BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Police officers in Barbados are threatening to withdraw their services for Wednesday's first official Cricket World Cup (CWC) match at Kensington Oval over a major contractual dispute, The Sunday Sun reported.
At the same time, the Police Association is taking CWC officials to court over the controversial searching of officers at a March 5 warm-up match at the 3Ws Oval.
The threat by the officers not to provide security for the match this week follows a directive from the association to its members not to sign an accreditation contract from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and CWC.
The association, which represents more than 1,200 members of the 1,500-strong Royal Barbados Police Force, contends that a clause which absolves the ICC and CWC of responsibility for any injury or loss to a police officer at CWC events was in conflict with a police agreement sent to the organisers.
The offending ICC/CWC accre-ditation clause reads: "I understand that my entry to the ICC/CWC 2007 venues is at my own risk, and that neither the tournament organisers nor Rushmans (accreditation body) shall be liable for any personal injury or accident or loss, theft or damage to property."
Not so, says LOC chief
World Cup Barbados CEO Stephen Alleyne clarified that it was the Local Organising Committee (LOC), not the International Cricket Council nor CWC, which was responsible for the safety of security forces for the CWC.
He said the contract, which the police force will have with the LOC, includes provisions for the safety of officers.
"The police have a relatively standard contract and in that contract there is a clear requirement that there be adequate protection for police officers in terms of injury or any attacks," Alleyne said.
"I can confirm for you with absolute certainty that it contains a clause that is acceptable to the Royal Barbados Police Force," he said.