Bajans could escape sanction
BARBADOS may yet avoid a fine and forfeiture of their second round FIFA World Cup qualifying tie against Aruba after it was disclosed that the match commissioner approved striker Hadan Holligan as being eligible to play.
In a twist to the controversy surrounding Holligan’s inclusion in the Barbados team for last Sunday’s second leg match at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex, despite picking up two yellow cards in consecutive matches, a source close to the national team said his name was among the 23 presented for a passport check on the eve of the match at the team’s hotel.
“When the passport check was done, a day before the match, the match commissioner pointed out that only Akeene Browne, who had received a red card in the first match against Aruba was ineligible to play as he had to serve an automatic one-game suspension,” the source told MIDWEEK SPORT today.
“No mention was mention of Holligan being debarred,” he added.
According CONCACAF’s website where the line-up of teams for the World Cup qualifying matches are listed, Holligan got yellow cards in consecutive matches and should’ve automatically been debarred from playing in his team’s next game.
Holligan, a fleet-footed winger, ironically scored the game winner in Barbados’ 1-0 victory which gave the Bajan Tridents a 3-0 aggregate triumph in the tie and advancement to the third round.
He had received a 50th-minute yellow card in the return first round match against the U.S. Virgin Islands which Barbados won 4-0 and was also booked in the 53rd minute of the first leg match against Aruba in Oranjestad last Wednesday which Barbados won 2-0.
According to FIFA regulations, Aruba had to make a protest to the match officials before six hours had elapsed after the match and follow it up with a written protest to the sport’s governing body within 24 hours.
It is uncertain whether the Aruba officials made an official protest in the stipulated time frame.
Meanwhile, another football official with knowledge of what transpired at a hastily convened executive meeting at the BFA’s Fontabelle’s office Monday night, denied that president Randy Harris had indicated he would resign from the top post should Barbados forfeit the tie.
“That’s just a rumour which was posted on social media before the meeting started,” he said. (EZS)