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Referees Association slam Ramdhan, St Mary’s
Ramesh Ramdhan, the T&T Football Association’s (TTFA) head of refeeing has come under the spotlight for recent comments made in the media following the controversial Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Big-Five final between St Mary’s College and Presentation College of San Fernando.
Ramdhan, a former Fifa World Cup referee, who publicly criticised head referee of the match Rodphin Harris and other local referees, was among the high priority topics discussed at a recent T&T Football Referees Association (TTFRA) monthly statutory meeting, according to a press release issued by the same body. St Mary’s College, which was on the losing end of the Big-Five final also came in for heavy criticism for its protests during and after the match.
The release signed by TTFRA president Joseph Taylor stated: “Mr Ramdhan publicly discounted the capability of these officials and that of the present group of referees in this country, as a whole, to provide creditable service. Mr Ramdhan, as head of the refereeing deparment of the TTFA has responsibility for all aspects of refereeing in T&T which includes development, promotion, appointments, etcetera. It is indeed regrettable, unfortunate, and unfair that Mr Ramdhan should choose to distance himself from both the situation and his charges for which he has direct responsibility.”
Joseph reminded the public that the TTFRA has not been directly involved in the training, development and appointment of referees since 2010 when the TTFA, under the Fifa refereeing organsation regulations, assumed full responsibility for these functions through its referees department. “These functions had been performed by the referees association quite successfully for more than 50 years,” said Taylor.
He continued, “We assure the general public and the refereeing fraternity that we continue to provide the moral support for our members who continue to be unfairly treated by way of verbal abuse, threats of violence and now belittling of their personal efforts as they strive to serve the game of football in the country under very trying and even onerous conditions.”
On that note, Taylor went on to scold coach of St Mary’s College, Jason Edwards, who subsequent to the final received a ban, along with some of his players and other member of the technical staff, for “aggressive behavior”. “We call on the league and associations to take stringent measures to prevent such behaviour which only serves to discourage young persons from deciding to become referees and lowers the morale of the existing referees who see their contribution to football being devalued and discredited, and having their personal safety and security put at risk.”
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