Glasgow’s Willie Fleming was the victim of an embarrassing error by the competition organisers. All four Glasgow players successfully qualified from their groups but as Tom Burns, Colin Day and Dave Gladman played their last 16 matches, Willie Fleming, who assumed he would be playing in the following set of matches, was asked to referee a match. After these games Fleming enquired of the organisers when he would play only to be told that another player, Darren Barnes and not Fleming, had qualified from the group. How in an otherwise well-organised tournament had this been allowed to happen? GTSA investigations suggest the following:
Below is a picture of Willie Fleming’s group match against Darren Barnes
Fleming led 2-0 at half time in this match. In the second half Barnes managed to come back to 2-2 only for Fleming to win 4-2 with two late goals. The Welsh referee reported the correct score verbally to the results collector, who must have put the result down the other way round. Darren Barnes was therefore put forward to the last 16. When the last 16 matches were due to be played, Barnes could not be found. He had left the building knowing that he had not qualified. Joe Mifsud whom Fleming should have been playing was given a bye to the quarter finals. Fleming was put into the Plate where he reached the semi final.
The Cardiff Grand Prix was a very well-attended tournament, played in a fine spirit with a good atmosphere generated. Welsh organisers had worked hard to ensure that this was the case. But clearly there was a communication problem which worked against our Glasgow player. Tournament organisers should review how they receive and record results information and also how they communicate games information to players and referees.