A red card issued to W Connection right-back Adan Noel during Saturday’s TT Pro League match against Terminix La Horquetta Rangers has been rescinded and he is now free to play for his club.
The match officials — referee Keilon Bacchus and assistant-referee Caleb Wales — subsequently admitted being in error after substantial video and photographic evidence proved they were wrong in sending off the player. And admittance of error by the officials has negated an official protest by W Connection head coach Earl Jean, thus leaving the player free to play.
Jean threatened to protest what he deemed “poor officiating” after Noel was issued a straight red card for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity when he stopped Jamal Creighton’s goal-bound header during the opening six minutes of their 4-1 loss to Rangers. Video footage clearly showed that Noel never committed the infringement for which he was sent off.
Yesterday, Jean said he was satisfied with the outcome. He had also heard there might be a case for W Connection demanding a replay, since the officials’ error might conceivably have had a great effect on the overall outcome.
On their home fortress at La Horquetta, Rangers capitalised on 10-man W Connection, scoring four first-half goals before the visitors regained composure in the second half. W Connection had won an earlier meeting between the teams.
“But I did not ask for that (replay). I asked for the red card to be overturned,” Jean said. “I just wanted justice to be done with Adan because I did not think he deserved that (red card).”
Jean said that rules of the game generally dictate that the result is final and he was prepared to move on.
“They accepted responsibility and now he can play. That’s it,” Jean said.
The latest development is a far turnaround from what happened in the east on Saturday when, initially, the referee upheld his earlier decision.
“He was sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. That is in my report and in the referee’s report,” stated match commissioner Lisia Lewis, who admitted having her head down when the incident first occurred.
Jean was scathing in his condemnation of both assistant-referee Wales, who made the call and referee Bacchus, who upheld it.
Positioned on the far post, Noel chested down the ball and cleared it. However, on the advice of assistant referee Wales, Bacchus signalled a penalty and also sent off Noel. Footage of the match showed that Noel never handled the ball, which clearly came off his chest before he cleared it.
“He (Wales) said his eyes don’t lie,” Jean had said. “Well, I have watched it over and over. His eyes did lie. I have stills (photos) and videos to back it up.”
Jean continued: “This is too blatant. I will lodge an official protest to the league. In five minutes, you have an entire season decided by poor officiating. Furthermore, you have a player sent off for something he did not do and now, he has to also miss another match.”
Jean had also condemned referee Bacchus for not asserting his authority since was in a better position to see the incident than his assistant, who was on the far corner.
“How could the referee allow himself to be overruled by the assistant-referee, when he was in a better position to see what happened?” Jean had asked.