Football revamping - JFF to begin restructuring game this year
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
The Football Restructuring Committee, led by Howard McIntosh, will reveal its plans for the nation's football at a meeting on Friday morning at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) office in New Kingston.
McIntosh told The Gleaner yesterday that things are looking good for the start of the restructuring of Jamaica's football competitions later this year.
"It's going very well in terms of discussions with football supporters and corporate Jamaica," he disclosed.
"Elements of the plans will be put in place later this year," according to the chairman of the newly formed committee. "However, it is to be ratified by the JFF board of directors later this month. The plans will be presented to the board."
In September 2012, the JFF board mandated that a full restructuring of Jamaica's football product be embarked upon immediately. Consequently, a Football Restructuring Committee was formed, with McIntosh as chairman.
The committee's strategy is through consultations with all stakeholders of the sport. Between November to December 2012, the process began with dialogues with the confederations, parish associations, affiliates and clubs.
The Gleaner understands that the JFF has oversight - through 13 parish associations - of approximately 450 club competitions operating in Jamaica. The current demographics and economics cannot support that. So in order to select eligible players for national and club purposes to ply their trade professionally, financial support, overall good management, proper infrastructure and the talent pool of players is stretched very wide in Jamaica and hence stultify all efforts to improve the level of football. The proposal is to reduce the number of teams in the country to what has been determined as a plausible number with better quality players playing on better surfaces. It is also to improve the quality players available here.
The plan is to have three tiers of national football competitions - Premier League, Championship and Division One, with 18 clubs in each competition, for a total of 54.
An additional six teams to the Premier League will preferably come from parishes without Premier League teams as at the end of the current 2012-13 season.
Each confederation is to be awarded four championship teams and two will be awarded on merit. The same will be done for the Division One competition. Also, each parish is to have one league, with a maximum of 12 teams.