Refs will get paid – Stewart
HEAD OF the Jamaica Football Federation’s Referees’ Department, Victor Stewart, says that match officials will only be guaranteed funds for services rendered so far during the current Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season.
The league has been suspended since March 12, with four games to play in the regular season, as a result of the coronavirus concerns in the island. Following a meeting on March 30 with the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) directors last Monday, the clubs reiterated the desire to resume play as soon as possible.
Although the local clubs have stated their intention to complete the season, a desire shared by Stewart, he says that if the decision to cancel the league is taken, officials will be paid outstanding fees for all matches completed up to that point.
“If the league is cancelled and the referees have not worked in the league, then there won’t be compensation expected. Any compensation would be for duties performed before (the cancellation),” Stewart told The Gleaner. “We hope (the league is not cancelled) and we want the league to continue for the benefit of all stakeholders, not only the match officials.”
Additionally, Stewart says that his office has been in constant contact with the PLCA on the matter, and the referees have been updated on the situation.
“We are communicating with them on a daily basis, and so the referees are aware of what is going on and they are willing to grin and bear it. However, the sooner the better for us,” Stewart said.
While leagues around the world have been attempting to find ways of resuming play later in the summer, the Belgian Jupiler League decided to cancel the season altogether, awarding regular season leaders Club Brugge the title. The decision is expected to be approved at a league general assembly meeting on April 15.
While he hopes that a positive outcome can be reached, Stewart acknowledged that solutions to the current situation will not be easy for local decision-makers from a financial standpoint.
“The main sponsor for the RSPL is the Red Strip Company. Bars are closed, beers are not being sold, so you have to understand all those ramifications and work with the system,” Stewart said.