KSAFA to focus on Bell and his legacy
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
The Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA)/Jackie Bell KO competition will kick off this Saturday with first-round action.
A total of 37 clubs from the Corporate Area will battle in the competition, where sponsorship totals $3 million. The winning club is guaranteed a cash incentive of $400,000, while the beaten finalist will get $250,000. Third gets $150,000 and fourth $100,000.
Corporate donors have contributed $2.33 million, while KSAFA will offset the remaining money to run the competition this season.
The newly elected KSAFA body, led by Ambassador Stewart Stephenson, says this season's focus will be on the late Winthorpe 'Jackie' Bell, in whose memory the competition started in 1986.
"This year, we are going to focus on Jackie Bell and his legacy," Ambassador Stephenson told the gathering at the launch yesterday at Barbican Beach Bar.
"The budget for this season's Jackie Bell competition is $3 million, of which the total prize money is $1.5 million. Each of the 37 registered clubs for the competition will receive $40,000 towards jerseys that will be branded," he disclosed.
Lorna Bell, widow of the late Winthorpe, praised corporate Jamaica for their contribution.
"In this time when cash is scarce, such an investment in football is great. Football is definitely big business. Football gave Jackie a chance, and I'm sure it will give others chances to make something of their lives," Bell stated.
First round games
The competition will have 15 matches in the first round, and the seven KSAFA teams involved in the Red Stripe Premier League will enter at the third round.
A draw for the first-round games was done with 30 clubs. The first-round matches are: Whitfield Town vs Allman/Woodford; Seaview Gardens vs Shortwood United; Greenwich Town vs Cooreville Gardens; New Kingston vs Stony Hill; Central Kingston vs August Town; Constant Spring vs JDF; Rockfort vs Molynes United; Olympic Gardens vs Maxfield Park; Duhaney Park vs Mead-forest; Santos vs Rae Town; Swallowfield vs Bull Bay; Red Hills vs Browns Town; Police National vs Mountain View; Maverley/Hughenden vs Real Mona; and Pembroke Hall vs UWI. (All games start at 3 p.m., and home teams are named first).
The seven Premier League clubs that will enter at the third round are defending champions Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens, Barbican, Waterhouse, Boys' Town, Cavalier SC, and Harbour View.
Bargain Car Rental and Bar-bican Beach Bar contributed undisclosed money towards the staging of the competition.