Fri | Oct 23, 2020

KSAFA displeased with Premier League kick-off date

Published:Tuesday | September 29, 2020 | 12:10 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Tivoli Gardens’ Kemar Flemmings (left) evades a tackle from UWI’s Nacquain Brown  during a National Premier League match at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday, January 19.
Tivoli Gardens’ Kemar Flemmings (left) evades a tackle from UWI’s Nacquain Brown during a National Premier League match at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday, January 19.
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Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) General Secretary Dwayne Dillion says the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) proposed start of November 14 for the National Premier League is very ‘unrealistic’ and impossible.

The 12-team league, which features seven KSAFA clubs, was to kick off in September, but a recent spike in COVID-19 cases caused the pushback.

The 2019-20 season was declared null and void by the JFF in May as the Government attempted to contain the spread of the virus. At the time of the cancellation of the season, the country had recorded 581 confirmed cases of the virus while there were nine deaths.

“It is simple, because when we cancelled the Premier League, we had only nine deaths and over 500 cases of coronavirus in May, and now we have 77 deaths and over 5,000 cases, so I don’t see how we are going to start football in November,” Dillon said.

“We don’t think that date is realistic, because the Government lockdown orders are still within a limit where it won’t facilitate football, and if it prevents schools from opening on October 5 and then little over a month after, the Premier League will start, then we can’t see football playing.

“When the league was closed down, compared to now, it is a completely different situation because the coronavirus cases have been increasing rapidly every day in Jamaica.”

Dillon says KSAFA has not received any information from the JFF regarding their planned proposal for the restart of football.

“We are observing what is happening because given the circumstances now, it is unlikely that they will get the approval of the Ministry of Health,” Dillon said. “What is most interesting is the fact that there is no information from the JFF regarding protocols for their so-called armature football.

“They finally came up with some kind of protocols which still haven’t been shared with us, but I guess it exists at the Premier League level. But the protocols for the Super and Major Leagues, we haven’t gotten anything,” Dillon stated.

Dillon says KSAFA will continue to stage planning meetings for its teams’ coaches and managers to ensure that they keep abreast with the latest football developments.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com