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Joe Public, the 2012 National Super League (NSL) treble champion which was initially relegated to the East Zone Premier Division along with FC Santa Rosa recently, may have avoided relelgation, following an invitation by the T&T Football Association (TTFA) for both teams to participate in the NSL competition. This was revealed yesterday, when the TTFA announced an increase from 13 teams to 16 teams for the upcoming competition, which will start later this year. In a TTFA media release, the body made the declaration following a meeting of its executive committee.
The release stated,:“The 13 existing clubs that participated in the TTFA Super League will be invited to participate in an expanded Super League in 2014.” “The top three clubs based on the standing at the competition of the qualifying competition in 2014 will be similarly invited to participate in an expanded Super League in 2014.” It was initially advised that only two teams would gain promotion to the NSL following the recently concluded qualifying competition. La Horquetta SA from the Eastern Football Association (EFA) and Southern Football Association league champion, Petrotrin Palo Seco, finished first and second, respectively. The invitation for the third-place finisher of the qualifying competition, would give Tobago club D’Lime Bar Goal City FC, the opportunity to join the second-tier football league. The league already includes three Tobago clubs, Stokely Vale FC, 1976 FC Phoenix and Bethel United.
The TTFA advised that the three clubs, Joe Public, FC Santa Rosa and Goal City must respond to the invitation by April 25. The release concluded, “Should all clubs accept the invitation to participate, the National Super League will be expanded to 16 clubs. As a result, there will be no forced relegation of teams that participated in the 2013 National Super League.” The TTFA, prior to making a decision to increase the number of clubs in the 2014 tournament, deemed Joe Public and FC Santa Rosa as the two relegated teams, after both clubs finished their campaigns in the 11th and 12th spots, respectively, in the 13-team standings. Defence Force finished last after failing to complete its fixtures, due to the temporary withdrawal forced by senior officials. The club was permitted to remain in the league for the 2014 season, as circumstances were out of the club’s control, according to the TTFA’s executive committee.