Football-Who decides kick-off time?


24-October-2011

Scheduled to kick off at 4pm, the match started 15 minutes earlier (at 3.45pm) without the knowledge of many fans and neutrals. Some people from Mahe who wanted to travel to Praslin for the match stayed home as they feared they might miss the 6pm Cat Cocos trip back home as all flights on Air Seychelles’ twin otters had been booked until 9pm.

Sports Nation learned that St Michel had made an early formal request with the Seychelles Football Federation asking for the match to be played earlier, but it was not accepted. Until Saturday morning, the match was still on at 4pm and it is not clear at what time the change was made.

Sports Nation contacted the SFF and two officials said they were not aware if the kick-off time had been changed.
Reached by phone, match referee Jean-Claude Labrosse said he took the decision along with match commissioner Roch Henriette after the two teams had agreed upon an earlier kick-off time.

“There’s nothing wrong with changing the kick-off time at the last minute. We can start a match earlier than schedule for many reasons – poor lighting condition at the venue, bad weather condition etc. On Saturday, the St Michel camp argued that their players had to catch the boat back to Mahe and it was agreed by Côte d’Or that the match starts earlier. The law allows it and it is not a must to make a formal announcement,” Labrosse told Sports Nation.

If it is not a must to make a formal announcement for a change in kick-off time, how will spectators know of the change?

What will happen to spectators who have bought their tickets in advance and claim for a refund as they would have arrived late for the game?

Those are just two of the questions that come to mind, but the issue can cause a lot more damage and it’s time the SFF decides on a way to limit such last-minute changes in kick-off times, especially when an official request had been sent in very early.

G. G.

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