After much speculation Football West proudly announced on Friday that Italy’s World Cup Winning Captain Fabio Cannavaro would be at the Donate Blood Cup final to present the trophy to the winners.
This meant that an array of stars were in town for the big game, former Scottish International Roy Aitken and former goalkeeper Tony Coton, as well as former England International Peter Barnes.
It promised to be a great afternoon for the fans, and close to 3000 turned up for the final or to see or meet one of the stars but mainly Fabio Cannavaro.
The trouble was the final between Perth and Sorrento saw two teams desperate not to concede a goal rather than intent on scoring and after a dour 90 minutes in which the main highlight was the lack of enthusiasm shown by officials to chase down an inebriated streaker, the score remained at 0-0.
Extra time would be required to settle the match and possibly penalties. Maybe Cannavaro saw the writing on the wall for his Italian compatriots, Perth, as he claimed he had a prior engagement and as a result the Al Alhi ambassador and fellow ex professionals left. Leaving Peter Barnes the only one to remain for the whole game.
Sorrento deservedly won the cup for the first time, totally dominating Perth in the extra half hour and showing superior desire and fitness.
Then came the moment many had been waiting for the presentation of the cup by the Former World Cup Captain. Regretably no announcement was made to explain why he was no longer as advertised presenting the winners the trophy. Mind you so bad was the PA system even if one had been made it is doubtful anyone would have heard it; Few being able to decipher much of what was being said post game.
So what had appeared to be a major coup for Football West ended up being more of a public relations embarrassment. Some face could have been saved had they asked ex Manchester City and England Legend to step in, but he sat there watching the presentation with the Sorrento faithful and applauded former adversary Paul Price’s team.
It was an unfortunate end to the day and many left feeling let down, which was a shame on what promised to be such a great day.