Fri | Jan 18, 2019

RSPL players too savage - Simpson

Published:Saturday | November 11, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Jeffrey Henry (left) of Waterhouse FC prepares to clear the ball while Afiba Chambers (centre) from Reno goes down from a tackle from Waterhouse captain Nicholy Findlayson during a recent Red Stripe Premier League match at the Drewsland Stadium.

Jamaica's national senior football team manager, Roy Simpson, says the overly aggressive tackles and tactics being employed by Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) players are 'savage' and 'brutal' and are causing major injuries to national players who turn up for training.

In recent weeks, RSPL players have faced heavy criticism for their overly aggressive play, and Simpson says this also creates a negative perception of the league and its players internationally and there have been calls on coaches, clubs and officials to help stamp out the unwanted practice.

"Players are not playing with the consideration of other players, so a player is not understanding that the well-being of a player is just as important as his.

"We are not saying players can't be intense and competitive, but the tackles are malicious and brutal and just create harm," he said.

"What makes us concern is when we call these players to national duties, the level of injuries they come with and the amount of resources that have to be extended to them to get them well is just ridiculous, and it's down to how they play physically.

"People are head-butting, tackling above ankle [consistently], then there is the flashing of the hand, and my counterparts in the region, when they see us play, they groan because they say it is too savage.

"So we really need the players to understand it doesn't help to develop that type of culture, because that is not the type of game that is played on the international stage," he said.

Simpson noted that players who are cultured that way don't usually last long on the international stage.

"In tournaments, some players get silly red cards, so we are really concerned. Our medical department is really concerned because when the players come to us, they come damaged," he pointed out.




He said Coach Theodore Whitmore organised a meeting recently to discuss this and other issues with local premier league coaches, but only a few showed for that meeting.

"We plan to have another meeting to let them understand and bring back to their clubs what we are trying to do," he said.

Simpson added that he does not think players can maintain controlled aggression without the referees enforcing the laws of the game.

"The referees are too lenient. They must apply the full force of the law. It (rough play) is excessive, and the refs must deal with it. And until they take a stand to deal with the unnecessary and abusive play, it will not be corrected,'" he stated.