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NJ enters payment arrangement after World Netball fine

Published:Friday | March 31, 2023 | 1:19 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Tricia Robinson.
Tricia Robinson.

Netball Jamaica (NJ) president Tricia Robinson says the £5,000 (approx JA$944,600) fine imposed on the association on Tuesday by World Netball following their shambolic Taini Jamison series tour of New Zealand last September will not affect their participation internationally.

The Sunshine Girls were barred from international competitions until the fine is fully paid but Robinson revealed that the association entered a payment agreement with World Netball and will be allowed to compete.

Payment of the fine has already started and Robinson says they only have a couple payments remaining.

“We have a payment arrangement with World Netball so we can pay the requisite fine. We are relieved by the payment schedule as we will be allowed to compete in international games. We now have two payments left,” Robinson told The Gleaner.

After the Sunshine Girls’ historic silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in August, the team was depleted for the Taini Jamison series, as most of the players who went to the Commonwealth Games pulled out for one reason or another.

That resulted in the association having to go to their development squad but those young players required documentation to travel and the documentation process did not go as smoothly as desired and the team went to New Zealand with less than half the squad. It resulted in a no-show for the opening fixtures. The games were later rescheduled and the Tests reduced from three to two.

The Jamaicans also had to recruit Australia-based veteran Carla Borrego and Romelda Aiken-George, who had given birth six weeks prior to the series. They also added coach Connie Francis to the team sheet in order to field the mandatory 10 players.

Robinson said given the situation they were in they did the best they could and were not expecting the penalty.

“We weren’t anticipating being fined for it. We had our challenges coming out of the Commonwealth Games and we did the best we could in terms of fielding a team for the series.

“We got some serious injuries and could not field a strong team. We didn’t play the games as scheduled and because we did not play them as scheduled it is deemed not fulfilling a fixture, even though we played two rescheduled games. However, World Netball has policies surrounding that and as such we were fined,” she commented.

The experience has taught the administration a lot and going forward Netball Jamaica will ensure players’ travel documents are in order as soon as they enter the national programme.

“As soon as players are named to the squad the requisite paperwork will be obtained for them. We will begin the processing for those very critical documents to allow them to travel,” Robinson said.

She added that they now want to put this situation behind them and concentrate on World Cup preparation.

“Our focus is now on the World Cup, being played for the first time on the African continent and the intention is to bring back some precious medals from the motherland,” she said.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com