Mar 24, 2013 Sports
– top two to compete in national playoffs
Defending champions Amelia’s Ward TLC Russians will have more than one year’s bragging rights and the $600,000 top prize to play for, when action in the third annual Banks DIH sponsored Linden ‘Guinness Greatest of the Streets’ Futsal competition kicks off today from 18:00hrs, at the Wisroc/Amelia’s Ward Bus Park.
Banks DIH’s Guinness Brand Manager Lee Baptiste and Communications Officer Troy Peters, who addressed those gathered for the tournament’s launching at the Egbert Benjamin Hall last Friday, informed that the top two finishers in the competition will have the opportunity to compete in the national playoffs.
“First of all, I wish to say thanks to the Linden community for inviting us back to their community to carry out this tournament once again, which is one of five tournaments being held this year, from which the top two finishers will be competing in the national playoffs, from which the winner will go onto represent Guyana in the second edition of the Caribbean Greatest of the Streets tournament,” stated Baptiste.
According to Baptiste, the Caribbean championships which was first held in Guyana last year and saw Team Back Circle of Guyana losing out in the finals, will be hosted by St. Vincent and the Grenadines in late June this year, hence Guyana’s national playoffs will be held earlier in the month.
However, while highlighting some of the factors in this year’s tournament, one of five which is being sponsored by the beverage giants under the Guinness brand, he reminded the teams and organizers, that discipline should be employed at all times throughout the tournament.
“In everything we do, there are rules and discipline and we have to set the example as players, sponsors and even referees and with all things being equal, it spreads to the spectators,” said Baptiste, whose audience included tournament co-ordinator Caeron Sealey, Banks DIH Linden Branch Manager Shaundell Easton and Outdoor Events Manager Mortimer Stewart.
While in the past players were allowed to represent their respective teams on the night of the competition not properly attired, Baptiste stressed that the same would not be tolerated this time around.
“We are using a brand that is known across the world to promote this tournament. I am sure you the players won’t find it difficult to locate football trunks to play with and certainly it would not be good enough for us to have players compete in jeans, so I want you to bear that in mind, we will be very stringent when it comes to the players’ attire and punctuality.
The police have granted us the permission to host this tournament on the dates specified, up to midnight, so if you are early for your game, then we can complete the matches within the specified time, even if it rains.”
Sealey outlined the playing conditions for the tournament the rules and regulations for the tournament which has over G$1.150M up for grabs, with the second, third and fourth placed finishers taking home $300,000, $150,000 and $100,000 respectively.
“As you are aware, the best set of small goal footballers are from Linden and while we have missed out on representing Guyana in the Caribbean championships last year, be assured we will take this opportunity to stake a claim to represent Guyana in St. Vincent” he boasted.
Thirty-two (32) teams will be doing battle for supremacy out of eight groups in the preliminary round, three points being awarded for a win and one for a draw, the top two teams from each group will advance to the knock out phase of the tournament.
Preliminary round matches will be contested for a period of 20 minutes (2x10mins half) where the results remains the same at the end of regulation time, while matches in the knockout phase will be played for 30 minutes (2×15), with penalty kicks being used to declare a winner, if there is a stalemate at the end of regulation time.
Unlimited substitutions will be allowed during the tournament which will culminate on May 1st with the playing of exhibition matches, third and fourth place and the finals.
Lindeners will be treated to an exhibition game starting at 17:30hrs, featuring TLC Shippings Russians doing battle against an All-star team from Linden, before the competition gets underway with eight matches.
Tonight’s matches will see Pokerburg facing Cherokee Park, South Stars engaging Speightland United, Exodus clashing with Coomacka United and Top Class going head to head with Mini Bus Park before the Guinness break.
After the break, Team 25 and Barsenal will do battle and that will be followed by three other matches which will see Wisroc, Eagles and Street Vybz taking on Goal Getters, last year’s runner-up Hard Knocks and Star Boys respectively.
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