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Coach: Bajans to protest Digicel boot

EZRA STUART in St Vincent

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AN INCENSED head coach Thomas Jordan has made it clear the Barbados football team will protest their first-round elimination from the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup.
Barbados, St Kitts-Nevis and host country St Vincent and the Grenadines all played unbeaten in Group “B” at Victoria Park and finished with five points, earned from two draws against each other and a victory over winless Montserrat in their three matches.
But according to the tournament regulations, St Kitts-Nevis were installed as the group winners by virtue of scoring the most goals in the matches between the three teams.
St Kitts-Nevis drew both their games against Barbados and St Vincent 1-1 while beating Montserrat 4-0 and were not expected to advance as St Vincent and Barbados had thrashed Montserrat by bigger margins, 7-0 and 5-0, respectively, prior to Sunday’s 0-0 stalemate before a 5 000-strong capacity crowd.
The Vincy Heat, who scored the most goals in the competition, were eventually declared as group runners-up and will join the Sugar Boyz in advancing to the second phase.
Barbados, the highest ranked country in the group, ended in third position and failed to advance for the first time in the last two tournaments when they easily won their first round groups.
“I’m not pleased with what I’m hearing. It is disapointing hearing that we are out of the tournament, so we will contest the result. The sequence outlined in the regulations where teams are even on points, is goal difference first, goal average and then you go into the tiebreaker,” Jordan contended in an interview with NATIONSPORT.
“St Vincent scored the most goals and conceded the least, so how can they come second. You can’t go straight to the tiebreaker. That’s not fair to St Vincent and it is not a fair ruling,” declared Jordan.
“You cannot penalise St Vincent by taking Montserrat out of the equation,” added Jordan, noting he copied the tournament regulations from the Digicel website.
Jordan also lashed out at the host association at the post-tournament press conference.
“I’m disappointed with the whole organisation of this zone. The SVFF (St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation) was very poor in terms of communication, organisation and the general upkeep of the competition,” he said.
“We had three different match balls and the one (Adidas) which was advertised at the pre-tournament press conference, was never used,” Jordan claimed.
“In the first round, a Mitre ball was introduced and in the second round, it was a Nike ball,” he added noting that the Barbados team received only one mitre ball to practise with.
Jordan was also unhappy with the accommodation given to the team, revealing that they stayed at two different guest houses – Richview Apartments and Clear View Heights – situated outside the Kingstown capital.
“Our team was split in two because the Richview Guest House couldn’t hold the full contingent. This the two coaches and four of the players had to be relocated, making interaction very difficult,” he said.