Fri | Dec 1, 2023

ISSA penalty could push William Knibb out of d’Cup

Coach questions fairness of ineligible player claim in the face of video evidence

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2023 | 12:10 AMAshley Anguin/Gleaner Writer
Dwight Jeremiah
Dwight Jeremiah
William Knibb’s Amari-Christopher Reid (right) tussles with Ocho Rios’ Joaquin Corothers during an ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup game at the William Knibb Sports Complex on September 20.
William Knibb’s Amari-Christopher Reid (right) tussles with Ocho Rios’ Joaquin Corothers during an ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup game at the William Knibb Sports Complex on September 20.

WILLIAM KNIBB High School’s chances to advance to the second round in this season’s ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup competition took a nosedive when the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association docked them three points for using an ineligible player in a match against Cedric Titus.

The allegations were that the player from William Knibb played against Cedric Titus after accumulating three yellow cards and should have been suspended for the encounter.

However, William Knibb are contending that the player had only been handed two yellow cards and duly appealed the decision.

The appeal was lost, meaning William Knibb have dropped from second place in Zone C to fifth on nine points.

With one game to play before Zone C splits into two, with teams ranked first to fourth in one and fifth to eighth in another, William Knibb are in real trouble.

Only the teams that make the group ranked first to fourth have a chance to qualify for the daCosta Cup second round.

Ahead of them, also with one game to go, are York Castle on 11 points, Ocho Rios on 13, Brown’s Town on 14, and Cedric Titus lead the group on 16 points.

According to William Knibb coach, Dwight Jeremiah, the ruling was an injustice to his team.


“After receiving a letter from ISSA, I sent them a video that captured the incident in question and highlighted that these were the players. I understand their response that the video wasn’t clear enough and a bit distant. I subsequently bought a video app online, where it magnifies without blurring the numbers where you can’t see it, so I sent them that. The video showed the player who received the card was not the ineligible player the referee recorded who received the card, but another player,” Jeremiah explained.

“They insisted that they don’t change the referee’s decision and that the referee would have to change that. I think that card should have been thrown out. I am showing you video evidence of it, not an explanation and you are telling me it still rests with the referee to change his match card, his reporting on the match card to get my three points and to be given back my three points? I don’t know about fairness because who is it fair to?” he said angrily.

Keith Wellington, president of ISSA, said the referee’s decision is final.

“A referee made a decision and he is appealing the decision of the referee, and as far as I know, in football you don’t appeal a referee’s decision. I am not sure what to comment about. Even if there is a video assistant referee, the case of Liverpool Tottenham on Saturday, the referee’s association came out and said it was an error, you don’t reverse the decision after the game is restarted. In this case, the referee’s report is that a card was given to one of the young men, he is claiming that the card was not given to the young man. Now, ISSA can’t go ahead and second-guess the referee, especially if we have asked the referee to confirm if what he says is what he meant to say,” Wellington explained.

“We can’t go ahead now and overrule the referee. For us, it is a simple matter of sticking to the rule, where the referee’s decision is final. Even if video evidence is given, that is a part of how football is run. If you allow video evidence in one scenario, and don’t allow video evidence in another because you don’t have it, there will be no equity,” Wellington added.

William Knibb is scheduled to play an away game against York Castle today.