Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Harriott urges caution with RSPL decision

Published:Sunday | May 17, 2020 | 8:52 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

Portmore United captain Rosario Harriott says the Premier League Clubs Association shouldn’t rush to call off this season of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league was stopped indefinitely in mid-March when the first case of the virus was detected in Jamaica, with the intention of resuming later in the year. However, that decision has since been challenged by some who say that the uncertainty of when the virus will become less of a threat to society means that the league should just be ended and preparations be made for the next season.

“It’s unfortunate that we had to stop because we were almost at the finish, but health comes first,” Harriott said.

“But if the league does continue, fitness is going to be a big concern, and if it is out for the next two months, that means it’s June or July before it starts back.

“So that means [next season] will have to be pushed back because you are going to need about a month for break and two months for preseason. So I just feel like the best approach now is to cancel the league, but you still have to wait and see how it goes because players are still training.”

NOT A FAIR CONCLUSION

Some stakeholders say that if the organisers ends the season, the title should be awarded to league leaders Waterhouse, as was done in Belgium, France, and Argentina, where leagues came to a premature ending. But Harriott does not see this as a fair conclusion because of the RSPL’s structure, where the top six teams in the preliminary round after 33 games go on to the playoff stage of the season.

“As we all saw a few years ago, Arnett came sixth and won the league. So it would really be unfair to the rest of clubs,” Harriott said.

“Mount Pleasant, a new club in the league, they are in their second year, and they are just one point behind the leaders. So if they award Waterhouse the title, it would be unfair for other clubs. Most of them would be disappointed.

“So give it some time and see how things go because you don’t want to jump and make any decision you would regret.”

Portmore are third in the RSPL standings with 46 points, eight behind leaders Waterhouse and seven behind Mount Pleasant.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com