Last update: 09-Dec-2013 10:49 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Violence robs Laventille of Hoop of Life $100,000
Without bouncing a ball, Caledonia, was yesterday announced as third place finisher, and recipient of a $250,000 prize following a decision by the Hoop of Life Community Basketball League officials, to ban Laventille for two matches due to violent conduct by its fans.
A media release issued by Hoop of Life management stated: “This decision followed the behaviour of the supporters of the Laventille team after they erupted by throwing missiles onto the basketball court after Laventille won their match against Maloney, at the St Barb’s Basketball Court, Laventille, on Saturday.”
Despite winning the second leg, Laventille lost the two-part semifinal on aggregate, which seemingly angered fans, who reportedly also threw missiles in the direction of at least two maxi taxis loaded with players and supporters from the travelling Maloney team. One woman was reportedly struck on the head by a bottle.
Not only did the decision by Hoop of Life to ban Laventille for two matches mean the team missed out on third place and $250,000, but the ban also meant the team lost fourth place and the prize of $100,000.
The release continued: “The (Hoop of Life) management team sanctioned the (Laventille) team after their supporters infringed the Hoop of Life Community Basketball League’s rules, guidelines and code of conduct.
“The Hoop of Life Programme has several objectives which it is committed to with regards to ensuring that this initiative of the Ministry of National Security achieves its stated goals, one of which is making T&T a violence-free country for all citizens.”
The Hoop of Life outlined objectives specified on its Web site, including: To provide a professionally managed basketball league for selected high risk needs communities; To encourage national participation from communities; To promote sport as a unifying agent for youths, adults and communities; To promote sport as an agent for peace within and amongst communities; To promote sport as a facilitator for healthy rivalry and fun among communities; To use sports to promote discipline amongst the participants in communities.
The release added that Article 30 (b) in the Hoop of Life by-laws outlines that spectators must be aware that they are an extension of their team and should also be a gracious host, as well as role models of good conduct and sportsmanship.
The finals will go ahead as planned beginning tomorrow with a meeting between Maloney and La Romaine, in Maloney. The second match will be played in La Romaine.
The winner will take away an increased first place prize of $1.5 million, while the runner-up will receive $500,000.
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