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PLCA’s Stewart says season will be completed

Published:Wednesday | April 29, 2020 | 12:23 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

Vice-president of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), Carvel Stewart, says they are not looking to follow the trend by some nations who have opted to call off their leagues due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Belgium, The Netherlands, France and Argentina have taken the decision to end their league seasons, despite recommendations from world governing body FIFA to member associations to only suspend competitions and complete their seasons later.

But although four of the world’s most recognised football countries chose to cancel their seasons, Stewart pointed to the fact that their coronavirus situation is much more severe than Jamaica’s, and as a result he does not see the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) heading in that direction.

“We are not worried, we are working with what FIFA said, and FIFA says we are to complete the league, so that is where we are at.

“They (cancelled leagues) have to deal with their circumstances, as they are particularly affected. Belgium felt they had a few games to play so they could call it. I know the Dutch got some victims (deaths) from the virus and they took that position.

“But they must have looked at the money (financial implications) and all other circumstances and made their decision,” he said. Of the four countries which have ended their seasons, France is the hardest hit with more than 23,600 deaths from the virus. Belgium has more than 7,300, Netherlands 4,500, while Argentina has seen 197 deaths.

He added that it would cost more to end the RSPL season now than to continue it, and after looking at all the factors the consensus is that they should wait for some time then complete the season.“We haven’t had as bad an impact as those other countries. Our numbers were shot up by the recent events at the BPO but it (virus) is not that widespread, so we should be able to proceed some time in June or July,” he said.