Football: SeyPearl Championship One | 10 September 2020
St John Bosco await crucial Real Maldives decision
Promoted to the SeyPearl Premier League via the playoffs, St John Bosco are eagerly awaiting a ruling on a crucial case in regards to the Championship One league winners Real Maldives.
According to reliable sources, Pointe Larue-based St John Bosco have filed a complaint to the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) against their rivals Real Maldives, who piped them to the league title, for allegedly fielding a foreign player who did not have a valid gainful occupational permit (GOP) for two matches last season.
The two matches in question are against Glacis and Western Tigers which they won to help them clinch the league crown for the first time and more importantly earn promotion to the top flight and ironically the player under investigation had his GOP renewed on the day they played their closest challengers St John Bosco in the decisive and penultimate league match which they drew and proved enough to guide them to Premier League football next season.
However, these allegations are serious if proven as it may have serious implication for the destiny of the Championship One league title as it will surely incur punishment such as forfeiture of points which will definitely mean they will relinquish the title and may even affect their promotion chances.
Nonetheless, it is expected that this matter will be dealt with under the statutes of the newly created independent SFF disciplinary committee where the Anse Etoile-based Real Maldives, coached by Don Anacoura, will have to answer some tough questions especially if they can get the evidence to show that the GOP was backdated due to the time taken for it to be processed and cover for the time that the player allegedly played without the required work permit.
Real Maldives reaction
Meanwhile, Sports NATION spoke to Real Maldives coach Don Anacoura who was adamant that his team had followed the normal procedure and had not breached any regulation.
“We are convinced we followed all the required procedures in applying for our player’s GOP though he was having problems to get his passport’s renewal from his homeland but we kept the federation informed throughout and had a verbal agreement with the concerned official at the immigration office but I think all these things are being blown out of proportion as a result of lack of professionalism by certain officials. But we are confident we can prove we did not do anything wrong as what happened occurs all the time due to slow processing of documents,” coach Anacoura claimed.
Sports NATION anxiously awaits to see how this case will pan out as both promoted clubs slug it out for the coveted league title which had been decided over a long and protracted season on the playing field but now looks likely to be confirmed off the pitch.