The year 2015 is over. Whew! Good news. I am of the opinion that sports in general took a massive beating, with scandals and corruption allegations taking away headlines from the ones who make sports exciting and entertaining – the athletes themselves.That is not to say that the athletes who excited and entertained us were ‘saints’. What last year’s headlines revealed was that those who were supposed to administer the competitions and ensure fairness were there only to enrich themselves and their ‘pardeees’.I view all evidence of malfeasance and corruption as equally abhorrent. Therefore, there is no scandal worse than another. The multiple arrests, allegations, and confessions of the administration of world football, FIFA, take the lead position mainly because of the extent of the problem. But the revelations in athletics, WADA, and the IAAF should not be viewed as any less than what is going on in FIFA. Corruption is corruption, and as Dick Pound is quoted as saying: “In the old days, sport was well outside of anything that governments had focused on. They were all private organisations, and they were run kind of informally like clubs, and so on, and they have tried to pretend that they can do that even in 2015 … and they can’t.”It simply won’t work in this day and age; you have to be more transparent, which doesn’t mean that you have to run around buck naked, but people have to understand how a decision was reached, and by whom, and for what reasons, and that sort of thing never used to happen. There was a code of silence. Sport has got to change, or it’s going to be changed.”The world, now really a global village, means that Jamaica is not immune from the stain of the revelations.In football, the local administrators have steadfastly continued to use a formula for a return to the World Cup that has failed repeatedly, but in the past, such failures were pooh-poohed by a confident president, who knew that he could rely on his contacts and ‘pardees’ in FIFA to arrange international games, tours, and invitations to international tournaments to keep our football relevant.GLOOMY 2016?Now, with a business partner with FIFA clout under house arrest and other ‘friends of Caribbean football’ constantly looking over their shoulders at moves and statements by the female attorney general of the United States, things do not look good for 2016.The hiring of a German coach with a salary package that could not be supported by local financing, coupled with the inability to compensate ‘foreign’ Jamaicans who are used to ’nuff’ money when playing for Jamaica, will end with the failure (again) of this nation to qualify for another World Cup.In cricket, the present regional administrators of the sport have rubbished a report prepared by a CARICOM subcommittee on cricket – that they initiated and for which they handpicked some of the members – determined to continue on their merry way, owing millions of US dollars to the Indian cricket board, antagonising and alienating our best cricketers, and insulting island prime ministers, regardless of what the fans and the other cricketing nations think of West Indian cricket.In track and field, the present administrators have steadfastly refused to answer the reasonable questions raised by colleague columnist Laurie Foster re ‘peculiar’ occurrences regarding tickets bought and used for athletes who did not travel to a particular meet.Dick Pound’s quote in the first paragraph rings true.”There was a code of silence. Sport has got to change, or it is going to be changed.”May 2016 be the year when sport rids itself of corruption! The first salvo in the fight for change is term limits for ‘volunteers’ in administration! Then, 2016 can be better than 2015.It must be better for sports’ sake.
The Jamaica Scorpions made a disastrous start to their 2016 NAGICO Super50 campaign at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago yesterday. Hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force crushed the Scorpions by 84 runs in their Group B match. Scores: Red Force 221 all out off 47.2 overs; Scorpions 137 all out in 42.5 overs. The Scorpions’ innings was undermined by fast-medium bowler Marlon Richards, who bagged five for 36 in his allotted 10 overs. He got good support from left-arm bowler Yannick Ottley, who took two for 16 in 4.5 overs. Top batsman for Jamaica was Brandon King with 26. Earlier Evin Lewis slammed 74 with six fours and three mighty sixes to lift the Red Force to their match winning score. Other useful contributions came from Rayad Emrit (43) and Richards 31. Damion Jacobs (three for 40), Nikita Miller (two for 27) and Tamar Lambert (two for 34) were the leading bowlers for Jamaica. In St Kitts, the Windward Islands Volcanoes defeated Guyana Jaguars by one run under the Duckworth/Lewis Method in their rain-affected match. Scores: Volcanoes 214 all out off 50 overs (Devon Smith 91, Sunil Ambris 47, Liam Sebastian 27; Gudakesh Motie 3-32, Steven Jacobs 3-40). Jaguars 122 for four off 26 overs (Assad Fudadin 44 not out). In St Augustine, Trinidad, Barbados Pride defeated ICC Americas by four wickets. Scores: Americas 183 all out off 43.1 overs (Alex Amsterdam 73, Nitish Kumar 25; Sulieman Benn 4-40, Ashley Nurse 3-23). Pride 184 for six off 42.5 overs (Jonathan Carter 51 not out, Kevin Stoute 40, Justin Greaves 22 not out; Timil Patel 2-30, Timroy Allen 2-36).
Tomorrow’s game Points standing – 8:40 p.m.: Harbour View vs UWI FC – Harbour View Stadium. TODAY’S GAMES With the Red Stripe Premier League entering round three in the preliminary stage, another interesting set of games are scheduled. Among the upcoming fixtures will be a clash between fierce rivals Arnett Gardens and Tivoli Gardens today at the Anthony Spaulding Complex, starting at 6 p.m. Defending champions Arnett are on a high with an unbeaten run of seven games. The ‘Junglists’ have won six and drawn once in that run. They are currently in second position on 42 points, just one behind leaders Portmore United. On the other hand, Tivoli Gardens are in the relegation zone in 11th position on 19 points in the 12-team league. Despite the huge gap that Arnett hold over Tivoli, whenever the teams meet, a tough game is expected. Arnett must be very high on confidence following a gutsy 2-1 win against Portmore United last Monday night. However, Tivoli’s woes continued as they were edged 1-0 by UWI FC in their last fixture. IMPRESSIVE FORM While Arnett are highly favoured to win the game and continue their impressive form, Tivoli will be looking for points to move out of the drop zone. Arnett, under the guidance of coach Jerome ‘Jerry’ Waite, have scored a league-high 34 goals from 22 games and will be gunning to add to this at home. The diminutive striker Kemal ‘Tull’ Malcolm is the team’s leading marksman with 10 goals. He should receive good support from Newton Sterling, Vishinul Harris, Leon Strickland, captain Oneil’ Bigga’ Thompson, and Ranike Anderson – who moved from Tivoli to Arnett during the transfer window. Tivoli have certainly struggled this season with only five wins, four draws and 12 losses. With Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey back in charge after he resigned in 2014, his first order of business is to turn around the fortunes of the club he guided to championship honours in the past. Players such as AndrÈ Morgan, Junior Flemmings, Jermaine Johnson and Rohan Reid will have to step up in order to get a positive result. In other games, Boys’ Town should get the better of last-placed Rivoli United; Portmore United are expected to bounce back against Humble Lion; Waterhouse will have a tough encounter against Montego Bay United; and the Reno FC – Cavalier encounter could go either way. – 3 p.m.: Boys’ Town vs Rivoli United, Barbican Complex. – 3 p.m.: Reno vs Cavalier, Frome Complex. – 5 p.m.: Humble Lion vs Portmore United, Effortville Community Centre. – 6 p.m.: Waterhouse vs Montego Bay United, Waterhouse Stadium. – 6 p.m.: Arnett Gardens vs Tivoli Gardens, Anthony Spaulding Complex. P W D L GF GA GD Pts Portmore 22 13 4 5 27 17 10 43 Arnett 22 13 3 6 34 19 15 42 MoBay 22 11 8 3 34 13 21 41 H Lion 22 8 8 6 18 17 1 32 H View 22 7 9 6 23 22 1 30 UWI FC 22 8 6 8 24 29 -5 27 Cavalier 22 7 6 9 18 21 -3 27 B Town 22 7 6 9 23 30 -7 27 FC Reno 22 5 9 8 20 30 -10 24 W house 22 4 8 10 20 28 -8 20 Tivoli G 21 5 4 12 23 30 -7 19 Rivoli U 21 4 7 10 20 28 -8 19
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Jamaica’s junior Sunshine Girls produced a convincing performance to trounce hosts Barbados and clinch the Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Championship at the National Stadium here on Friday night. In the long-anticipated clash of the unbeaten teams, Jamaica started strongly and never relinquished the advantage, as they stormed to an emphatic 35-21 result. Their success was propelled by goal shoot Lori Daley, who scored 24 goals from 32 attempts, while Zandra Cohen provided support with 11 from 12 attempts. For Barbados, goal attack Brianna Holder scored 11 from 19 attempts, while the usually prolific Tower Lorde was a perfect eight from eight. Jamaica threatened to put the game out of sight from the first quarter when they stormed to an 11-2 lead at the first break. In the second quarter, they outscored their opponents 9-5 to lead 20-7 at the half-time whistle. Jamaica again dominated in the third quarter, thanks to Cohen, who netted seven from seven, while Daley sank four of her five attempts. They were virtually assured of victory, leading 31-12 at the start of the final quarter and even though they were outscored 9-5 by the Barbadians, the Caribbean powerhouses were never in any real danger of losing. Jamaica ended on 35 points, four clear of the second-placed Barbados, while Dominica were a distant third on 22 ahead of St Lucia, courtesy of goal average. Grenada and Bermuda were fifth and sixth, respectively, after finishing on 17 points each, with Trinidad and Tobago second from last on eight points. Antigua and Barbuda finished without a win or a point. Dominica’s third-place finish came after they came from behind and produced a thrilling final-quarter effort to edge Bermuda 21-20 in a close contest. They were down 3-6 after the first quarter, 10-11 at half-time and had fallen behind by five, 12-17, at the start of the final period. However, goalshooter Celena Langlaise came up huge when it mattered, sinking eight goals from nine attempts, as Dominica outscored the Bermudians 9-3 to snatch victory. Overall, Langlaise finished with 20 from 25 attempts, while for Bermuda, Donnauri Robinson shot 15 from 21. Meanwhile, Grenada trounced the hapless Antigua 47-8, behind Brianna Durant’s 21 from 26 attempts and fellow goal shoot Carlene Alexander’s 21 from 28 attempts. In the other game of the evening, St Lucia beat T&T 31-18. ASSURED VICTORY
With Back-to-School activities moving into high gear, Caymanas Park will stage the eighth running of the Seek Exercise Book Trophy race over 1300 metres for open allowance horses with a purse of $1 million.The race returns after a two-year absence, during which Book Empire Limited, manufacturer of Seek exercise books, turned their attention to rebranding and the promotion of its new composition mixed colour books.Significantly, 10 of the 11 races on the card will carry the names of Seek products, including the Seek Composition Colour Trophy over 1100 metres, Seek Double Line Trophy over a mile and Seek Scrapbook Plaque over 1000 metres straight.CTL’s racing secretary Denzil Miller Jr said he anticipates a highly competitive race among the eight horses declared for the Seek Exercise Book Trophy.”Right now the open allowance class is the most competitive at Caymanas Park, and with this race attracting seven of the starters in the August 1 Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission Trophy race run over 1200 metres on August 1, which resulted in a blanket finish involving five horses, it should go down to the wire,” predicted Miller.”Back in action from that race are the winner TRADITIONAL PRINCE; the runner-up FORTUNEONEHUNDRED; SCOOP JORDYNE, who was third, and EDISON, who finished a mere half a length away fourth,” added Miller, who also named this year’s 1000 Guineas winner PUDDY POOH, who has worked well, and PETE’SWILDONE as others who could enter the reckoning.”All in all it promises to be a well-supported raceday driven by the back-to-school theme, not to mention that Book Empire will be giving away 2,000 exercise books at the track, mostly to its many customers from the Portmore Communities,” he concluded.TRADITIONAL PRINCE, who shoulders topweight of 57.0kg, will again be ridden by Aaron Chatrie, FORTUNEONEHUNDRED by in-form Robert Halledeen, SCOOP JORDYNE by leading jockey Shane Ellis, EDISON by champion apprentice O’Brien White, PUDDY POOH by former champion Wesley Henry and PETE’SWILDONE by four-time champion Omar Walker.- O.C.
Jamaica will be aiming to retain their Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Under-20 title when they oppose hosts Haiti in the final today at the Sylvio Cator Stadium in Port-Au-Prince, starting at 6 p.m. The young Reggae Girlz advanced to the final following a 2-1 win against Puerto Rico in one semi-final on Wednesday night. Simone Wark sent the Jamaicans ahead in the third minute, and Deneisha Blackwood made it 2-0 in the 64th minute. Puerto Rico pulled a goal back when Alejandra Carrion scored in the 83rd minute. In the other semi-final, Haiti blanked Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) 2-0. With Wednesday’s wins, Jamaica and Haiti advanced to the CONCACAF stage of the World Cup qualifiers. Puerto Rico and T&T will battle for the final spot in the third-place play-off. The CONCACAF tournament will be staged in Honduras in December. Meanwhile, president of the Jamaica Football Federation Captain Horace Burrell has congratulated the young Reggae Girlz for qualifying once again for the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s tournament. “I am indeed extremely proud of our female footballers and wish them well in the final against Haiti,” Burrell stated in a media release.
SANTA, Jamaica’s premier and largest amateur golf charity tournament, will again be held at the Constant Spring Golf Club for two days during the Christmas season. The junior segment opens on Saturday and the adult tournament on Sunday.SANTA, which stands for ‘Seeing A Need, Taking Action’, has helped over 20 different charities since 2001 by contributing over $30 million in money, time, equipment and materials.Just last year, $2.2 million was raised for needy charities, and in the Christmas spirit of giving, the organisers aim to raise $3 million this year.Main beneficiaries for this year’s 15th anniversary will be the Wortley Home, Boys’ Town Infant & Primary School, Sickle Cell Foundation and Laws Street Trade Training Centre.On Saturday, the juniors section will cater to all skill levels and allow a maximum participation of 50 golfers up to 17 years old. In addition to playing 18 holes, there will be Red Tees category, as well as 100, 150 and 200-yard categories.Over the past year, Constant Spring Golf Club has been mentoring a group of youngsters through the CSJP (Citizens’ Security & Justice Programme). A select group of these youths will participate as a team on the junior day. It is expected to be a creative and fun day with lots of kid-based prizes such as small electronic devices (tablets, etc.) and gift certificates to the golf shop and several others of interest to juniors.Adult golfersOn Sunday, the adult section will open to all adult golfers with a Jamaica Golf Association registered handicap. Each adult player, up to a maximum of 144, will get to play a full round of 18 holes. In addition to the coveted Facey Cup, there are approximately 35 main prizes, including 55-inch LED televisions, as well as other electronics and gift baskets.For the first time last year, SANTA extended the event over two days. It was a winning strategy that attracted a record number of golfers.The event is presented for the third consecutive year by title sponsor the CB Facey Foundation, which is Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust’s charity arm. The Gleaner, Heineken, Jamaica National, Jamaica Broilers Group, ICWI, Proven, CSJP, Hot Off the Press, Whistling Frog, BCIC, and JMMB return as sponsors, while RJR, JNBS, Supreme Ventures, Couples, Mary Brown’s Corner Texaco, Pepsi, Guardsman, Microlabs Ltd, Scientific and Medical Supplies, among others, have added their support to SANTA.A number of national players are expected to participate, including Sean Morris, Radcliff Knibbs and Peter Chin, president of JGA.Registration is now open at Yes Golf Shop (924-5170) at Constant Spring Golf Club. Entry, inclusive of entertainment and food, is $12,000 for adults and $4,000-$7,000 for juniors.
Oral Tracey is a man of my own order, or almost, or, at least, when he writes in The Gleaner on Tuesdays. I only wish there were more like him, or rather, there were more people who would speak out as he quite often does. As I have been doing for years now, Tracey has been calling for a change in the attitude of the Jamaica Football Federation, or of its president, Horace Burrell, in travelling to England and elsewhere and turning over every stone in order to find a footballer who has a Jamaican connection and who he can convince to come and play for Jamaica. According to Tracey, Burrell is wasting his time, and, again, I congratulate him on saying that. According to Tracey, and me, who believes that he is also wasting the people’s money, Burrell would be better served if he concentrates on building Jamaica’s football and improving Jamaica’s footballers, especially the young footballers. Instead of flying all over the place to tell the foreign-based players about Jamaica, to encourage the foreign-based players to visit Jamaica for a while, a few days at a time, and to represent Jamaica, instead of bringing in these players, paying for their flight “home” and their hotel bills, Burrell could spend a little money, some of Jamaica’s money, on local football, on grounds, etcetera, etcetera. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will the quality of Jamaica’s football, if it is ever to be built at all. Jamaica made it to the World Cup in 1998, however, and Jamaica can make it back again. In around 1993, Burrell turned up at Jamaica House, at a meeting of the National Sports Council, and pleaded for help, for some money, to try and assist Jamaica’s efforts to reach the World Cup finals in 1998. He spoke about the basic skills of young Jamaicans, and about the young footballers’ dream. The meeting turned him down, and he left in disappointment. Prime Minister P. J. Patterson then spoke to the meeting about really considering Burrell’s request. He asked them if they would rob the poor young men of Jamaica of the chance of trying for the World Cup and of fulfilling their dreams. The meeting then voted for the government to assist. The government went beyond the call of duty, and the result is history. A group of Jamaicans, including young Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, plus a small set of English-based Jamaicans, Robbie Earle, Paul Hall, Deon Burton, and Fitzroy Sinclair, worked and trained under the guidance of coach RenÈ Simies of Brazil and assistant coach Carl Brown of Jamaica, went to the World Cup, and also beat Japan. That was 1998, and although it is no disgrace, Jamaica have not been back to the World Cup. They, however, recently went to Japan and were easily and comprehensively beaten. What has happened to the Burrell, who in 1993 or thereabouts spoke so emotionally about the young Jamaican footballers? Is this another Burrell? Jamaica’s football has been kept alive, mostly by Red Stripe. The parish leagues have been kept going, mostly by the Captain’s money, but local football itself has been nowhere since 1998. The “national” team, the squad, is made up of almost all foreigners, sometimes with a token local player or two, sometimes they play reasonably well, and sometimes, most times, they play badly. The “national” team, the playing eleven, sometimes has no born and bred Jamaican in it. It is sad to hear commentators, Jamaican commentators, saying that “number 20 plays a pass to number 22”, while describing play, or the newspapers writing that “the Jamaica players arrived yesterday for the home match against El Salvador at the National Stadium”. Team strikes Government assistance And it is worse to hear that the “team was on strike yesterday over money”, the day before a match. And it is worse, remembering that none of these boys play for Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, or Liverpool, and that none of them is Raheem Sterling or Daniel Sturridge. Although Wes Morgan is from Leicester, most of them are from small clubs playing in the lower leagues and would never ever be called to play for England. If, by some miracle, that happens, Burrell would spend his time on his knees pleading in vain for them to come “home” and play. Jamaica is a small country, and we should give opportunities to those who travel while seeking a better life. But their presence on the national team should be limited in numbers, and it should be limited to those who want to play, those who seek to play, and those who are good enough to play. If we follow Tracey’s plea, Jamaica may not make it in 2018, and Jamaica may not even make it 2022 or in 2026. The only hope for Jamaica, however, to make it after that is to offer opportunities to our young, talented local footballers, get them together regularly, play them in the Premier League, and let them express themselves on the way to fulfilling their dreams. On top of it all, Jamaica cannot afford to bring “home” strangers to play “home” matches at the National Stadium, to be in the bargaining room arguing over money when the players should be preparing to play, especially when they are average players treated with kid gloves and are lucky that there is a place like Jamaica, with a body like the JFF, and a president like Burrell.
Balloting for ‘Horse of the Year’ and other awards not based on statistics by a 17-member panel comprising members of the press and Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) officials, is under way and early indications are that the 2015 derby and Diamond Mile winner SEEKING MY DREAM will be crowned ‘Horse of the Year’ by unanimous acclaim. Voting will conclude tomorrow inside the CTL Racing Office at Caymanas Park.Trained by 15-time champion Wayne DaCosta for Member of Parliament Derrick Smith, SEEKING MY DREAM enjoyed a record-breaking season. He won the two richest races on the calendar – the Cal’s Jamaica Derby in June with a purse of $7 million and the inaugural running of the Supreme Ventures Diamond Mile on December 5 which offered a record purse of $13.5 million, both with the season’s leading money-winning rider Omar Walker aboard.Having finished second in the 2000 Guineas, St Leger and CTL Invitational Mile on November 14, SEEKING MY DREAM pushed his 2015 earnings to a record $14.2 million, well clear of stable-companion PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in second with $5.1 million and Superstakes winner FRANFIELD in third with $4.9 million.Bred by Sherman Clachar and Norman Gordon, the chestnut colt by Seeking The Glory out of the 2008 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year Alsafra was never worse than second in 10 starts last year – winning five races and finishing second in five as well.SEEKING MY DREAM should also be named champion three-year-old, champion middle-distance performer and champion native-bred horse.hoping for top awardsAs far as DaCosta is concerned, his horses should sweep the top awards. Speaking at Caymanas Park on New Year’s Day, the trainer said:”Seeking My Dream is unchallenged for Horse of the Year, having won the two biggest races on the calendar last year, while Perfect Neighbour who captured important races such as the Gold Cup and Harry Jackson Memorial Cup looks a cinch for first runner up, champion stayer and champion four-year-old and up”, he predicted.”The second runner-up award could be close between my horse Poker Star and the consistent grade-one campaigner Uppa Tune, but Poker Star is a safe bet for champion sprinter and Future King the obvious choice for champion two-year-old,, argued DaCosta.The Horse of the Year Committee will also choose the most improved trainer from a list of four nominees – Harry Parsard (30 wins), Donovan Plummer (19 wins), Marlon Anderson and Neive Graham with 17 wins each as well as most improved jockey from a list comprising Robert Halledeen (72 wins), Paul Francis (52), Shamaree Muir (43), Aaron Chatrie (38) and Jevanne Erwin (36).
Long-serving Boys’ Town FC head coach Andrew Price is supremely confident that his team will start winning soon, after a slow start to the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season.Boys’ Town are yet to put a point on the board after three games in the RSPL 2016-17 season. They had losses against Humble Lion (2-0), Harbour View (2-1), and reigning champions Montego Bay United FC (2-1).The Collie Smith Drive-based club is currently in 11th position in the 12-team league, just ahead of Waterhouse, who are also without a point.Come Sunday, the Red Brigade, as Boys’ Town are popularly known, will host last season’s beaten finalists Portmore United FC at Barbican Complex, starting at 3:30 p.m.”Well, we are actually working hard in training to get it right. We are finding our footing and looking for a positive result against Portmore in the next game,” Price said during the RSPL weekly press conference at Red Stripe yesterday.”The season is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. We are not worried at this time as we have 30 more games to play in the preliminary stage,” the veteran coach reasoned.”We will get it right as the youngsters are getting the nuances of playing in the league,” Price confidently said.”The wins will come, so we just have to be patient. We are here for the long haul. We need the senior players to continue guiding the young players. It is a work in progress, so we will continue to work in order to get it right,’ the former Boys’ Town and St George’s College defender said.