Portmore United FC are ready and willing to play the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) final against Montego Bay United (MBU)FC in St James on Sunday at 4 p.m. “We won’t mind taking the trophy if they (MBU) are not there; however, the fans will be cheated,” Andre Waugh, technical director of five-time national champions Portmore United told the RSPL weekly press conference at the Red Stripe Hospitality Lounge yesterday morning. MBU failed to send any representative as they continued their protest against the move by the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ) decision to stage the final at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, St James. Waugh said MBU’s absence from the press conference is an issue for that club. “We won’t be caught up. We will remain focused on the game,” he stated. Portmore have beaten MBU the three times that the teams have met in the RSPL preliminary stage this season, but Waugh is not taking his opponents lightly. “We have beaten them three times this season, but we won’t be complacent. We want to go all the way by adding the title to the regular season trophy we won for ending on most points.” The Portmore technical director added that he expects MBU to show for the final. “We expect MoBay to turn up, so we will go there to win,” he pointed out. BIG LOSS Portmore United will be without inspirational captain Omar Daley for Sunday’s game, and Waugh admitted that it is a big loss. “Omar Daley is out for the final because of an injury. His absence will be a big loss as he is a good leader, on and off the field,” the Portmore technical director said. He added that he had no problems with the decision to play the match in Montego Bay. “Once the decision was made, we worked with it and we have no problem with the venue and time of the game. We have no fear,” Waugh, who is also physical trainer for the Jamaica national senior team, said. Promoted Portmore United returned to the RSPL after being demoted two seasons ago. Last season, they captured the St Catherine FA Major League and knockout titles. They then won the South Central Confederation Super League and went into the Jamaica Football Federation premier league qualification play-offs and came out on top ahead of the University of the West Indies FC.
Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel suffered yet another foot-in-mouth moment on Sunday when he referred Silver and Bronze medallists P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, respectively, as “Gold medallist” despite the fact that he stayed at Rio with Indian players throughout the Olympics.”Today the Khel Ratna awardee, Dhyan Chand awardees, Dronacharya awardees, Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awardees met the Prime Minister. In that we also had two Rio ‘gold medallists’ P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik,” Goel told the media here.Khel Ratna awardees, Dhyan Chand awardees,Dronacharya awardees,Tenzing Norgay awardees also met PM today: Vijay Goel pic.twitter.com/PXyYHGZoNF ANI (@ANI_news) August 28, 2016″Today in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address Prime Minister has encouraged the players of RIO Olympics and other players. I think their dedication for their games deserves a national welcome. We will keep taking initiatives that will take sports forward. We will also prepare for the upcoming Olympics for 2020, 26, 28,” he added.PM MODI MEETS RIO MEDALLISTSMeanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sindhu and Malik at his residence.Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi in his Mann Ki Baat address said India’s daughters have made the nation proud at the just concluded summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”We won Rio Olympics medals. Our daughters proved themselves once again, that they are not less than anyone. Sports needs motivation and the public is the best entity to do it. Dipa Karmakar stood at 4th position…it was great. It is very good to know that our nation wants us to focus on extracurricular activities,” he added. (Also Read: Tendulkar presents BMW cars to athletes)advertisementHe said that the nation should be proud of the achievements of Karmakar, P. V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, but strive at the same to take this momentum of glory forward.He said that the aim of the task force would be to assess the performance of Indian sportspersons at the Rio Olympics as also to recommend overall strategy for sports facilities, training, selection procedure and other related matters. (He asked me Maarogi to Nahi: Sakshi on her meeting with PM Modi)As per media reports, the task force has been asked to submit its report to the Prime Minister’s Office by the end of September.