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National Under-13 football title decided… Eligibility issues loom large

National Under-13 football title decided… Eligibility issues loom large

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A dark cloud is still hovering over the Under-13 division of the National Inter Community League football championships, which was decided last Sunday afternoon at the Victoria Park.{{more}}

Raining down heavily on the competition are issues of ineligibility of some of the players who had an impact on the outcome of the competition.

And Sunday’s deciding match between Central Kingstown and East Kingstown was delayed because the issue raised its head before the start of the game, and had to be sorted out.

But in all the discussions, indications are that at least one team still violated the rule, as a player born in August 2000 contested the final.

The competition rules allow players who turned 13 during this year, or younger to compete; hence eligible players should have been born in or after 2001.

Additionally, the teams were to submit proof of eligibility to technical director Keith Ollivierre.

However, reports are that this was not enforced at the quarter-final stage when questions were raised about some players.

Kendal John, head coach and manager of West Kingstown, was peeved at the outcome, stating: “It was unfair to the teams which stuck to the rules… The damage has been already done, as the players (ineligible ones) had an impact on the competition… We suffered at the hand of over age players.”

John further noted that the over age players denied the younger ones the opportunity to showcase their skills.

Another coach who expressed his dissatisfaction about the whole affair was Wayde Jackson of the Layou football set-up.

“It is totally dishonest and is sending a bad message to the youngsters… An over age player can injure a legitimate player seriously…Can these players now be selected for a national Under-13 team?” Jackson commented.

Despite the grumblings of discontent and frustration, Central Kingstown eeked out a one-nil win over East Kingstown in Sunday’s final.

Roshawn Hooper was credited with the lone goal, registered in the 16th minute.

Hooper took evasive action by turning his back on a clearance by East Kingstown’s custodian Bahari Dopwell, which ricocheted off him, and ended in the back of the net.

John advocated to SEARCHLIGHT that the 2014 competition should be asterisked, as it was fraught with illegitimacy. (RT)

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