Work permit keeps MoBay United coach on sidelines
Brazilian Leonardo Neiva is yet to officially take up duties as head coach at the western Jamaica Premier League outfit Montego Bay United Football Club because he is yet to receive a work permit.
This is a month after the announcement that the South American would have officially taken over as the new coach, following the departure of American Timothy Hankinson in November.
Orville Powell, MoBay United's owner, said Neiva's paperwork is being processed and he hopes that it will be very soon.
"The coach came here for us to really look at him. He didn't come with a work permit as we did not know we would have wanted him. The authorities came by and we told them what it was all about and they told us to do the right thing, so we are doing the right thing," Powell explained.
"We have made the application now. All the documents are in order. We just have to wait until the approval, which is solely dependent on the Ministry [of Labour]. But it's the [Christmas] season now, and we are mindful of how the holidays can slow a process, so we just have to wait and see how long," he continued.
In the live televised game on Monday night, MoBay United played away at Harbour View and the Brazilian was seen taking notes and even barking instructions to players from the sidelines until he was spoken to by one of the match officials at half-time.
He was not seen after the break, but Powell thought his presence should be of no concern to the match officials.
"I don't know why the official should be concerned with him. He is not on the match card; there is no documentation that he is a part of the system. He is a spectator, so I don't know why an official would want to say something to him," Powell said.
"But we have to be mindful because we blundered with him coming here. We overjumped the procedure, so we just have to correct that because we had the cart in front of the horse.
"We are not blaming anybody. It's our responsibility, and we just have to make it right," he continued.
Meanwhile, the team sits atop of the standings with 33 points from 18 games, the same as Portmore United, who have an inferior goal difference.
"We really appreciate where we are, but we think we could have done better. It is not an easy league and the teams are coming at us, so we have to do a whole heap to maintain ourselves at the top."