Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Organisers find positives in Ali Cup cancellation

Published:Monday | May 11, 2020 | 12:18 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Excelsior High School footballers hoist the Ali Cup  to celebrate winning the tournament at the Courtney Walsh Oval on Saturday, July 20, 2019.
Excelsior High School footballers hoist the Ali Cup to celebrate winning the tournament at the Courtney Walsh Oval on Saturday, July 20, 2019.

ORGANISERS OF the Ali Cup, a preseason high-school football competition hosted by Excelsior High, say despite this year’s cancellation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain positive that some good can come out of the situation.

The committee said in a press release that it was saddened that the pandemic has forced it to suspend plans to develop the school’s facility by adding a second regulation-size field to the campus.

Preliminary work had already begun, with measurement being taken, while the laying of the field had been an ongoing project over the last two years.

The plan this year was to increase the number of participants from 10 to 12 teams, and have two exhibition over-40 games.

However, the organisers say they have had to fund the tournament out of their own pockets and they believe the delay of the event, which was scheduled for July 10-11, is an opportunity for them to generate some much-needed sponsorship.

“There is a silver lining in the wake of the postponement,” the statement said. “It will hopefully give some breathing room to continue to try to secure more corporate sponsorship, the dearth of which has been one of the few bugbears of the three-year-old tournament.”

Proceeds from the event had been earmarked to help fund equipment to assist other underserved schools’ football teams.

The committee says it hopes to stage an even bigger and better tournament, which has become an integral addition to Jamaica’s high-school sporting calendar, next year.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com