DSO-MSSA tourney has school kids playing two matches a day
The haphazard functioning of the District Sports Office (DSO) in organising tournament seems to have rubbed off on the otherwise well-organised Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA).
Earlier this month, reigning U-16 MSSA champs Don Bosco (Matunga) were forced to play two matches — quarter-final and semi-final — of the DSO-MSSA U-17 football tourney on the same day at Azad Maidan. The Matunga side were on their way home after winning the quarter-final vs Cathedral & John Connon at 9am, when they were told to return to the same venue at 12:30pm to play the semi-final against Campion (Cooperage).
Campion also faced with a similar situation recently when they were forced to play a DSO-MSSA U-17 football tie at 10am vs St Paul’s (Dadar) at Azad Maidan followed by a quarter-final against St Joseph’s (Wadala) at 11:30am at the same venue.
The DSO-MSSA scheduling mess is not restricted to football alone. Earlier this week, Don Bosco played an U-17 DSO-MSSA hockey match at the Mumbai Hockey Association Ground (Churchgate) in the morning and were scheduled to play an MSSA U-16 Div I football match at Azad Maidan in the afternoon. Thankfully, MSSA accepted the school’s request to re-schedule the tie.
DSO, however see nothing wrong in the scheduling. “There was a gap of three to four hours between both matches, so it’s fine,” said DSO official Uday Pawar. Deputy director of Sports & Youth Affairs (Mumbai Division), NB Mote said: “There is no such rule in DSO that two matches can’t be held on the same day.”
MSSA president Fr Jude Rodrigues though, admitted the error. “There was a clash of tournaments recently, but now everything is rectified. I will ensure this does not happen again in future,” he said.