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Security top priority

Ezra Stuart

Security top priority

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SECURITY and crowd safety will be paramount while no form of indiscipline will be tolerated when the new LIME Pelican Out-of-Season Football Tournament kicks off on September 11 at the UWI’s Paradise Park Astro-Turf facility.
Long-standing parliamentary representative Mia Mottley said the organizers Pelican Creative Services Inc. would be reserving the right to make any decision whether it is cancelling any matches or the tournament itself in the event of anything which is an act of God or that threatens the security of any player, official or spectator.
She said the appropriate measure would be included in the contracts with the owners of the franchises, who will also include such a clause in the players’ contracts.
“We would not be tolerating any forms of indiscipline or bad behaviour that would threaten the security of any human being at any of our games and that is the minimum standard that we expect everybody to adher to, be it organizer, owner, player or member of the audience,” she said at a Press conference at Island Inn yesterday.
“On the evening of the draft, we indicated that uppermost in our minds throughout this entire tournament will be security and crowd safety because we believe it is ours to help reverse some of the negative perceptions that have associated themselves with the sport,” she said.
Mottley also revealed that Queen’s Counsel, Roger Forde would be the arbiter for any disputes in the tournament “to ensure that there is transparency and fairness” by having someone who is independent of the organizing committee.
With the National Stadium unavailable, all of the preliminary matches will be played on the Paradise Park artificial surface at the Lazaretto before the tournament climaxed on Independence Day, November 30 at Kensington Oval.
The tournament carries a first prize of $100 000 with a second prize of $20 000, plus $4 700 in payments for the players while the third and fourth placed team will receive a minimum of $12 500 and $7 500, respectively.
The Conquerors, with free picks, John Parris, Wayne Sobers, Brian Neblett, Rudy Grosvenor and Diquan Adamson will come up against the Kelvin “Dopey” Howell-owned Combined Stars, which includes brothers Jefferson and Sheldon White, Romario Harewood, Malcolm “Buju” Marshall and Kareem Farrell as the free picks in the tournament opener at 6 p.m.
The feature match will see the Tridents, coached by former Barbados midfielder Henderson Williams, and including national players Omar Archer, Rondelle Vaughan, Riviere Williams and Rommell Burgess as well as former Barbados goalkeeper Vasco “Ninja” Husbands clashing with the Church Church-based T.S. Strikers at 8:15 p.m.
T.S. Strikers include Gall Hill’s quintet Renaldo Marques, Andre Daniel, Jamal Chandler, Omari Eastmond and Rico Baptiste as their five free picks.