LIME launches Super Cup
TELECOMMUNICATIONS company LIME yesterday launched the LIME Super Cup, a new competition that is expected to bring new innovation, energy and excitement to schoolboy football in October.
The company has invested over $2 million in prize money into the knockout tournament, dubbed the 'Champions League' of schoolboy football.
Carlo Redwood, vice-president of marketing at LIME, while addressing the launch at the Jamaica Pegasus yesterday, stated that the investment is their way of "giving back to the schools".
All qualifying teams will receive $25,000, and the quarter-final teams will receive $50,000, while the semi-final teams will collect $100,000.
The finalists will get $200,000, with the champions being awarded an extra $625,000 for a combined total of $1 million that will go towards school development programme. The LIME 'Golden Boot' will be the only individual award to be presented to the tournament's top goalscorer.
The competition is scheduled to commence on October 18 and will see the top eight teams from the Manning and daCosta Cup competitions battling for supremacy over four weeks.
The Manning Cup participants will comprise the seven first-round group winners and the best second-placed team, while the eight inter-zone winners of the daCosta Cup will book their places.
Wespow Park in St James, Juici Patties field in Clarendon, National Stadium and Sabina Park in Kingston will all be hosting double-headers on match days.
Redwood told the Jamaica Observer that he believes schoolboy football is too big a competition in Jamaica for it not to have a major knockout tournament which allows urban area schools to go up against their rural counterparts.
"Manning Cup teams think they are better than the rural teams and vice versa. We have to answer that question, so that at the end of it there will be no argument about who are the champions of Jamaica in terms of football," he said.
He further elaborated that the success of the inaugural LIME Street Football competition was a huge inspiration to this concept in settling the rivalry between rural and urban area schools.
"We always thought that there was that kind of rivalry going on, and street football was really the start of it. It was very successful and therefore we thought why not bring it to what is the biggest organised football competition... schoolboy football.
"We are going to integrate some of the elements from street football to generate the community interest. Because we want these communities to come on board and support this in a big way... wanting their rural teams to beat the Corporate Area teams in quality football, especially from the fields that we have chosen."
Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), gave the competition his full endorsement and commended the telecoms company on the initiative.
"I think the country is in for some great football at this level. I have always said that our youngsters can play, but because of a lack of proper playing surfaces they are always making aerial passes.
"Because of the opportunity now afforded to them to play on a much better playing surface we should see some great football, and I think the coaching staff at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels will be better able to select our national teams from the current group of players," said Burrell.