By Amaechi Agbo
The fixtures for the FCT Principals Cup quarter finals have been released with interesting fixture.
According the fixtures released on Wednesday, the quarter final matches will take place between Monday and Tuesday November 27 and 28 while the semi-finals will hold on Wednesday, November 29.
The first quarter final match is between Government Secondary School, GSS Tunuwada and Government Secondary School, GSS Wuse by 1pm.
The second match of the day will see Fosla Academy of Karshi slug it out with Government Secondary School, GSS, Kuje by 3pm
On Tuesday, Government Secondary School, GSS, Kwali will contend with Government Secondary School, Gwagwa by 1pm. There match will be immediately followed by the encounter between Government Secondary school, GSS, Kabusha and Government Secondary School Mabushi by 3pm.
In making the draws Wednesday, the organiser issued orders to the participating schools and coaches that henceforth, the use of SS3 students will no longer be accepted. This, it was understood, was to ensure that the real under 17 students are captured in the tournament.
The organisers also informed the coaches and games masters that there will be index screening at the venue of the matches. The index screening, it was gathered was meant to check the body build of each player before that matches.
But this did not go down well with a member of the coaches who expressed doubt over the organisers method of screening describing it as counterproductive, insensitive and archaic.
The coach who spoke in confidence to our reporter, expressed his dissatisfaction with the arrangement stating that the method of screening adopted by the organisers were not transparent alleging that it was aimed at witch-hunting other teams at the expense of others. He appealed to the orgsnisers to be fair and transparent to all teams to ensure that the best will emerge to represent the FCT in the national level.
“I want to express my dissatisfaction in what transpired at the venue for the 2017 FCT Principals Cup quarter-final draws. First and foremost, the draws were okay and transparent but we were told that there is going to be another screening on Monday, November 27 when the quarter finals will be played. The screening, according to them, will be based on body index, the players will be lined up and they will screen them based on their body build. I think that by now we would have overgrown this type of screening especially in this age that we are.
“I want them not to be biased in the selection or screening so that everybody will be given equal treatment. They should be fair in it. That is my appeal to the organisers.
“Again, they said that SS3 students are not going to participate in the quarter finals. In some centres, in the preliminaries, SS 3 students were used but now the organisers have said no SS3 will be used any more. They should also consider this directive when they are doing the body index screen. They should check their forms again and screen out the SS3 students.
“There is improvement in this year’s organisation compared with that of last year. We want to see a better Principals Cup next year where they will faze out mercenaries, use of overaged players or students. The organisers said the students must be under 17 and bona fide members of the school he is playing for. However, some schools comply with this but others violate it. Some schools use or hire mercenaries or people that have even graduated from secondary school or people that are not in the school are registered as players.
“This year, it has been minimised and we pray it will continue like that,” the source stated.
It is gathered that the organisers also screened out some players during the draw held on Wednesday at the Secondary Education Board, Area 3, Garki. For Instance, GSS Tunuwada was reduced to 13 players, after 7 players were screened out. Fosla Acaedmy has its players screened down to 18; GSS Mabushi is left with 19 players. GSS Kabusha has 19 players. GSS Kuje has 20 players. GSS Kwali, 19 players. GSS Gwagwa has 19 players and GSS Wuse has 20 players. It is only GSS Tnunwada that is left with 13 players which is the least among the quarter finalists. What it means is that only the screened players left at the end of the draw will be registered for each school for the reminder of the championship.
It was also learned that it was only 3 Fosla Academy players that were screened out openly thereby creating doubts over the transparency of the exercise in the minds of the coaches.
An observation that the schools should exchange forms and clarify the forms to clear doubt that there are no more SS 3 students was turned down. Another suggestion raised that while coming to the venue of the match on Monday, each school should come with the students’ records so that they will also clear doubts that there are no mercenaries and that there are no SS 3 students was also rejected.
Fosla Academy represented the FCT in last year’s national Principals Cup but came second after losing the final on penalties.
The semi-final matches will be played on Wednesday November 29 while final will be played on Friday, December 1 by 3pm
FCT Principals Cup ¼ Final fixtures
SN FIXTURE Date & Time
1 GSS Tunduwada v GSS Wuse
Monday, Nov 27 1pm
2 Fosla Karshi v GSS Kuje
3 Nov 28 GSS Kwali v GSS Mabushi
Tuesday, Nov 28 1pm
4 GSS Kabusha v GSS Gwagwa.
Tuesday, Nov 28 3pm