Planned match between Liberia, Jamaica canceled
A planned match between Liberia and Jamaica in Connecticut was
cancelled Tuesday after the promoter acknowledged the teams never
agreed to play.
Tickets for the international friendly, scheduled for July 28 at
Rentschler Field, went on sale July 9.
Neil Buethe, a spokesman for the United States Soccer
Federation, said his organization never gave the match its required
sanction, something that is supposed to occur before it is
advertised and tickets go on sale.
”There was some discussion about a promoter applying for the
match,” Buethe said. ”But he never even turned in an application
to us for the game.”
The soccer federations in Liberia and Jamaica had each posted
messages on their websites cautioning fans not to buy tickets for
”It appears that a promoter has acted unprofessionally in
advertising this game between the two countries and consequently
the JFF has advised the US Soccer Federation and FIFA
accordingly,” the Jamaica Football Federation said in its
Samuel Sampson, a spokesman for Singapore-based promoter Ricky
Swen and his company, Swen Labels International, said financial
negotiations with Liberia fell through at the last minute. Sampson
said Swen is sanctioned by FIFA as a match agent, but has never
arranged a match in the United States. He said the promoter was
acting in good faith.
”When we were in negotiations with both teams we had assurances
from both teams that yes, they were both committed to play,” he
said. ”We didn’t want to wait until the last day before we started
He says Swen is working to replace Liberia with Kenya for a
match that would be held at Rentschler field in August.
The normal procedure, Buethe said, is for a promoter to secure
signed agreements from the teams involved and the venue, receive a
sanction from the USSF and then begin promoting the match.
He said the promoter could face a $1,000 fine for selling
tickets before the match had been arranged.
Paul Marte, a spokesman for Bushnell Management, which manages
the state-owned stadium, said it was pulling advertisements for the
match from its website on Tuesday and ending ticket sales. He did
not know how many fans had already purchased tickets, but said they
would receive full refunds.
”We don’t actually believe it was a hoax,” he said.
”Everything seems perfectly (legitimate) and we are working with
the promoter for two other matches in August and September. But we
now learned the lesson. We’re not going to put step two before step