Thu | Feb 25, 2021

JFF hopeful of February start for Prem

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2021 | 7:18 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer


Emelio Rousseau (right) looks on as teammate Damion Williams (centre) of Portmore United FC successful tackles UWI FC’s Patrick Brown (left) in a Premier league football match played at the Mona Bowl on Sunday March 3, 2019.
Emelio Rousseau (right) looks on as teammate Damion Williams (centre) of Portmore United FC successful tackles UWI FC’s Patrick Brown (left) in a Premier league football match played at the Mona Bowl on Sunday March 3, 2019.
Ricketts
Ricketts
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President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts said his organisation has set aside a date in February for the restart of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL).

This comes after previous deadlines, set for October and November 2020, were missed following the organiser’s failure to secure the go-ahead from government officials, given the COVID-19 spread in Jamaica.

Ricketts made his comments after Minister of Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange’s announcement on Wednesday that following meetings between her ministry and the Ministry of Health & Wellness, she will be meeting with the various sporting organisations across the country, to discuss the restart of sports in Jamaica. This as the Government continues to try and contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica.

“I am excited that we have gotten some positive news now from the minister,” said Ricketts. “We are looking forward now, she sent a letter to say that she will meet with all the sporting organisations very soon and that is positive news in itself and so we are just hopeful and looking forward to the meeting and still hoping that we will have a start in February.”

Without giving much insight, the JFF president believes that there is enough indications that the league will get the rubber stamp to resume in the coming month and believes they will soon be in a position to finalise the details of the return of top-flight football in Jamaica.

“I think that we can put some plans in place now because we do suspect now that there will be a start. The fixtures have been done and so it is just for us to get the no objection document so that we can set a date and get restarted,” Ricketts said.

LAST SEASON

The 2019-2020 JPL season was ruled null and void by the JFF in May 2020 and since then, there has been no football competition in the country.

Ricketts added that this has not only affected the development of the sport in Jamaica, but also the national team and its preparation for international competition.

“It has certainly affected the development of football in the country because when you think that other countries around us are playing, countries which we will be up against in the Gold Cup and certainly in the World Cup qualifiers,” said Ricketts.

“It certainly would have set back our training regime and certainly the coach is a little bit worried but we have facilities in place and hopefully we will be able to catch up,” he said.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com