JFF will not pursue Cavalier, Sandals play-off allegations
The Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) head of competitions and facilities overseer, Ian Kemble, insisted that no investigation will be launched into the Cavalier/Sandals Premier League play-off match amidst suggestions that the integrity of Sunday's game at Stadium East was compromised.
With Cavalier already securing their passage to the nation's top-flight football competition from the previous weekend, second placed Sandals only required a draw to qualify for their first Premier League berth. But after a 1-1 draw, in a game played at pedestrian pace, both sides have been accused of not playing the game in the right spirit.
However, Kemble noted there's nothing in the referee's or match commissary's report to suggest there was any wrongdoing in the game, and as a result the local football authority will not pursue the matter.
Kemble also pointed to the result of the fixture involving the other two teams in the playoffs, with Rivoli, which still had a chance to qualify going into Sunday's game, slamming Priory by 8-0.
"We can't speak to accusations, so there will be no investigation. Rivoli also scored eight goals against Priory and Rivoli are not eight goals better than Priory," Kemble stated.
"But I have the report in front of me and there is nothing in it pertaining to the accusations of the game. Both the referee and the match commissary reports say nothing about that. So why would we pursue the matter and on what basis would we pursue the matter?" he asked.
Boys' Town coach and Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) director, Andrew Price refused to commented on the incident, saying he was not present, while noting his belief that it would be unfair for him to give an opinion.
Price, however, stated that it was the obligation of the players and the clubs to treat the game with integrity regardless of the qualification situation.
"I can only go by reports, I was not at the game and I cannot put myself in a position where I could comment. But based on reports, it is up to the integrity of the players of the sport to treat the sport with integrity and I hope the clubs would have treated the game with integrity," said Price.
"But it would be foolish to make a comment as I wasn't at the game and I don't really know what happened," Price added.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Cavalier's club chairman, Rudolph Speid, refused to comment on the result, but Sandals assistant coach, Orville Bryan, categorically refuted the allegations.
"We came to Kingston, we needed one point to win the game. We trained all week to try and contain ourselves and make sure that we score and try to make sure we did not get beaten.
That was our biggest challenge. We scored first and it gave the guys a little room to relax. Unfortunately, only two teams could have gone to the Premiership - we were one of them.
"There's always gonna be talk. That is not for us to decide. We are in the Premiership and we are very happy with that. So we leave everything for whoever to say what they want. So we flatly refute the allegation without even a question," Bryan said.