JFF distances itself from PLCA in-fighting
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has strongly denied suggestions that it has played a part in the current impasse between several clubs and the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA).
Arising from the disagreement, Montego Bay United, Sporting Central Academy and Cavalier all threatened to withdraw from the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) until issues surrounding the running of the league, as well as the corporate governance of the PLCA, were dealt with.
Sporting Central Academy and Cavalier both played on Sunday and Montego Bay United decided against sitting out yesterday's game against Reno.
However, the JFF has taken issue with comments made by PLCA chairman and former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, which suggested that the island's football regulators had an influence on the positions taken by the three clubs.
"Who is leading the initiative? I cannot say, but I know that there are certain clubs working for the JFF's interest in trying to ambush the PLCA in order to get the members of the PLCA to support them," Seaga said in a Sunday Gleaner interview, while noting that he believes the efforts surrounded the JFF regaining control of the Premier League.
But the JFF blasted the statements and underscored its determination to implement the franchise system and develop the professional properties of top flight domestic football.
"For Mr Seaga to say that the JFF 'interfered' in the running of the league is unfortunate and uninformed. It is the duty of the JFF to address any issue or issues concerning football.," the JFF said via a release.
"The JFF is the governing body for all football in the island of Jamaica, including the national premier league, women's football, schoolboy football, parish leagues, community football, grassroots football, corner league and street football.
"It is absolutely not true to say that the JFF has interfered in the running of the League. In fact, the JFF has been criticised by many for too much of a hands-off approach as it allowed the PLCA and PFAJ to fulfil their mandate," the release continued.
"Whenever there are issues of concern that are brought to the attention of the JFF, it has a duty to seek to address same. No entity or individual can be allowed to make continuous negative statements despite efforts to bring resolution."
Addressing Seaga's comments around the PLCA's sponsorship-raising successes and comments made by a JFF official questioning the organisation's viability, the JFF release read:
"The president of the JFF, Captain Horace Burrell, is on public record for recognising on numerous occasions the role of Mr Seaga in increasing the level of sponsorship of the league.
"The remarks attributed to former general secretary of the JFF regarding the sustainability of the league were sincere and justified and were recently confirmed by Mr Seaga when he pulled Tivoli Gardens FC from the league at a time when Red Stripe had not yet publicly announced their full commitment to a new period of sponsorship. It is this reality that has led the JFF to seek a new course in the establishment of a franchise system, to which it is fully committed," the release noted.