Flow Champions Cup final heads west
MoBay United-Reno clash set for November 23
Leighton Levy, Sunday Gleaner Writer
With two teams from western Jamaica in the final, the championship decider of the 2014 Flow Champions Cup (FCC) will now be staged at Catherine Hall Sports Complex on November 23.
Montego Bay United and Reno, from Montego Bay and Westmoreland, respectively, qualified for the finals and a shot at J$1.5 million, after pulling off penalty-kick wins over Portmore United FC and Harbour View FC, respectively.
Reno, playing with nine men for the entire extra-time, held Harbour View to a 1-1 stalemate before ousting the former Premier League champions 9-8 on penalty kicks.
Montego Bay United and Portmore battled to a goalless draw before prevailing 6-5 on penalties.
The final was set to be played at Harbour View Mini-Stadium on November 16, but the decision was arrived at on Friday to shift the finals.
"We want to get the football fans in western Jamaica behind their teams. After all, a final with Montego Bay and Reno promises to be a great western derby," said Naomi Francis, Flow's corporate communications manager.
Francis revealed that a lot had gone into planning for a Kingston-based final, but those plans began to change following the semi-finals when it became clear that an all-western final was a distinct possibility.
"We do a lot of pre-planning, and so early in the FCC season our team and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) looked at the quality fields in Kingston for the finals. We considered night lights and where a full television broadcast could take place at the venue, especially since we will broadcast live in high-definition to five Caribbean countries," Francis said.
The finals will be aired on Flow Channel 100 here in Jamaica and on the Flow CC6 network in Grenada, Trinidad, Barbados, St Vincent, and St Lucia.
Francis said it was prudent to have the final moved to accommodate the teams and their fans.
"After the semi-finals, both western teams emerged, and we changed plans to ensure that the fans and teams are central. It would take too much for the teams and their fans to drive all the way from the west, so our team, including our sponsorship manager, Nicole Campbell, met with the JFF and they agreed that the final would be staged in the west," Francis said.
Meantime, Reno will receive the $50,000 that will go to a charity of its choice under the Flow Goals for Charity programme, under which the money goes to the team that scores the most goals. Reno scored the most goals in the semi-final round of the competition.