Sat | Apr 21, 2018

We're not pulling out! - UWI FC dismiss RSPL quitting rumours

Published:Saturday | March 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
UWI FC coach Marcel Gayle speaks to his team during a half-time break during a Red Stripe Premier League match agsint Montego Bay United held at University of the West Indies in St Andrew earlier this season.
UWI FC players celebrate a goal in the Red Stripe Premier League earlier this season.
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Director of Sports at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Dorothy Hudson-Gayle, has dispelled rumours that its football team, UWI FC, will not participate in next season's Red Stripe Premier League.

"I don't know where that information is coming from. I don't know anything about that," Hudson-Gayle said.

It is rumoured that the university's football team has decided to reclaim its amateur status after having several payment issues with its players this season. A Premier League source said that the institution has decided to only use student athletes, who come through their recruitment programmes, to play for the team. It was also rumoured that the team would participate in the KSAFA Super League instead of the top flight.

But Hudson-Gayle has flatly denied these claims, saying that the team would discuss its issues and the way forward at its end-of-season meeting, as is customary.

"I don't know that we've made any changes. Whatever decisions will be taken with the UWI team will be taken after this season is done," Hudson-Gayle said. "The team is participating in the competition right now, and we should be focused on that."

The argument that UWI might not participate in the league next season has generated a lot of talk, with people suggesting that the two teams in the drop zone, Sandals South Coast and Boys' Town FC, have been given a lifeline and are now fighting for the 11th position as it is assumed that only one team would be relegated.

But vice-president of the PLCA, Clyde Jureidini, said that if there should be a case where a team decides not to participate in the league for whatever reason, all the stakeholders of the competition would decide what to do.

"I have not been informed that any team has decided not to participate, but if there should be such a case, all the stakeholders would make a decision on that," Jureidini said.

UWI FC are currently sitting right outside of the playoff zone in the points standing with 42 points, two less than Cavalier FC, who they defeated in their last match 2-1.

The university's side will take on Sandals South Coast and Tivoli Gardens in their remaining two games.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com