Women's football league back after one-year absence
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and Lascelles Employees and Partnership Credit Union have joined forces to sponsor the 2018 Women's Football League.
Both entities will provide approximately $12 million to run the league and knockout competitions for one year.
General secretary of the JFF, Dalton Wint, said his federation made a promise to bring back the league because it is very important for the development of women's football.
"We will recall that after a long stretch of 14 years of competition it (women's league) was not held in 2017. At that time the current administration gave a commitment to the country to restart the competition in 2018," Wint said during a press conference at the JFF's office in New Kingston yesterday.
"We will ensure that it is sustainable in years to follow. The truth is that the national programme was set back due to the absence of the league in 2017. It has been proven that programmes have to be continuous and long to get the right focus," he added.
"We know that youth and women's football have to fight hard for sponsorship. We have not been able to get a title sponsor this year but due to the absence of competition last year we had to allocate funds for this year," Wint explained.
Ryan Muir, the president of Lascelles Employees and Partnership Credit Union, said his organisation is happy to assist women's football.
"We have a three-year partnership with the JFF but we may very well be able to take up the title sponsorship in years to come," Muir outlined. "We thank the JFF for partnering with us and I hope it will be a successful year," he concluded.
The league is set to start on Saturday with four games. Ten teams are in the competition including newcomers Monarch and Cavalier. The other teams are Waterhouse, Rangers, St Ann Women, Frazsiers Whip, Real MoBay, Arnett Gardens, Trelawny Women's and Olympic Gardens.
New champions will be crowned this year as lack of sponsorship has prevented many-time winners Barbican from entering the competition.
This year's winners will receive $500,000; second place is guaranteed $300,000; third place - $200,000 and fourth - $160,000. Each team will be given $100,000 to assist with preparation for the competition.