ISSA suspends referees after major error in Walker Cup final Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The four-man officiating team that oversaw the Walker Cup final between Jamaica College (JC) and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) on December 8 at the National Stadium has been removed from “active duty” by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA).

The governing body for sports in schools in the country admitted that a major refereeing error occurred during the penalty shootout.

That error apparently cost STATHS the match.

ISSA has admitted that the decision by match official Tyrone Robinson to order a retake of a spot kick during the penalty shootout was a mistake.

In the end, the Old Hope Road-based JC won the game 7-6 in sudden death penalties after the teams had earlier played to a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation. The win secured JC’s fourth hold on the Walker Cup while denying the Bumper Hall-based STATHS their first win.

Having missed one penalty each, JC and STATHS were locked at 6-6 when JC’s Zinodean McLean had his kick saved by STATHS’ custodian Jaheem Williams. However, McLean indicated that the ball had moved just before he kicked it and the fourth official, Kesla Anderson alerted referee Robinson who allowed McLean to retake the penalty which he scored. The kick was awarded despite objections from the STATHS bench.

Following the match, STATHS lodged an official protest.

Despite ISSA’s acknowledgment of the error, it has told STATHS principal Dr Worrell Hibbert in a letter from its president, Keith Wellington, that there is no recourse; the results stand. This is because neither the laws of the game nor its competition rules allow for a reversal of the referees’ decision.

The letter acknowledged the error by the officiating team and said the four – Robinson, the man in the middle, assistant referees Ricton Archer and Ricardo McKenzie, and fourth man Anderson were removed from active duty following discussions with the Jamaica Football Referees Association which concluded that the match officials had erred.

The four will have to undergo a mandatory remedial programme of training.

“We are mindful of the impact this may have on the team’s morale, and we are open to assist in any way to ensure that they are able to rebound from this situation,” ISSA said.