Manager of the Volcanoes Football Club- Kendall John, has described the Disciplinary Committee of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation decisions to impose lengthy suspensions on the entire club, the banning of selected players as well as the imposition of a fine, among other things as “cruel” and “unjust”.
According to a release from the Secretariat of the SVGFF, dated Friday, 24th February, 2023, addressed to John as “President”, the following are some of the actions taken:
‘Volcanoes Football Club is to serve a two (2) year suspension from all SVGFF organized and supported Football in SVG. (No Registered member of the club may be transferred to another club during this suspension) …The Club should communicate in writing to the Referee Association and the member of the SVGFF its remorse for the behavior of its players and official… The Club is fined the sum of three thousand dollars XCD ($3,000.00) that should be paid by May 2023’.
The punitive measures were taken following investigations into an incident that took place at the Victoria Park, on February 8, involving the Volcanoes Club and SV United who were engaged in a First Division match of the SVGFF’s National Club Championships.
The match was brought to a pre-mature end following what was allegedly an attack on an assistant referee by a Volcanoes player. A fracas developed and the referee had little choice than to bring the match to an end before regulation time.
Notwithstanding the gravity of the incident, John wants to know for what offences the club was charged.
“How can you charge the club for something and in your letter, you did not specify what we have been charged for…Furthermore how can you ban an entire club, including females and the youngsters?” John inquired.
The Devron Poyer penned released, said: “The incident occurred mainly between Delarno Benjamin #8, Orlando Campbell #14, D’Nelson Lewis #9, Derald Knight #10, Rasheed Wallace #7, Jarius Phillips #5 and Kendal John the Manager; all registered on the match card to Volcanoes FC and the referee Shadel Cyrus and AR1 Justin Bullock”.
The release further informed that Lewis, Knight, Wallace, Phillips and John were given separate suspensions: Lewis will serve a three-year suspension, Knight and Wallace- five years, Phillips–ten, and John–two years.
However, John said that the suspensions were “harsh” and made the comparison with a previous suspension, when Greiggs player- Shemorie Baptiste was handed a three- year ban for bloodying the face of referee- Rohan Primus, at the Chili Playing Field last year.
“These punishments are harsh, because you banned a player for three years for causing lacerations to the face of a referee and now you are banning four players harsher for lesser offences,” John argued.
Admitting that actions must be taken against the guilty players, John is nonetheless baffled that a suspension has been imposed on the club.
But the suspensions did not stop. The release informed: ‘The Club members shall participate in at least one Conflict Resolution session approved by the SVGFF… At the end of the two (2) year suspension the Club must demonstrate their readiness and commitment to upholding the true values and spirt of Fair Play as advocated by the SVGFF and FIFA… Upon this approval, the Club shall be reinstated in the First Division of the SVGFF National Club Championship”.
As it stands, the Volcanoes FC can seek redress utilisng their option of Appeal.
Poyer’s letter concluded, ‘Note that the decision of the Disciplinary Committee can be contested in an appeals process…The Constitution of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation makes provision for an appeal – Article XLI’.