Tue | May 30, 2023

Disappointing end to Mona season

Title hopes dashed after ISSA rules to boot them from Walker Cup final

Published:Wednesday | January 19, 2022 | 12:12 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Craig Butler (right) coach of Mona High, gives pep talk at half time during a manning Cup football match against Papine High at Jamaica College recently.
Craig Butler (right) coach of Mona High, gives pep talk at half time during a manning Cup football match against Papine High at Jamaica College recently.

Following the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association’s (ISSA) decision to disqualify Mona High School from the Walker Cup final, for using two ineligible players in the semi-finals, President Keith Wellington insists the rules are clear.

Mona defeated Kingston Technical High School 5-0 in the semi-finals but lost their place in the title decider after two of Mona players, Carlton Brown and Ronaldo Jones, saw red in a Manning Cup quarter-final match. The Manning Cup game was the last before the duo would feature in the Walker Cup semi-final, a game they should have been ineligible to play.

According to ISSA rules. “If a player receives a “red card” he automatically misses the next scheduled match in the competition in which he is eligible.”

However, Mona supporters have argued that the Manning and Walker cups are separate competitions and that FIFA rules normally allow a player that is red-carded in one national competition to participate in another competition without missing a game. But Wellington insists the ISSA rule is not ambiguous.

“I think the rule is very clear. It is very straightforward,” he insisted.

“Both competitions are run by ISSA, so it is very clear,” he stated.

In 2015, Hydel had a similar situation when a player, Howard Morris, was red-carded in a Champions Cup game and played the next match, a Manning Cup quarter-final.

Hydel lost the points for that game and a place in the Manning Cup semis to Denham Town High.


ISSA’s then competitions director, George Forbes, explained that the Super Cup was an ISSA competition, governed by the same rules as all other senior local schoolboy competitions and that Morris should have missed a game in the Manning Cup.

He also explained that the Super (now Champions) Cup is a continuation of the Manning and daCosta cups and that all the rules in the Manning and daCosta cups would apply to that competition as well.

Wellington insists that although the situations are similar, they are also quite different because at that time the Super Cup was being organised by FLOW, which is not the case with the Walker Cup.

“The Hydel situation was not similar because that had to do with the player playing in the Champions Cup. It had nothing to do with playing in the Walker Cup and the argument then was that it (Champions Cup) wasn’t run by ISSA. But in this case, both competitions are run by ISSA so it is very clear and very straightforward,” he commented.

When contacted, Mona coach Craig Butler said he had no comment while school principal Keven Jones was said to be in a meeting with the Ministry of Education.

However, in a Facebook post, Butler pointed to his inexperience in coaching at that level, but that a response regarding the issue was likely to create shock.

“There are several people asking me for a response given the recent press release from ISSA stating that Mona High School was removed from the Walker Cup final for the use of ineligible players. So we are clear. I have never coached in this Manning Cup or Walker Cup. My experience in coaching has been in the United States, Phoenix in Jamaica, Genk in Belgium, Ajax (Netherlands), Trencin (Slovakia) and briefly the Jamaica Premier League (Humble Lion). My answer will shock you,” he commented.

Earlier in the season, Butler was discovered to have used an ineligible but Mona did not lose points for the game because they lost that match to Kingston College.