Administrative errors cost the Barbados football team points in the CONCACAF Nations League qualifier competition and shot Guyana up the standings ladder giving the South Americans a fair chance of making the final cut for the prestigious Gold Cup next year.
Owing to Barbados fielding two ineligible players, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football’s (Concacaf) Disciplinary Committee has slapped Bajan Tridents with a forfeiture penalty for the match played against Guyana on Sept. 6, meaning that the one point they had earned from the 2-2 draw is now reduced to zero, and the Guyanese were awarded three points.
CONCACAF declared that owing to the Tridents’ infringement, the Tridents had in fact lost the game played in Guyana. The violation did not merit a disqualification of the Bajan side from this competition involving 34 teams across the Caribbean and Central and North America.
This means that Guyana has catapulted up to number eight in the standings, moving from a previous position of 15th, and demoted Barbados to 23rd from 18th.
According to Concacaf, this qualifying phase of the 2019–20 Nations League is a one-off tournament among 34 teams that is being played from Sept. 6, 2018, to March 26, 2019. This tournament will determine seeding for the group phase of the inaugural Nations League competition next year, as well as select the remaining 10 teams which will qualify for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, the regional senior men’s football championship.
Both teams have their last and final games in this competition set for March, which puts Guyana in with a strong chance of making the Gold Cup competition.
The Tridents on the other hand will be playing for exposure as their current standings give them no chance of ending in the top 10.
The Guyana Jaguars take on Belize on March 23, and Barbados comes up against Nicaragua the following day.
The Guyanese had protested the Tridents’ inclusion of one overseas-based player in the fixture against Guyana, but in agreeing with the Jaguars CONCACAF found that not one but two players were improperly documented before taking the field for Barbados.
CONCACAF stated, “after due examination of the evidence, the committee determined that the Barbados Football Association infringed the applicable articles … to the eligibility of players to play for representative teams by fielding ineligible players Hallam Hope and Krystian Pearce.
“In accordance with Articles 55 and 31 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the Barbados Football Association is considered to have lost the match against Guyana by a score of 3-0.”
The Tridents accepted and appeared resigned to their fate as Barbados Football Association President, Randy Harris, briefly commented, “CONCACAF made a decision and we have been notified about the ruling.”