Organisers of this year’s National Sports Commission (NSC) / Magnum Mash Cup held a press briefing yesterday at the NSC Head Office to assure fans and teams that tonight’s Round of 16 action will take place as scheduled, at the National Gymnasium.
The briefing which was headlined by comments from Director of Sport (DoS), Christopher Jones, was summoned as a result of referees no show on the final night of the preliminary rounds that threatened to cancel the night’s proceedings.
However, quick response by the Organisers managed to avert the games cancellation and keep the tournament right on schedule with the knockout phase commencing with eight games this evening.
Defending champion Bent Street will go up against Stabroek Ballers in the fourth fixture, while Sparta Boss brings the curtains down with the final clash against North East La Penitence.
Pre-tournament favourites, Gold Is Money face Melanie, while Showstoppers tackle Tiger Bay.
In the opening clash, Ansa McAl All-Stars and Buxton Diamond square off, while Sophia will look to repel the challenge of the ever improving Broad Street unit.
Other games on the card are Back Circle versus North Ruimveldt and Leopold Street vs. Future Stars.
Meanwhile, at the briefing, Jones made a scathing attack on the referees, describing their actions as, “Callous, distasteful and repugnant”, adding that their behaviour has been placed on record.
“The non participation of the referees last Saturday night has been noted and I am awaiting an official response from the referees’ council as to why they were a no show on Saturday,” Jones told the media.
The Director of Sport said their stance gives a wrong perception of the sport, noting that such behaviour could very well have a bad effect on the support the sport receives from the corporate community.
Sounding extremely perturbed by the referees’ actions, Jones asked whether they should now be perceived as a rogue organisation which will need to be reined in by the sport’s local governing body.
He, however, acknowledged the support and good behaviour of the fans and urged that that trend continue until the tournament concludes.
Bent Street representative Troy Lambert in his remarks said they are now into the do or die phase of the competition, informing that his team thrives at this juncture so fans could expect a much more improved effort from them going forward.
He forecasted that come March 2 when the final is staged his team will be there to defend their title.
Coordinator, Esan Griffith, in his summary spoke of how well the tournament has been executed to date and urged fans to continue to come out in support of the event.
Magnum Brand Manager, Edison Jefford, speaking at the occasion echoed similar sentiments and promised the fans more giveaways for the remainder of the tournament.
He also disclosed that the tournament will be graced by the presence of several government officials including Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who is expected to make an appearance at the finals.
Promotional group, Hits and Jams, will have their Carnival costumes and models on display at the finals, while security remains intact, according to Jefford.
Up for grabs is $600,000 for the winning team, while second, third and fourth place finishers will receive $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 respectively.
Among the other sponsors on board are: Trophy Stall, Insurance Brokers Guyana Inc. and Nigel Hinds.
The competition resumes on Thursday with quarter-final action.
Round of 16 fixtures-
1.Ansa McAl vs Buxton [email protected]:00hrs
2.Showstoppers vs Tiger Bay
3.Sophia vs Broad Street
4.Gold is Money vs Melanie
5.Bent Street vs Stabroek Ballers
6.Back Circle vs North Ruimveldt
7.Leopold Street vs Future Stars
8.Sparta Boss vs North East La Penitence
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