Sat | Dec 7, 2019

Stub snub! - No proof of attendance leaves Tivoli, Waterhouse fans disgruntled at RSPL game

Published:Monday | December 2, 2019 | 12:23 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Fans of both Tivoli Gardens and Waterhouse are unhappy after their Red Stripe Premier League game at the Edward Seaga Complex was called off because of absent match officials yesterday.
Fans of both Tivoli Gardens and Waterhouse are unhappy after their Red Stripe Premier League game at the Edward Seaga Complex was called off because of absent match officials yesterday.

Football fans at the aborted Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game between league leaders Waterhouse and relegation battlers Tivoli Gardens at the Edward Seaga Sport Complex yesterday had a double dose of disappointment as match fees were not refunded by the west Kingston club after the game was called off.

The game was not played because of the absence of two match officials. At game time, 3 p.m., only two of four match referees were present, and although efforts were made to get another official to the venue in time, it proved futile, as that official did not arrive until 3:35 p.m.

Both clubs had already agreed with match commissioner Elaine Walker-Brown on a 3:20 p.m. deadline. This is because starting the match any later would result in darkness at the venue as its floodlightings are not at the standard for fixtures after sunset.

However, both sets of fans were left disgruntled after the postponement, as there was no refunding of their match fees.

One Waterhouse fan complained that he bought his ticket but didn’t receive a ticket stub or other proof of purchase to acknowledge his attendance.

“Yes, I did get a ticket, but they didn’t tear the ticket (at the gate). They took the (whole) ticket,” he said.

He said fans were promised free entry for the replay, but he is far from convinced, as he has been in a similar situation in the past and received no redress.

“No, we don’t get any refund,” he said. “They tell us that next game, we will come in free, but nothing go like that, because the last time that happen, they said we would get the next game free and that did not happen. So we just call it a day.”

Tivoli General Manager Brian Rose explained that usually there is no refund for aborted sporting events, but said Waterhouse fans will pay only half-price when the clubs meet for the replay.

“Which sporting event you go to and it ends abruptly and you get a refund?” Rose asked. “We have offered them a concession that when the game is replayed, we will reduce the cost of the game by half. So we have an agreement with them that for the return game, they will pay only half cost, even if they weren’t at this game,” he explained.

The Gleaner understand that RSPL panel referees took industrial action for outstanding fees. However, one source close to the referees revealed that in an effort to avoid a full boycott of yesterday’s RSPL fixtures, the Jamaica Football Federation had substitute referees in place to take charge of the matches.

Only two officials turned up for the Portmore-Dunbeholden game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval. However, that game got under way 20 minutes behind time because of the late arrival of those referees.

However, both Tivoli and Waterhouse saw the postponement as a blessing in disguise.

“We played two hard games against Arnett [Gardens] and Mount Pleasant back to back, and the game being called off is a blessing in disguise,” Tivoli coach Philip Williams said.

“It allows us to get more rest for Tuesday’s MLS combine. Whatever the case, we had no control over it, so we will get ready for the next game,” Waterhouse manager Kerry Ann Robinson said.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com