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Officials shortage continues to cause scheduling problems

Referee Dwight Jackson (right) with two assistant referees Clinton Hayward and Stefan Maybury who have had a heavy workload this season because of a shortage of officials (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

A shortage of officials, rather than Covid-19, has been the cause of disruptions to the football schedule in recent weeks, with the Bermuda Football Association acknowledging the issue has forced late changes to more fixtures this weekend.

Just as with PHC, last weekend, Dandy Town have had their match against North Village, tomorrow, postponed because of a lack of officials to cover the games.

The BFA confirmed yesterday that, along with that encounter, two First Division matches, Vasco versus St David’s and BAA’s visit of Ireland Rangers have also been postponed.

As a result, there will be just three Premier Division matches tomorrow, in what the BFA has labelled the second “Derby Day Weekend” of the season, an initiative adopted to generate more excitement in the schedule as teams take on their neighbours on the same weekend.

There has also been a regular dose of midweek matches, aimed at easing the backlog of matches brought on by various factors, but no doubt putting extra pressure on the smaller pool of officials all the same.

That group will be stretched even further next week with midweek FA Cup, Friendship Trophy. Shield and league matches scheduled for Devonshire Rec, Goose Gosling Field and Somerset.

Two Premier Division matches are scheduled for today, with Devonshire Cougars hosting their neighbours, Devonshire Colts, at Devonshire Rec at 8pm while Somerset Trojans will take on Somerset Eagles in the West End derby at Somerset CC at 8pm.

Cougars are fresh off two good results in the last six days, beating Somerset 3-0 last Sunday to strengthen their grip on third place, and then advancing to the semi-finals of the Friendship in midweek with a 4-1 victory over X-Roads on Wednesday night.

The Trojans rebounded from that home defeat with a 3-1 win over East End rivals St George’s in a midweek league encounter. Time is running out for bottom team Eagles if they are to pull clear off the relegation zone. They are already 11 points from safety with just six matches remaining, so that predicament should add some extra spice to the derby match.

Despite their own inconsistent form, the Trojans are still within reach of a top-four finish as they are just four points behind Village, who have a game in hand over the teams below them.

Sunday’s two matches will see St George’s, fifth, looking for a win over X-Roads in the East End derby to climb above Village, and PHC aiming to close the gap on idle leaders Town to two points with victory over Southampton Rangers.

It has been a disappointing month for St George’s who followed up a win over Village on January 30, with three draws and three defeats so far in February.

The PHC and Rangers match could be another high-scoring one at PHC Field, with the Zebras the top scorers in the division with 47 goals while the 54 goals Rangers have conceded the most in the top flight, one more than Somerset Eagles.

Both PHC and Rangers will be mourning the passing of former footballer Jason Raynor who played for both clubs. He recently passed at the age of 48.

Hamilton Parish, who have had their share of postponements already, will welcome having a match against Boulevard tomorrow at Goose Gosling Field, before taking on Somerset Trojans in their rescheduled FA Cup tie next Thursday.

Parish lead the First Division by seven points over BAA, with Boulevard a further two points back in third place.

In the other match tomorrow, Wolves play bottom side Paget at Wellington Oval.

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Published February 26, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated February 26, 2022 at 7:59 am)

Officials shortage continues to cause scheduling problems

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