ISSA schoolboy football returns

Members of the Edwin Allen and Clarendon College DaCosta Cup teams
Members of the Edwin Allen and Clarendon College DaCosta Cup teams (Photo credit: Instagram (@schoolboyfootball))

The much-anticipated Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) Schoolboy Football competition returned on Friday 12 November. The Jamaican Government gave ISSA the go-ahead to resume the newest staging of the competition after a two-year halt.

“The Inter-secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) is pleased to announce that the Government of Jamaica has approved its application for the staging of schoolboy football this season. ISSA thanks the Government of Jamaica for the confidence and trust placed in our organization. We implore all participants and the public in general, to offer us its support through their commitment to abiding by all the established and agreed protocols which facilitated the approval,” ISSA expressed.

Inevitably, ISSA previously suspended the competition in 2019 because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, ISSA says it will ensure that proper protocols are institutionalized and followed accordingly.

Notably, there are some changes to the regular structure of the competition. According to ISSA, the competition will be divided into two segments stretching across both semesters. “For the first time in recent memory, the season will be divided into two segments with the preliminary rounds and quarter Finals slated to be completed before the Christmas break and the knockout stages when school resumes in January,” ISSA revealed.

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The competition expects that this season will see a truncated number of teams admitted into the league. There will be 53 teams competing in the DaCosta Cup and 37 teams battling for the Manning Cup title. Among the changes, too, are the utilization of geographical zoning as opposed to the traditional ones.

Home and away games will be no more; instead, games will play at selected venues. Also, spectators are not allowed into the venues; an effort to regulate and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

To kick things off, a doubleheader was televised live on SportsMax TV, which is also a main sponsor. The first match had DaCosta Cup defending champions Clarendon College dismissing Edwin Allen High 3-2 and Calabar High holding Jamaica College to a 0-0 stalemate.

In other untelevised matches, Camperdown thrashed Dunoon 5-0, Tivoli defeated Excelsior 2-1, Jonathan Grant turned back Jose Marti 2-0, and STATHS played St Jago High in a 2-2 draw.




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