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National under-16 soccer championships hosts confident of uninterrupted event


There appears to be no reason for the host committee or fans to worry about any disruption of the 2014 Under 16 boys and girls youth club nationals are taking place in Mount Pearl and area next week.The City of Mount Pearl locked out its municipal workers earlier this week and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2099 which represents municipal workers, is in a legal strike position. However, CUPE national representative Ed O’Keefe told The Telegram recently the union has no immediate plans to strike.

The tournament, which runs Oct. 8 -13, will feature 22 teams and also see games played at Topsail Field, King George V Park and Feildian Grounds as well as the FieldTurf facility and grass field at Team Gushue Sports Complex.

“It’s too late in the day to worry about a possible strike,” said host committee chairman Damian Masterson who added, “There’s a contingency plan in place that would see games played in Paradise, Mundy Pond and Bowering Park, if necessary.”

In any case, the host committee intends to communicate with the union.

First, it has to get the contact information of the union president and then attempt to set up a meeting with him, perhaps as soon as today.

In any case, Masterson is optimistic the tournament will go ahead without a hitch.

“We understand the union doesn’t have any plans to picket youth sports tournaments,” he said.

So what happens if the workers decide to strike?  

“We have spoken to the city and they are co-operating with us to allow us to run the tournament,” said Masterson.

The host committee had a conference call with the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) Monday and “they’re happy with the way things are going,” said Masterson.

The general concensus is that things will be OK.

Angus Barrett, who is on the local organizing committee and chair of all-star committee on the Mount Pearl soccer executive, said he doesn’t believe there will be any problems, “but we definitely want to meet with the union to ensure that we maintain good working relations.”

In the meantime, Masterson said “We’ve tightened security a little bit because of the incident in Conception Bay South.”

He was referring to the recent incident at Topsail field were a youth soccer player was stabbed.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA) will be represented by the St. John’s Soccer Club in the male division, with St. John’s Soccer Club and Mount Pearl Soccer Association participating in the female division.

The club championships will be streamed live by Bell Aliant Community One.

jbrowne@thetelegram

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