KC cry foul! - Myrie upset his team has to play at Calabar, ISSA official responds
With Kingston College principal Dave Myrie taking issue with his team having to play their ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup quarter-finals match against Charlie Smith at the home of sporting rivals Calabar, one ISSA official, who requested anonymity, stated that the venue was determined to be the most convenient after much consideration.
After the fixtures for the quarter-finals were released this week, it was revealed that Kingston College would play two of their matches at Calabar High School, which is, of course, a major rival of KC's, particularly in athletics.
Despite Calabar's absence from the quarterfinals, the scheduling caused an uproar at the North Street-based institution, with Myrie protesting, through a letter written to ISSA, that they are being made to play in what he described as hostile territory.
Myrie also pointed out that KC are being put at a further disadvantage when as the number two seed, they are schedule to play at 1 p.m. today, in much hotter conditions, while fifth seed, St George's College, will play at 3 p.m.
In the letter, Myrie expressed deep disagreement with Kingston College playing their "critical and crucial" (quarterfinal) round games at Calabar.
"The field of our arch rival in every competition. It is no secret that in the very recent past, Calabar has teamed up with other schools to cheer against Kingston College in a number of competitions. As such, Kingston College will not be going to a neutral environment. Instead, my boys will be going into a very hostile environment to play two very critical games," Myrie wrote.
"I am also most definitely concerned about the safety of my boys in that environment. There is no way that Kingston College can be expected to play any of our matches at Calabar," he continued. "Kingston College is ranked number two, yet we have been given two one o'clock matches when St Georges College, who is in our zone and, ranked number 5, has been given three three o'clock matches."
"We respectfully ask that the above be changed and a more suitable venue be identified (such as Stadium/Stadium East/Sabina Park) for these critical matches to be played," Myrie added.
However, one ISSA official, who asked not to be named, insists that Calabar was the easiest choice for the organisers.
The official, who noted that in the past, Sabina Park, Stadium East, Prison Oval, and Constant Spring were the venues used at this stage, pointed out that although Constant Spring was available, he said, logistically, it was not feasible to play there, given the poor quality of the playing surface and its poor irrigation. Of note, Stadium East was used by KC has their home ground in the first round of the competition and would not meet the neutrality requirements.
The source also explained that Prison Oval was also unsuitable due to the distance.
"What compounded matters is that you don't have any St Catherine teams left in the competition, so Prison Oval wasn't considered a first choice. We prefer to keep the games in Kingston. So when you look around, the Calabar option was the easiest," the official stated.