X-Roads to appeal after Cougars awarded points from postponed match
Devonshire Cougars have been awarded the points from their December 19 match with X-Roads which their opponents requested to be called off in the wake of the murder of Osagi Bascome the previous day.
However, X-Roads, who are East End neighbours to Bascome’s club, St George’s Cricket Club, plan to appeal the decision which was announced yesterday by the Bermuda Football Association.
“We heard something to that effect yesterday, about them wanting to take away points, and of course we’re appealing that,” said Saleem Talbot, president of X-Roads.
He said the decision not to play the match at Garrison Field was made after speaking beforehand with Mark Wade, the BFA president.
“There’s no reason for them to [award] the points because they were duly informed well in advance [of the postponement] and so were the opponents, in writing and in a phone call with the president of the BFA.”
The match was scheduled to be played in St George’s at Garrison Field where X-Roads, a club from Smith’s Parish, play their home matches.
Talbot said the decision not to play the match was taken out of respect for the player, his family and the St George’s community, after St George’s had their home match with Somerset called off that Sunday by the BFA.
“It’s a surprise in a negative way because we respect the Bascome family and the entire St George’s town as this is where we play our home matches,” Talbot added.
“We felt obliged to show respect to the family and to the town of St George’s as we feel we’re a part of that family.
“We play all of our home matches there and it would be disrespectful to just have business as usual.
“The Bascome family is a big family in St George’s. His father and brother played Cup Match for St George’s, his father is big in football and cricket. To me it was a no-brainer.”
Talbot added: “We followed all the protocols, in writing as well as a phone call from the coach Khomeini [Talbot] himself as well as to the BFA president. It’s a sad day when you put business before people.”
Talbot pointed out that two matches on the Saturday, the same day as Bascome’s early morning murder, were called off; Robin Hood against Somerset Eagles, and BAA against Wolves.
The rescheduled First Division match was played on Wednesday night with BAA winning 2-0.
“This is a very serious thing that has happened, a blow to the hearts of minds of all football players,” Talbot said of the loss of the Bermuda midfielder who played professionally overseas.
“So why would you ignore a legitimate request? In the past when you make a request like that it is usually honoured, so what happened here?
“All of our executives 100 per cent supported that decision to postpone the game.
I don’t think it should sit well with anybody, even Cougars shouldn’t be happy with that.
“We sent a letter to St George’s Cricket Club expressing our empathy to them and the family. The whole country is one family as far as I’m concerned.”
The BFA confirmed yesterday that the three points and a 3-0 win had been awarded to Devonshire Cougars, which takes them level on 20 points with PHC.
“The Premier Division match between X-Roads WFC/DRC which was not played on Sunday, December 19 will be registered as a forfeit against X-Roads Warriors Football Club,” the BFA said in a statement.
“As per the BFA disciplinary code – Article 40: Failure to Play and Abandonment: b) If a team refuses to play or to continue playing a match which has begun, it will be sanctioned with a minimum fine of $100 and will in principle forfeit the match.
“The score of 3-0 shall be recorded in favour of the opposing team (DRC).”
X-Roads, who beat Somerset Eagles 4-3 in a thrilling bottom-of-the-table clash, are struggling to hold on to the Premier Division spot they earned for the first time in 2017 when they gained promotion.
They moved off the bottom with that win over Eagles but remain within the relegation zone which will see the bottom three teams relegated at the end of the season.