Camperdown, Tivoli kicked out of Manning Cup

December 08, 2021

Camperdown High and Tivoli High have been kicked out of this year's Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) -Manning Cup football competition for breaching the competition's eligibility rules.

President of ISSA, Keith Wellington, said their eligibility rule is clear and that Camperdown and Tivoli breached this eligibility criteria. Following a virtual meeting yesterday, both Camperdown, one of the teams of the tournament, and Tivoli, who were advancing to the second round for the first time in nearly a decade, were notified that they could no longer take part in the competition after both had used two ineligible players.

Camperdown coach, Donovan Lofters, noted that his player was a former student of Camperdown but spent a year in a football academy abroad before returning at the start of the school year.

Lofters said the assumption was that a player returning to his school, despite a year's absence, would not be subjected to this eligibility criteria.

"As far as we know the last school he attended was Camperdown because those academies are not schools," Lofters said.

However, Wellington pointed that the rule is clear and that there was even a pre-competition meeting, where that specific rule was discussed.

"August 31st of this year they were not students of the respective schools. If they registered after (September), they either had to be eligible for sixth form or sit out a year. They weren't eligible for sixth form so they had to sit out, which did not happen," he said.

"Even if he (Lofters) was not in the meeting, it (the meeting) was recorded and sent to all schools. I went back and listened to the tape just to make sure we did not misguide anybody on this specific scenario," Wellington stated.

Meanwhile, Tivoli's assistant coach, Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson, put the mishap down to the inexperience of himself and coach Christopher Nicholas, who are in their first coaching stint.

"It's disappointing that we didn't get it right at first. But it is inexperience as first-time coaches.

"We just have to learn from this and get it right next time," he said.

Both Camperdown and Tivoli qualified automatically for the quarter-final stage of the competition, finishing first and second, respectively, in Group B. They will be replaced by Excelsior High and St Andrew Technical.

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