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PLB says no semifinals this weekend but expects decision on unplayed San Pedro Pirates-Verdes match by midnight Friday

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2023. 10:04 pm CST.

Photo Credit: San Pedro Pirates

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Citing ‘protocols and procedures’ as a reason for taking so long (two weeks) to make a decision on the unplayed San Pedro Pirates-Verdes game (April 8), the Premier League of Belize (PLB) said at 8:40 pm on Friday in a press release posted on social media that no semifinal games will be played this weekend, but said it’s hopeful that the the PLB Disciplinary Committee can arrive at a decision ‘at least by midnight’.

After the match wasn’t played because the Belize City referees refused to stay in San Pedro for the game without after-game accommodations, the PLB Disciplinary Committee ruled the unplayed game a San Pedro forfeit and gave Verdes the three points and a 3-0 win.

Following a San Pedro appeal, the Football Federation of Belize’s (FFB) Appeals Committee revoked the PLB Disciplinary Committee’s decision taking away the points from Verdes saying San Pedro couldn’t be charged with a forfeit and ordered the PLB Disciplinary Committee to come up with a new decision.

The Regular Season ended on on Saturday, April 22, with Verdes finishing first, San Pedro second, Port Layola third, and Progresso fourth.

The semifinals should have started on the weekend of April 29 and 30, but, while word circulated that ‘a team’ had appealed the Disciplinary Committee’s decision, the PLB said nothing publicly the entire week until Sunday, April 30. In a press release that didn’t say much, the PLB said the FFB Appeals Committee had overruled the PLB Disciplinary Committee’s decision which was now ‘null and void’ and that the Disciplinary Committee would make a new decision.

Tonight (Friday, May 5) a day before the return matches of the semifinals should have been played, the PLB now says that the delay in making a decision has been because “the proper protocols and procedures have to be upheld and therefore the legal minded member of the Committee had expressed time be given so he can review the entire matter”.

“The Chair of the PLB Disciplinary is hopeful that a decision is forthcoming by midnight,” the PLB said adding that “due to the long delay in receiving a decision, the League is postponing the games for the weekend.”

All this time, the teams have been waiting on a decision and during that time their expenses have kept growing.

“The League truly regrets all the inconveniences to our Club’s and the Football family. But we are guided by protocols and procedures that have to be followed,” the PLB said apologetically.

“We are hopeful that the semifinals will commence next week,” the PLB said short of promising it because the unplayed match will more than likely have to be played. And that has to be before the semifinals can start as it will decide the semifinal pairings.

Midnight, then.


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