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Marco Warren to set up players’ union as BFA refuses to revisit suspension rules

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Marco Warren lifts the Premier Division Trophy this season (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Marco Warren is looking to create a players’ union after the Bermuda Football Association yesterday said it had no plans to revisit the rules regarding suspensions.

PHC captain Warren was ruled out of this week’s FA Cup Final after he picked up a harsh yellow card, his third of the season, in PHC’s final match of the campaign and his subsequent appeal was turned down by the BFA, which means Warren will not take to the field this weekend as his side attempt to win the prestigious Triple Crown for a second time.

BFA rules on bans are notably out of step with a number of jurisdictions, including England, with suspensions for yellow-card accrual there only applying to the competition in which they were received. In Spain, La Liga and the Copa Del Rey are also considered separate competitions with bookings from one not counting in the other.

David Sabir, the general secretary of BFA, said yesterday that revisiting the rules surrounding suspensions for totting up of yellow cards was “not a topic of conversation” in response to a question from The Royal Gazette asking if these rules would be changed to bring them in line with other countries.

While any change would come too late for Warren, the refusal of the BFA to consider amending the regulations has left Warren fearing others will be left to suffer a similar fate in the future and has prompted him to be an advocate for change.

“I knew at the time of the card that I would appeal, especially as it wasn’t a valid yellow-card offence, but I’m not so much annoyed by that as the whole system,” Warren said.

“I’m upset at the system because the Triple Crown is the league, FA Cup and Friendship Trophy and I miss out on the biggest game because I got a card in the Dudley Eve Trophy, a minor competition right at the beginning of the season.

“I got another card in the last game of the season and will miss the final, but I’m more upset that a card received in the most minor competition in Bermuda is carried over. That does not happen elsewhere. It’s inconsistent.

“This has probably happened before but I’m not sure if anybody has spoken up about it. I am going to now be an advocate for changing the system, however that is going to look. I got zero cards in the FA Cup and I miss the final. That just doesn’t feel right.”

PHC have clearly been the main story of the season but their success comes at a cost with more games meaning plenty of extra opportunities to pick up the relatively small number of cards to trigger a ban.

“We made it to pretty much every final this season, so through our success we are going to play more games and have more opportunity to pick up just three yellow cards,” Warren said.

“But rules are inconsistent. To win the Golden Boot, the BFA only counts goals in the Premier Division, they don’t count goals in the Dudley Eve, Friendship Trophy and FA Cup. So Paul Simons, my team-mate who I was trying to help get the Golden Boot in the last game, he was the reason I was on the pitch as they don’t count his goals in any other competition, but they do count the cards. Inconsistent.

Marco Warren with PHC’s two trophy wins this season (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“I’m a pretty well-known player and this situation, pretty much everywhere I go people are talking about it. At the moment there is no players’ union. There is a referees’ union, a coaches union and ones for other staff members, but there is no players’ union and we are the resource of this entire league. You can argue over who is more important but we need some sort of representation.

“I’m going to look at trying to create that this summer. I’m going to try to get all the captains together to discuss things like this, so we can have a voice to create change. It happened to me but even if it happened to somebody else, I would still have been an advocate just as much as I am now.”

While Warren will not be on the pitch this weekend, he will be in attendance hoping his side can create history, and he may well follow the example of John Terry, who famously wore his full kit to pick up the Champions League trophy despite not playing in the final in 2012.

“I feel empty,” Warren said. “Coming into this season, we were not really expected to do anything and to be in mid-table, but we took that as motivation and we can now do something special. It’s upsetting to miss the final but we still have a good chance. I would love to be there as captain of the team and to cap it off would be historic.

“I will probably have my child with me as I had a little baby boy on January 23, but I am definitely looking to pull a John Terry if we win.”

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Published March 29, 2023 at 5:54 am (Updated March 29, 2023 at 9:22 am)

Marco Warren to set up players’ union as BFA refuses to revisit suspension rules

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