THERE IS a strong possibility that there will be a second round of matches in the Ascension Invitational Football Tournament, if the proposed T-League (combination of Pro League and Super League) does not materialise.
During an extraordinary general meeting of the TT Super League, clubs called for an extension of the Ascension Tournament, which is set to end at the end of September.
In a letter sent by TT Super League general secretary Peter Thomas to TT Football Association general secretary Camara David, “Based on the lack of information received from the TTFA regarding funding and the start date of the proposed T-League, clubs support the playing of a second round of the Ascension Invitational Tournament 2019.”
Richard Ferguson, a director at Terminix La Horquetta Rangers and the brainchild behind the $2.3 million Ascension tournament, is supportive of the call to continue the competition.
“We had a meeting with the clubs,” said Ferguson yesterday. “About 16-17 clubs agreed to play a second round because, whilst there are promises, the fact is that nothing has been happening. Lots of dates are being thrown out but nothing concrete.
“I want to make it clear that the Ascension League will not play unless it’s governed or sanctioned by the TTFA,” Ferguson continued. “(Also) we will only play if there is no other league. If there is some other football playing or the T League, we will step aside and let them play. If there is no other league, then we will try and fill the void.” Ferguson pointed out, “We are ready and prepared. We have fixtures and so on. We just need the sanction from the TTFA. We’re ready to go.”
T League commission member Brent Sancho bemoaned the lack of financial support, from both the FIFA Forward Programme and Government, towards the proposed unified local football league.
“We are still awaiting the monies from both the FIFA Forward Programme and the (government) subvention,” said Sancho. “Nothing has changed, and nothing will change unless that position (concerning the funding) changes. I don’t know what is expected to be done but that is the current position.” Asked if the T-League has sought corporate sponsorship, Sancho replied, “You can’t write to any corporate entity. We’ve had preliminary discussions but what are you going to write and tell them? We need these two sets of monies to start the League.
“If we have not had any sort of consultation of those monies, nothing could start,” he added. “You need the monies, not only for the clubs, but more importantly the administrative side, the referees, officials, all those other things that you’ll need to run a football league.”
Concerning the call for the Ascension to be continued, Sancho said, “The Pro League has a board meeting on Wednesday and I’m sure all these things would be discussed. I can’t say anything as it relates to the extension. All I’ll say is that I congratulate Mr Ferguson and Ascension for making sure that there was football being played.”
Ferguson is also pleased with the quality of the tournament thus far.
“It’s quite successful,” he said. “The level of football is very high. The public has been engaging (the players) in the community grounds.”