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BFA targets media for reporting player’s post-match meltdown

The Bermuda Football Association has launched a broadside against the media for its coverage of the incident that led to K’Xiyae Gibbons being sent off at the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship Qualifiers in Nicaragua on Sunday.

The Bermuda midfielder, who had been substituted midway through the second half of the game against Jamaica, needed to be restrained by coaches and officials after first kicking an opposing player and then appearing to throw a punch as the teams took part in what had been cordial post-match handshakes.

Gibbons then reacted badly to being shown a red card, again attempting to reach the opposing team before being headed off by a Jamaican official and a member of the Bermuda backroom staff.

However, in response to the wild scenes, which were captured on video and broadcast around the world, the BFA has first chosen to target the media.

Its statement read: “It is unfortunate The Royal Gazette has chosen to headline three minutes of a 90-minute match where Bermuda’s under-20 women’s team players acquitted themselves well.

“The performance of the team defending, and Herculean efforts of the Lady Gombey Warriors goalkeeper is what should have taken centre stage.

“At the BFA, we’re committed to promoting fair play and good sportsmanship in all of our athletic competitions.

“While we understand that emotions can sometimes run high, we believe it's important for all players and officials to conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner, especially when representing their country.

“Regarding the recent incident that occurred following the match against Jamaica for the Concacaf W Under-20 Championship Qualifiers on April 16, 2023, the BFA will review the report from the coaching staff in Nicaragua, which should include any actions taken. We’re confident that once we have a clearer picture of what happened, we’ll be able to make informed and fair conclusions.

“Ultimately, we want to ensure that all players feel supported and encouraged to perform at their best, while also upholding the highest standards of sportsmanship and fair play.

“We appreciate the dedication and hard work of our athletes and are committed to providing a positive and supportive environment for all.”

Gibbons’s behaviour overshadowed a hugely improved performance by Bermuda, who had been beaten 6-1 by Honduras in their opening group E encounter on Friday.

Against Jamaica, a superb defensive performance left the game deadlocked 0-0 at half-time and hopes were high that they could pull off a shock result, but their resistance was broken in the 47th minute when Shaneil Buckley scored a 25-yard stunner, which flew into the corner of the net past goalkeeper Samantha Davies.

Working hard without much possession, Bermuda visibly tired but put Jamaica under pressure with an equaliser looking on the cards. The closest they came to scoring was in the 79th minute when Jahni Simmons’s free kick was pushed over the bar by goalkeeper Liya Brooks.

More pressure came, with the final ball just proving elusive, and in the second minute of added time, Davia Richards buried a free kick into the bottom corner to extinguish Bermuda’s hopes of pulling off a surprise result.

The defeat ended Bermuda’s chances of qualifying for the next stage of the championships in the Dominican Republic this month, but head coach Vance Brown’s team will now look to end their campaign on a brighter note against bottom side Anguilla.

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Published April 18, 2023 at 9:17 am (Updated April 19, 2023 at 7:55 am)

BFA targets media for reporting player’s post-match meltdown

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