JFF slams ‘unconstitutional’ KSAFA
ACCORDING TO one highly placed Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) source, the federation has written to the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA), stating that their refusal to participate in the National Tier II competition is unconstitutional.
KSAFA club Meadforest finished second in the KSAFA Super League last season and were guaranteed a spot in the tournament qualifiers.
However, KSAFA maintained that their clubs would not be participating in the competition for the second season running because of the lack of financial support for the league and the struggles of their clubs.
However, Meadforest administrator, Daglalish Henry, refused to accept that decision, which was compounded by another vote by the KSAFA council last Tuesday that KSAFA should continue to refrain from participating in the competition.
As a result, Henry wrote to the JFF outlining his club’s dissatisfaction and the local governing body, in return, wrote to the Corporate Area association to tell them it is unconstitutional to deny any club the right to participate.
“If I did not step out and seek the assistance of the JFF, they (KSAFA) would still have their foot over our heads.
“They cannot accept that Meadforest is a club coming up. We have struggled and they cannot see what we are pushing for,” Henry commented.
The veteran administrator noted that they have taken steps to strengthen their infrastructure by bringing professional people on board, and that KSAFA’s refusal to take up a spot in the league is a slap in the face of football development and progression.
“The slot is there for KSAFA. The JFF send them a letter showing the zoning of the Tier II qualifiers and asked them to submit the name of their team.
“Their reply was that they are not sending any team this year. But we want our slot,” Henry insists.
He added that KSAFA should not be asking delegates to vote on a matter which should be a personal decision for a club.
“You are going to vote on an important issue like this and you call all the clubs and keep telling them ‘no money is in it and it is expensive’.
“Is it not the clubs that have qualified that you are suppose to ask that question. We should make the decision.
“No one has any money. The clubs in the other parishes have no money. We all have to fight.
“We employed a top coach, bought a bus and put in all that investment, just for people to be going around our investment,” he complained.
He added that if KSAFA’s non-participation continues Super and Major League clubs will lose their best talent.
“We will lose a lot of players we have invested in over the years.”
KSAFA president Mark Bennett said his association has been very clear on their views on Tier II and that there was no intent to change that stance.
He said though that even if Meadforest were inclined to participate in Tier II, they would still be considered part of KSAFA.
“We all belong to a body that has rules and regulations to guide operations and Meadforest is a part of that body. So we continue to refrain at this point in time.
“But there is always opportunity for decisions to be reviewed. The constitution and regulations of KSAFA do set out avenues for that to be done and we, as a body, have an obligation to revisit any issue.
“So nothing is set in stone but at this present time that is the decision of the clubs,” he stated.
In an email to all parish football associations earlier this month, the JFF asked the associations to provide their parish representatives by January 21, with the proposed date for the start of the competition set for February 4.
The clubs will be divided into four groups, three groups of threes and one group of four teams.
The KSAFA club will be placed in Group A with a St Thomas and St Catherine club.
Group B will consist of Portland, St Mary and St Ann clubs.
Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth clubs will comprise Group C, while Group D will have clubs from the four western parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, St James and Trelawny.
After a home-and-away preliminary round, group winners will advance to a one-way semifinal. The two semifinal winners will then advance to the final and secure their berth to the 2023 National Tier II Competition.