President of SVG FF reinstates banned footballer
National footballer Azhino Solomon, who was withdrawn from the senior men’s team Vincy Heat, for this Thursday’s encounter in the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifiers versus French Guiana in Cayenne, has been reinstated.
The rescinding of the decision to ban Solomon from the French Guiana trip, was made public at a press conference held by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s (SVGFF) conference room, last Saturday.
Solomon initial withdrawal from team was in breach of a decision taken by the SVGFF’s executive, in concert with the management of the senior national men’s team and the Under-20 men’s outfit, to debar members of both sets of squad members from playing in the various football leagues currently taking place here in St Vincent and the Grenadines. It was revealed at last Saturday’s press conference that the two national teams were sent correspondence restricting them from playing in the leagues.
The decision to re-instate Solomon was taken after it was found that he was not the only player to have breached the protocol set by the SVGFF.
At last Saturday’s press conference, president of the SVGFF Marvin Fraser gave reasons for the reversal in the decision.
“Upon discussions with Mr. Solomon and after perusing the match cards of other leagues, we found out that other players also had been playing in these leagues,” Fraser announced.
The other players named were Chavel Cunningham, Joseph Douglas, Nazir Mc Burnette, Kevin Francis and Jahvin Sutherland.
The SVGFF president explained: “If I decided to follow the same rule that I had implemented to deal with Mr Azhino Solomon, by dropping him… It would have meant that I would have had to drop each of these players … Because of the close proximity of the French Guiana trip, suspending these players for the game, like what was initially done with Mr Solomon, could not have been done… Which would have made it difficult for us to field a team for French Guiana”.
Fraser revealed that all of the offending players have a corresponding number with their uniforms that has been sent to CONCACAF, hence “you can’t replace players, based on uniform numbers, based on the provisional list that was sent”.
He added, “St Vincent and the Grenadines would have been at a disadvantage going into the French Guiana game … They would not have been able to field a full squad”.
Accepting that they have been guilty, Solomon, Mc Burnette, Sutherland, Francis and Douglas, who were all present at the press conference, acknowledged their wrong, and offered apologies.
Fraser also Joined them in expressing remorse.
The SVGFF president emphasised, “I want to personally tell the nation and the football public that these players here… We have met the entire team after our investigation …I personally, as the president, want to apologise for the behaviour of these players, not adhering to the rules … I can assure the footballing public, Vincentian public on a whole, going forward, this will not happen again”.
The senior men’s team is set to leave today Tuesday, in batches for French Guiana.