Roy McArthur, Interim Digicel Schools Football championships coordinator, said yesterday that he has not altered the tournament’s fixture to benefit defending champion Chase Academy, the school that his son Nicholas McArthur represents.
In an invited comment, McArthur, who also holds the portfolio of FIFA Accredited Referee Assessor said: “No I did not influence the fixture, the fixture was there from the beginning. At the launching [of the tournament], they were shown the three teams who would go straight to the quarterfinal round which were North Zone Champion [Chase Academy], South Zone Champion [Sir Leon Lessons] and Region #6 champion [Vryman’s Erven].”
A letter published in yesterday’s Stabroek News said that the coordinator of the tournament had switched the fixture resulting in Chase Academy being given a bye instead of Uitvlugt Secondary.
“In 2017, the Digicel School Football Tournament has a new coordinator whose son plays for Chase Academy. Our school, Uitvlugt Secondary was scheduled to have a bye after we won our region, while Chase was to play Waramadong School [DC Caesar Fox]. The new coordinator switched this around to give Chase the bye instead. Is this not conflict of interest and unfair treatment of Uitvlugt Secondary? This is tarnished Digicel’s reputation as a fair company.” However, McArthur rubbished the claim, stating: “The fixture was published in the newspapers. They [Uitvlugt} figured they should get a bye but the launch showed clearly they had to play Region #7 [DC Caesar Fox]. Everything was stated at the launch.” Asked why the three schools were given byes, McArthur said: “I think one was because it was the champion and think it was because of the amount of games played by the other two teams. I had nothing to do with that. I followed the fixtures from the beginning. I took over from July 2nd and since then, no changes have made. I followed the fixtures from beginning to end and all we did was stage doubleheaders on the match days.” The subsequent showdown between Uitvlugt and DC Caesar Fox ended 2-0 in favour of the latter.