Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | October 13, 2009
Home : Sport
Bottle ban for Jarrett Park
Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

In the wake of a recent incident at Jarrett Park in which bottle-throwing fans thrice disrupted a daCosta Cup schoolboy football game between Cornwall College and St James High, the St James Parish Council has issued a ban on the sale of bottled drinks inside the venue.

In a release to the media yesterday, Montego Bay Mayor Charles Sinclair said that out of concern for the safety of players and fans, the council has issued a directive stating that with immediate effect, vendors will no longer be allowed to take glass-bottled items into the park.

"The throwing of bottles on the field of play during a game is something we cannot allow to continue," said Sinclair. "The safety of the patrons, officials and the teams must be considered at all times."

Safety regulations

In making reference to the fact that the safety regulations are in place but are not being adhered to, Sinclair said the time has come for the guidelines to be followed as, he does not want to see a recurrence of bottle-throwing incidents.

"Following a previous incident, the council issued directives about what items should not be allowed inside the park," the mayor said. "We have again communicated these directives to the management committee (Jarrett Park Management Committee) and we are expecting compliance."

Noting that organisations such as ISSA and their local representatives who use the Jarrett Park facilities are generally responsible for their own security at games, the mayor also made an appeal to them to join the effort to ensure that the park is made safe for those who use it.

Drastic measures

"If these organisations are not able to make the park a safe place for patrons, we will have no choice but to take other drastic measures," stated Sinclair. "A family should be able to attend an event at Jarrett Park without having to be worrying about their safety."

Looking at the history of recent violent incidents at Jarrett Park, the mayor spoke to a similar situation last year when supporters of St James High School were engaged in an ugly brawl, which resulted in ISSA taking disciplinary action against the school.

"Last year, we had a similar problem when the same institution (St James High School) was playing. Their supporters threw bottles on to the field even during the game," reiterated Sinclair. "This action cannot be supported because the safety of the patrons and team members must be considered as being extremely important."

Home | Lead Stories | News | Business | Sport | Commentary | Letters | Entertainment | The Shipping Industry | Lifestyle |