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