Reports in the media indicated that a probe has been launched into two second round Group J Manning Cup football matches after 28 goals were scored and there appears to be allegations of improper conduct.
In a recent letter to Education Minister Ronald Thwaites the Inter-Secondary Sports Association (ISSA) disclosed that it, too, has concerns about the recent incidents.
The Ministry of Education condemns match fixing and the trading of footballers and other athletes at any level of the game. This practice must be stopped forthwith. The purpose of school is to offer a good academic education and to strengthen values and attitudes which make for a good people and a great nation. Sports and extra-curricular activities play an important part in this process, but winning at all costs is contrary to everything our society holds dear.
While the Ministry of Education welcomes financial contribution from Corporate Jamaica towards the development of sports in schools, we advise sponsors to be careful their gestures do not have the effect of professionalising the performance of amateur athletes.
Since 2013 the Ministry has been meeting with representatives of the Inter-Secondary Sports Association (ISSA) in order to agree on a policy that protects students, schools and other stakeholders as well as promote a healthy school environment. We have discussed best practices, past experiences and the Ministry’s views on the role of sports in education.
The Ministry and ISSA will meet shortly to address the recent incidents and settle on a sports policy governing the transfer of students.