Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Regional football league has to be approved - Hughes

Published:Friday | January 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

In light of reports that a California-based company and a firm registered in Barbados have come together to stage a professional soccer league for teams in the region, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) general secretary, Damien Hughes, is warning that any such venture must go through the relevant bodies.

The two companies; the Caribbean Football Trust Limited, with offices in Florida and Canada, and Concorde Sports Agency, headquartered in Beverly Hills, are reported to have earmarked September 2015 as the league's kick-off date. The proposed league, dubbed Major League Futbol (MLF), is expected to attract 20 teams from across the region vying for over US$3 million in prize money.

"Anything that is attempted independently is not going to be sustainable and I don't think it is going to be possible," Hughes argued. "The constitution of all the member organisations speaks to the processes and the steps and where permission and sanctioning and so on needs to come from.

"For franchises to be set up in countries, they have to go through national associations who have to get sanctioning from CFU, CONCACAF and FIFA. And we have not engaged any company anywhere in the world to commence or even explore the commencement of a professional league."

Hughes, however, stated that the region's governing body is open to the establishment of a professional league.

worth pursuing

"A professional league in the region is something that CONCACAF and the CFU entities have said is worth pursuing and exploring," Hughes said. "So any entity that is desirous of partnering with CFU or CONCACAF in a developmental initiative: The best approach would then be to present such a case to the respective bodies."

According to Hughes, CONCACAF president, Jeffrey Webb, has indicated that in consultation with CFU and other stakeholders, a task force is to be put in place to look at the development of a professional league in the Caribbean.