Boise Cutthroats FC


Boise Cutthroats FC Official Statement

Response to UPSL Official Statement 08/11/2018
Published Aug 14, 2018


Boise Cutthroats FC



We have received several phone calls, emails, and text messages concerning the half time delay that happened during our quarterfinal match against Sporting AZ on August 10th, 2018. This statement is an effort to provide our fans and supporters an explanation of what happened and encourage the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) to issue a formal apology to both clubs for the severe mishandling in determining the eligibility of a Boise Cutthroats FC player during halftime.

We want to recognize Sporting AZ for their outstanding play in this tournament and for finishing in second place.  We have nothing but the utmost respect for your administration, coaches, and players.  You truly are a phenomenal team.

During half time, our coach was informed that our team had been disqualified for substituting into the game an “illegal player.”  When our coach asked for an explanation, the UPSL representative (Club owner and in charge of the facilities) refused to have a conversation with our coach.  We found out shortly after that when the referee took our roster from our clipboard, he did not grab both pages. We recognize that it is our responsibility to ensure a complete roster is provided to the referee and will admit that we had not double checked that both pages were taken.  It was an honest mistake on the part of the referee and our staff.

When the Cutthroats staff tried to explain what had happened, the UPSL representative refused to listen and became very frustrated with our additional questions, making the situation nearly impossible to resolve onsite. While completely unnecessary, the representative went as far as to shout, “call the police!” After several phone calls to a variety of UPSL representatives, we were informed by a senior UPSL representative that we were to finish the match and we would resolve any disputes back at the hotel.  We also learned that the camera used for live streaming the match was in fact on and recording the conversation between our coach and the UPSL representative onsite.  The UPSL has since pulled the video from the website and only a short clip can be found on YouTube. Many would be shocked at how our coach was spoken to and we are pleased with how well our coach handled the difficult situation.

Our coach instructed the eleven players playing before the break to begin warming up after the previously mentioned phone confirmation to finish the match from a senior UPSL representative. However, those representing the UPSL at the field refused to come out and continue the match.  This is after being given a clear directive from the commissioner of the UPSL. 

Prior to play resuming, we were informed that our player in question was not on our roster at all even after we provided the second sheet to our roster that included the players name, photo, and signature. After digging a little deeper into the whole issue, a UPSL representative had pulled our roster from the 2017 season, not our current season. Although we had provided obvious proof of our player’s eligibility unfortunately, that was not the end of the issue.  We were then informed that he was still “illegal” because the registration fee was not paid that provided our player with insurance in case of injury.  We were able to produce the confirmation email and receipt that his fee was paid and he was indeed insured. The UPSL representatives made one last effort to prove his ineligibility by stating he had registered after the roster freeze in the beginning of July. The confirmation email we were able to provide was time stamped 06/16/2018, well before the roster freeze.

Eventually the UPSL owner arrived and made it very clear to all involved, that we had done nothing wrong or unethical.  After a one hour and forty-two minute delay, they were able to bring the referees back out to continue play.

We had a meeting with several senior UPSL representatives behind closed doors the next morning, many of whom helped get the situation under control. The UPSL commissioner recognized the way our club, players, owner, and coach were treated was inexcusable and complimented our coach on how well he handled the situation. We also pointed out that our opponent did not follow UPSL rules and regulations that were clearly outlined in a recent email sent to all eight teams who qualified for Nationals.  The email explained that all rosters must include a picture of all players listed and that any substitutions made during the game must be reported to the 4th referee with a substitute card.  We learned that our opponent did neither of these things and based on the treatment we received, we asked that they review this and treat this situation in the same manner they did ours.  However, there was no consequence enforced on our opponent but in reality, we did not want the game over turned. We agree with what was stated in the official statement from the UPSL, we had played a full 90 minutes and had been defeated 1-2.  We simply wanted to be treated fairly and equally.

At the conclusion of the meetings, our staff was advised that there would be a press release sharing details of the event that had transpired to clear up any confusion that Boise Cutthroats FC did anything that can be perceived as cheating or dishonest and that our coach did not play an “illegal player.”  In addition, that we as a club did nothing wrong and followed protocol as required by the United Premier Soccer League.  Furthermore, they committed to our coach that they would also specifically identify him in the letter to clear up any confusion or concern from those back home.

Boise Cutthroats FC owner, coach, and staff agreed with UPSL representatives this would be the best solution moving forward. Unfortunately, we have seen only a small fraction of what was agreed upon. The official statement they provided was generic and lacked major detail in to what truly happened.  The administration and leadership within the UPSL has yet to take any responsibility for what transpired during the game.  They have pointed their finger at the referees and those representing their establishment at the field.  They haven’t recognized that they as leadership could have handled this whole situation better.  They have simply pointed their fingers at their own people while creating concern with our local supporters.

At this point, we ask the UPSL simply fulfill the commitment they made to Boise Cutthroats FC. We would also like to thank our supporters for standing with us through this tough situation and reaching out to us before assuming we did anything that would tarnish our club’s reputation.