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Ireland Rangers and St David’s to discipline players involved in brawl

Ireland Rangers and St David’s will move swiftly to take disciplinary action against players involved in a brawl that forced the abandonment of the First Division match between the two clubs at Somerset Cricket Club on Sunday.

Both clubs have already began their own probes into the matter and are prepared to impose sanctions on those involved in the skirmish that marred the final day of the First Division season.

“I have already called a meeting with my committee and the disciplinary committee to deal with the players that were involved,” Jermaine Saltus, the Ireland Rangers Football Club president, told The Royal Gazette.

“We will give them a chance to defend themselves but they will be disciplined because something has to be done.”

Aaron Lugo, the St David’s coach, confirmed his club also intend to take disciplinary action against any player involved in the brawl.

“I appreciate the comments from Ireland Rangers on their stance for their player accountability and that is what St David’s have been preaching for the whole season,” he said.

“We, as a community, need to stop looking at blame versus accountability, and the difference is we have officials there that need to be accountable, players that need to be accountable and coaches that need to be accountable.

“I appreciate Somerset Cricket Club for allowing us to record our matches. We do record all our matches so we will review the video and identify exactly what took place and speak with the individuals involved.

“All people who were involved that suffered any sort of attack or harm are okay and I appreciate Ireland Rangers for their stance and we will handle ours in a similar fashion.”

Tempers boiled over in the 68th minute when a Rangers player retaliated after being fouled, with referee Ralshon Douglas forced to abandon the match after the fight continued for around three minutes.

According to one eyewitness, who spoke to The Gazette on Sunday on condition of anonymity, at least one player suffered a serious head injury during the brawl as punches, kicks and a chair were thrown.

“I was shocked the game would deteriorate like that as it wasn’t played in that spirit,” Saltus added.

“It’s unfortunate that one of my players reacted to an attack from behind and things just got out of control. I love the game and this is definitely not the way you want to see the season end.”

Saltus believes matters might not have escalated had the referee stamped his authority on proceedings early in the game.

“I do feel as though the referee lost of control of the game, which led to an escalation by the same players that should have had cards, including my own,” he said. “He [Rashon Douglas] lost control of the game by being passive.”

In response, the Bermuda Football Association released a statement.

“We recognize the impact unsporting behaviour has on the game of football,” it read.

“ As a result, we are working to ensure that we follow due process per the Disciplinary Code. This includes a review of video footage. It also includes a review of the official match reports from the Match Commissioner and Referee.

“As these matters may be subject to disciplinary action, no further comment will be provided on the details of this specific incident.

“Overall, these types of events have not been the norm in recent years, and the BFA remains committed to maintaining the integrity of the sport and ensuring that such incidents are dealt with appropriately.

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Published March 28, 2023 at 6:13 am (Updated March 28, 2023 at 6:13 am)

Ireland Rangers and St David’s to discipline players involved in brawl

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