Director of Sport slams ‘no-show’ referees

NSC/Magnum Futsal Tournament…

Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, on Monday took a strong stance against the refereeing body of Guyana, after officials failed to show at the National Sports Commission’s (NSC’s) Magnum Mash Cup on Saturday last. However, despite the hiccups, the show is expected to go on today.
“We await an official response from the Referees’ Association; we call on President Wayne Forde of the GFF and his executives to take the lead as it relates to this matter. Because, as you know, the referee officials are part of the GFF, and it appears that this component of (the) GFF has gone rogue. As stated earlier, we view the non-attendance of the referees at last Saturday’s games (as) callous, repugnant, distasteful, unprofessional and unbecoming of FIFA official referees.”
Those were the views expressed by Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, as he addressed an incident that occurred on Saturday last, which resulted in the organizers of the NSC Magnum Mash Cup having to act quickly to avoid cancelling games after the assigned referees failed to show at the National Gymnasium.
Aside from calling out the national refereeing body and the Guyana Football Federation, the Director of Sport cited why such occurrences are bad for the development of the sport.
“Every time these games are organized, whether it is football or any other sport discipline, there is always a call for corporate Guyana to lend support to these activities. When you have officials who ought to be present at these tournaments to provide the necessary refereeing and they don’t turn up, it says the opposite to corporate Guyana in terms of lending support; and more particularly too,” Jones said.
He went on to adumbrate the more negative effects of such occurrences, stating, “This essentially would cast a bad shadow and would come back to stereotyping certain sport disciplines and as to why certain corporate sponsors don’t readily come on board when it comes to particular sports.”
Meanwhile, Edison Jefford, Magnum Brand Manager, sought to quell the fears of supporters by disclosing that the organizers have put measures in place to ensure tomorrow’s round of 16 goes smoothly.
“This is a community- based tournament, and we want to make it very clear that we will allow no official to prevent these communities from taking what is rightfully theirs. So the show goes on; we have systems in place as it relates to referees. We’ve asked Mr. Griffith to take over this aspect of the refereeing along with Mr. Colin Aaron,” Jefford disclosed.
Fortunately, this hiccup has been the only one experienced thus far.
Jefford also went on to reveal some of the organizers’ plans for the final night of play, which is expected to be filled with pomp and splendor. Jefford noted that all official protocols will be observed, including the FIFA anthem, entourage and kickoff. The occasion is also expected to be graced with the presence of government personnel.
On the entertainment front, the tournament will see an increase in fan giveaways, while the organizers are looking to partner with Hits and Jams to facilitate the display of Guyana Carnival 2019 costumes.
In the opening clash of tonight’s action, Ansa McAl All Stars and Buxton Diamond square off, while Sophia will look to repel the challenge of the ever improving Broad Street unit.
Pre-tournament favourites Gold Is Money face Melanie, while Showstoppers tackle Tiger Bay. Defending champions Bent Street go up against Stabroek Ballers in the fourth fixture, while Sparta Boss will bring the curtains down with a clash against North East La Penitence. Other games on the card are Back Circle versus North Ruimveldt and Leopold Street vs. Future Stars.
The winner of the 2019 NSC Magnum Mash Cup will cart off $600,000, while second placer will have to settle for $300,000. Third and fourth placed teams will receive $200,000 and $100,000 respectively. (Jemima Holmes)