute with BAA over unpaid fees for using Goose Gosling Field, have not registered home or night fields for their matches for the upcoming season while Prospect, Paget and Somerset Eagles have still not confirmed night venues. Blankendal stressed that providing a night field is the responsibility of all clubs and that the association will no longer take the responsibility of finding a night field for any club that doesn’t have one.
It is also proposed that players whose Premier or First Division clubs also register a PDL team will now have to receive five yellow cards (instead of three) before serving a one match suspension in each league or division cup competition that the player is eligible to participate in. That means missing both a Premier or First Division and PDL match. The rationale is that all senior players are now eligible to participate in the Premier or First Division and the PDL which increases the number of matches over the season and the greater risk of yellow cards. For clubs with no PDL team it is proposed that the three yellow card rule remain as is.
The new proposals came as a result of the BFA hosting FIFA officials recently for a weekend workshop. The BFA plans to ensure that clubs take more responsibility for their club colours to avoid clashing with opposing teams. They are proposing clubs list their home and away colours on the BFA website and that away teams that wear colours that force the home team to change will face fines between starting at $250 and going as high as $1,000 for first, second and third offences.
“Teams will be required to adhere to the colours they list or risk being fined for non-compliance,” the BFA stressed. “It is generally accepted that teams take wearing their designated colours seriously and therefore this must be respected by each opposing team.”
Troy Lewis, whose committee is responsible for organising the prize presentation, explained to the affiliates that slow responses to recommendations sought from the clubs has delayed the awards from last season. The BFA, Lewis said, had hoped to present awards in April when the season finished.