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Foot-brawl

Empire, BDFSP players clash after game

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Empire, BDFSP players clash after game

by ANMAR GOODRIDGE-BOYCE

anmargoodridge-boyce @nationnews.com

IT WAS a case of the Government boots and the ‘Blues’ sharing blows in a bruising battle at the Wildey Turf on Sunday night.

Consequently, the disciplinary committee of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) will launch an investigation into a fighting incident during the aftermath of the top of the table clash between Empire and the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP).

No sooner had referee Jamar Springer blown his whistle to put an end to the match that a heated exchange of words on the touch-line between Empire striker Zinio Harris and BDFSP and national midfielder Omani Leacock escalated into a squabble.

Players from both sides jumped over the fence between the area of the dressing rooms in an attempt to intervene, prompting action from the Royal Barbados Police Force and private security personnel.

Five red cards

Subsequently, five players were given straight red cards following the incident. Harris, Empire defenders Omar Primus and Renaldo Bignall, Leacock and Akeem Hill will all serve at least a one-match ban.

When contacted BFA communications officer Michael Phillips told NATION SPORT Sunday night’s incident will be examined.

“I cannot comment on this particular issue but matters like these always go before the disciplinary committee and this will be the same case. Nothing different will happen. The committee will make the decision on what consequences will be handed down. The association governs the committee, so the matter will be looked into,” he said.

BDFSP Sports Coordinator Captain Michael Jules said the Sports Programme is also looking into the matter.

“The matter is being investigated thoroughly. All stories have different sides. I wasn’t there so we need to hear from players about what exactly happened and also hear from the Empire camp as well,” Jules said.

Efforts to reach officials at the Empire team for comment were unsuccessful up to press time.

However, the BFA has taken a nononsense approach towards violence and promotes a “Stop The Violence” campaign, which was introduced in 2016.

Last year, the governing body for local football slapped Corey “Santa” Barrow, a former University of the West Indies Blackbirds forward with a 15-year ban from all football-related activities.

The 34-year-old Barrow, who was also a coach of Pro Shottas Soccer School, threw stones and a beer bottle at Abrahams United Silver Sands’ goalkeeper Jamal Moore during a match on May 27, 2018.

Just last week when the BFA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Argentina Football Association and the Caribbean Football Union, president of the BFA, Randy Harris, made it abundantly clear the sport was not the cause of problems.

“You all know that the problems of our society are not generated by football. Football happens to be a part of the activities in our society. You all (referring to the local media) make it seem like football is creating problems of violence and general bad behaviour.

“On the contrary, the people who are dealing with football are trying to get rid of these scourges by working with these young people and giving them a voice, and also allowing them to know that we think they are talented and skilled and those talents and skills have to be exposed,” he said at the time.

FOOTBALLERS from the BDF Sports Programme and Empire teams trading blows after their match on Sunday night, watched by players from two other teams. (Picture by Jameel Springer.)

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