Tougher sanctions for new football season
Proposed changes put to club affiliates by the Bermuda Football Association at a recent meeting will be adopted in time for the new season, BFA first vice-president Cal Blankendal confirmed yesterday.
Tougher sanctions, including expelling clubs from the league for the remainder of the season for defaulting three matches, will be imposed in time for the start of the new season.
Changes proposed following a recent workshop with FIFA officials, will see tougher sanctions for clubs still with outstanding BFA fees at the start of the season and fines imposed on away clubs that wear colours that clash with the home team’s and which causes the home team to change their kits.
The offending team will be fined $250 for the first offence, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third.
Clubs will also required to list their home and night fields ahead of the season and clubs will be “obligated to provide a field with lights within 48 hours of being notified by the association that a match will be scheduled or rescheduled for any reason”.
The BFA said they will no longer take the responsibility of finding a night field for any club who does not provide one.
“As the season approaches they are all going to be implemented, there are one or two final amendments that have been reviewed since that meeting,” said Blankendal, who chaired last month’s meeting at Devonshire which was attended by 21 affiliates.
“All the items that were mentioned will go forward for the upcoming season. We had a 98 percent turnout, 21 out of 23 affiliates. We will continue to review the start of the season and make sure we have a smooth start so that every club benefits.”
The new season is scheduled to start in early September with the traditional curtain-raising Charity Cup, followed by three nights of Dudley Eve group matches by mid-September and then the start of First Division and Premier Division matches.
“Out of the 21 affiliates that will play in the league, 18 or 19 have completed all of the basic requirements for home fields and night fields,” said Blankendal. “Also clubs have to be registered for all competitions as there is a financial component that all clubs have to have their fees paid by the start of the season, any outstanding fees from last year’s competitions.”
Last year six First Division clubs, including the two eventual promoted clubs Hamilton Parish and St David’s, were banned from the FA Cup preliminary round for non-payment of feels from the previous season.
“The deadline is July 31 for final payments and registration, but thus far we are very pleased with the response for the home and night fields and also the turnout at the meeting,” said Blankendal.
“If any club has not paid up in full they will have the opportunity to make an appeal to the congress at the AGM and the congress will then decide if they will be eligible to participate or not.”
Another change for the new season will see players whose Premier or First Division clubs also register a PDL team now receiving 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 after five cards.
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.