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ISSA-FLOW football split? - Wellington denies issues ahead of new season

Published:Tuesday | July 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/ Gleaner Writer
St Elizabeth's Clifton Woodbine (right) challenges for the ball with Kingston College's Omar Thompson during the ISSA/FLOW Super Cup final at Sabina Park last season.

Vice president of the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA), Keith Wellington, insists there is no stand-off between his organisation and sponsors FLOW ahead of the new high-school football season.

This comes as news emerged that the telecommunication and entertainment company has decided to end its association with local schoolboy football, after a disagreement with ISSA, the organisers of local high school sporting competitions, including the Manning Cup and daCosta Cup.

Based on information reaching The Gleaner, the discord stems from FLOW's efforts to adjust the structure of the traditional Walker Cup and Ben Francis knockout tournaments, as well as the FLOW Super Cup, which started under their sponsorship in 2013.

FLOW has reportedly been pushing for only group winners to contest the FLOW Super Cup tournament, while proposing that second-placed teams compete in the Walker Cup and Ben Francis Cup competitions. However, according to our sources, ISSA and a number of schools have strongly rejected this move.

This has reportedly not gone down well with FLOW, and insiders have stated that FLOW will not return as sponsors of the competitions next season, despite several statements from head of marketing, Carlo Redwood at the back end of last season, that they will be looking to renew their contract and continue as title sponsors.

Wellington, while not confirming that FLOW will return as title sponsors, insisted there is no issue between both bodies, noting that the organisers are looking forward to an even better competition this season.


Sponsorship arranged


"All I can tell you is that schoolboy football will be played this season and we have our sponsorship arrangement in place. Is there anything causing unease or tension or uncertainty? No," Wellington told The Gleaner yesterday.

"It is believed that another company has already stepped in and will shortly be announced as the new sponsors of local high school football.

"I am not be able to answer your question, but schoolboy football will be played and we have our sponsorship arrangement in place and we have no issue with FLOW," he reiterated, when asked specifically about FLOW's involvement in the coming season. The ISSA VP was also tight-lipped about any possible changes to the competitions this year.

"In terms of anything new, that information we would not want to share at this time. Anything outside of that, you would have to wait on that additional information," said Wellington. "But there is no unease as it relates to the competitions. The competitions will be played and will be as good or even better than it has been in the past years, so we have no issue with FLOW and FLOW has no issue with us," Wellington stated.

When contacted, FLOW's Public Relations Officer Danielle Savory, said: "We are not able to provide a comment at this time."