Tuesday 29 November 2011 | Published in Regional
The Titikaveka Football Club is threatening to boycott this afternoons CIFA Round Cup clash against Tupapa Maraerenga FC.
The match, which will determine the winner of the Lotto Premier Mens competition, was postponed late last week due to player commitments for the Cook Islands national squad.
The game was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, October 26, but CIFA decided to postpone the match because Tupapa was missing nine of its senior mens side due to the Cook Islands participation in the FIFA World Cup Oceania qualifying competition.
The game has been rescheduled for play at Tupapa at 5pm today.
But Titikaveka has indicated it may not send a team to challenge the match.
The clubs playing coach Cameron Robertson yesterday said the team was considering forfeiting the match in protest at the way the international and domestic competitions were being run.
Robertson said the club was concerned the domestic competition was not complimenting international appearances and in fact hurting the national squads international standing.
Were just trying to make a point that the domestic game is not being geared to support the international team, he said.
The international team has just returned to Rarotonga from the Oceania round 1 qualifying competition in Samoa. It drew one match against American Samoa and lost its other two against Tonga and Samoa, putting any FIFA World Cup hopes to rest for the 2014 Brazil competition.
Robertson said he was also concerned that Titikaveka was not being treated fairly in having its match postponed when Tupapas previous match against Arorangi went ahead under similar strains. Tupapa drew 1-all with Arorangi in that match.
Tupapa Maraerenga FC president John Wilson said the club had requested both games be postponed, but could only manage to have the Titikaveka match rescheduled. He said CIFA wanted the first match to go ahead to see if Tupapa could field a side. Once that match had been completed, CIFA decided to postpone the Titikaveka match.
Wilson said it was the right decision given the number of players Tupapa was missing.
We had nine players out on duties for the national side, we had a red card on Saturday (against Arorangi) and one player sitting on the bench with an injury. Thats 11 players out, Wilson said.
We even had two under 14s playing in our premier side, and thats just not right. Tupapa is currently sitting atop the table with just one point between it and main rivals Nikao Sokattack.
Tupapa needs to win in its last match to stay at the top of the table. A loss or draw would see it move to second place.
Wilson said he hoped Titikaveka would contest the match and not let Tupapa win by default.
Thats not a way to win the competition. I want us to play a game, I hope they turn up.
CIFA was approached to make comment, but declined to do so until after todays rescheduled match.
Titikaveka may attract a fine if it forfeits the match and individuals could be open to suspension or other sanctions.
If Tupapa wins this afternoon, it will be the second year in a row that it has taken the Round Cup title.
The competition winner will receive $3000 in prizemoney and may possibly be sent to contest an Oceania club champion competition if it is held.