Zero tolerance! - JFF issues strong warning ahead of international fixtures following RSPL final chaos
General secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Dalton Wint has issued a stern warning that strict security measures will be in place ahead of the upcoming Concacaf Club Championships and Concacaf Gold Cup tournaments, which are set for Stadium East and the National Stadium, respectively.
This follows Monday’s incidents of violence in the stands and on the field during the Red Stripe Premier League final between Portmore United and Waterhouse, which saw missiles being thrown on the field by unruly fans and players getting involved in a fist-fight during a tense contest at the National Stadium.
Portmore United and Waterhouse along with Haitian clubs Real Hope FA and AS Capoise will compete in the FLOW-sponsored Concacaf Caribbean Club Championships, which will be held at the Stadium East field from May 12-19. The National Stadium will then host a historic double-header in the Concacaf Gold Cup tournament on June 17, but Monday’s episode has caused concern about general safety ahead of the international fixtures.
Wint told The Gleaner yesterday that the incident has had a negative impact on the sport locally and that the federation would be taking stringent measures to prevent a recurrence.
“Some of the things that we relax at the JFF level will not be relaxed, and, obviously, we are going to have more security to police the venues,” said Wint.
“The freedom that our spectators usually have in bringing bottles and all those things inside the stadium will be looked upon and rectified, and that will not happen, especially in our international games and also at the Premier League level,” he added.
“We want to stop these things from happening, and so we reduced the chances of bottles being thrown on the field of play,” Wint said. “We will not relax any of the rules that govern the staging of an event. We would stick to the prescribed laws and rules and ensure that we carry them out in the strictest and firmest way that we can.”
Wint added that the incident was an embarrassing one for local football and that the JFF will be moving to educate stakeholders about their roles, the impact of such incidents, as well as repercussions.
“The incident does have a negative impact on our football because what it does is that it shows external persons that we are a people that lose control easily,” Wint said.
“However, football is a passionate game, but the truth is, we must be in a position to control ourselves and to know that this is not just a one-off thing because this is something that can have a negative impact internationally on the sport of football and also locally,” Wint said before adding that such incidents make it difficult to attract investors and fans to the sport.
Jamaica will play Honduras in the Concacaf Gold Cup at the National Stadium on June 17 in the feature match of the double-header, which also sees Curaçao and El Salvador facing off in the opener. Those games will be the first Concacaf Gold Cup games played in the Caribbean.