KSAFA VP backs clubs’ boy­cott

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS THE WEEKEND STAR - RACHID PARCH­MENT Sports News Co­or­di­na­tor

Kingston and St An­drew Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (KSAFA) vice-pres­i­dent Mark Ben­nett said that its clubs can re­main fi­nan­cially vi­able with­out be­ing in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).

Ben­nett’s com­ments re­gard the de­ci­sion taken by the clubs at a meet­ing held last week to boy­cott the new struc­ture of pro­mo­tion to the RSPL, to be im­ple­mented by the Ja­maica Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (JFF) for lower di­vi­sion clubs next sea­son.

The de­ci­sion was reached after a lengthy meet­ing be­tween KSAFA and its clubs set to con­test the up­com­ing Su­per League sea­son. The Su­per League is the di­vi­sion im­me­di­ately be­low the RSPL, mean­ing the win­ning teams would nor­mally go into an all-is­land play-off to gain pro­mo­tion to the na­tion’s top-flight league. How­ever, the new struc­ture would now see four teams from KSAFA, the St Cather­ine Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion and the St Thomas Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion play a minileague. From there, the top team would then ad­vance into the al­lis­land play-off for pro­mo­tion to the RSPL. “The clubs in KSAFA view the move by the direc­torate of JFF as not in keep­ing with their best in­ter­est at this time,” Ben­nett told STAR Sports. Ben­nett said that the clubs of KSAFA see youth de­vel­op­ment as their pri­mary fo­cus, and while the RSPL pro­vides the best show­case for tal­ents to be scouted by over­seas clubs, it is not the only op­tion for them.

RE-EVAL­U­ATE

He said that KSAFA has “con­sis­tently” sought to have dis­cus­sions with the JFF to re-eval­u­ate their de­ci­sion, but has not been given the op­por­tu­nity.

“KSAFA has al­ways had a re­la­tion­ship with the JFF be­cause the pres­i­dent of KSAFA (Wayne Shaw) sits on the JFF board,” Ben­nett said. “Other than that, we do not nec­es­sar­ily have any in­put in this but we are al­ways will­ing to sit and dis­cuss the way for­ward for foot­ball.”

KSAFA also sought to deny the JFF’s claims it has not re­ceived any for­mal com­mu­ni­ca­tion from KSAFA about its ob­jec­tions to the new struc­ture, by pro­vid­ing a let­ter it (KSAFA) wrote to the JFF in April 2017. It con­tains a pe­ti­tion against the new struc­ture, signed by 33 of its 37 clubs. In re­sponse, for­mer JFF gen­eral sec­re­tary Ray­mond Grant wrote to the KSAFA urg­ing its clubs to re­con­sider their in­ten­tion to with­draw from the RSPL.

“We would also sug­gest that your coun­cil se­ri­ously re­con­sider any ‘man­date’ it has re­ceived... “to take the nec­es­sary steps to with­draw all KSAFA Premier League Teams and form our own top-tier League,”” the JFF’s let­ter said. “As you should be well aware, the JFF is the only body recog­nised by FIFA - with the man­date to man­age, con­trol and pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of the game in Ja­maica and is the only body that can sanc­tion ref­er­ees and other of­fi­cials’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in any recog­nised league or af­fil­i­ate foot­ball ac­tiv­ity.”

Molynes United’s Ra­mone Rose (left) takes pos­ses­sion of the ball ahead of Tivoli Gar­dens’ Bar­ring­ton Pryce in the JN VISA/ KSAFA Jackie Bell Knock­out match played at the Molynes play­ing field on Wed­nes­day, March 7, 2018. Molynes United are one of the teams that will be con­test­ing the 2018/19 KSAFA Su­per League. How­ever, KSAFA has de­cided to boy­cott the new play-off sys­tem for pro­mo­tion to next sea­son’s Red Stripe Premier League, which re­serves a spot for the Su­per League cham­pi­ons.

Grant

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