JFF appeals to MOHW for chance to start Premier League in timely manner

Sports

JFF appeals to MOHW for chance to start Premier League in timely manner

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Friday, December 04, 2020

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Raymond Anderson, who heads the competitions committee at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), was optimistic that the Premier League would return to the island before year end when he appeared on a local television show on Tuesday night.

Anderson made this assertion on December 1, which means that in less than 30 days everything would need to be put in place, including the 12 clubs being ready to play, even though they have been left in limbo regarding start dates despite being told of two potential start dates, one of which has already passed and the second only a few days away.

“I'm still optimistic that we can start,” said Anderson. “I know everybody is in high gear to start, I know the clubs wouldn't kill me if I said within three weeks, they would be able to put things together.

“All the clubs are now in high gear preparing themselves, so what they need is just the date to start and we have to start just like that to ensure that we finish the league. I know the clubs will actually understand,” he suggested.

Anderson said the JFF has done everything possible for the return of football and everything is now left up to the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) for things to get going.

“One of the things we must remember is health first…we put all the machinery in place…even going to Saudi Arabia was one of the things to see how we could start our football. We have done all of what we can do from the JFF standpoint, now we are asking from the Government side, the Ministry of Health, to help us implement those things.

“While we understand that health is first, we know that based on what they are saying we can't really force ourselves, we have to respect health, respect the ministry and we have to respect the protocols that come with it, so honestly, we just have to wait.

“We have done what was asked of us and we resubmitted it and we still again are waiting approval of the restart protocol from the Ministry of Health,” Anderson reasoned

The JFF vice-president made the suggestion of a possible “trial run” after which a determination of a full return could be made.

“I can't speak for them (MOHW) because what they asked of us, we have done that. But what I can do from the JFF side is to continue to appeal to the wisdom of the Ministry of Health because what we want, even if we can do a trial run, it would be good.

“If people have doubt, we can have a trial run like a double header and [see] if we actually really do everything that is expected and let them be the judge. If we don't really comply then they can do otherwise, but at least give us the chance because we have the expertise that can really run the competition safely as required by the Ministry of Health,” said Anderson.

In closing, Anderson made another appeal to the MOHW to allow the JFF to restart football.

“We are really appealing to the powers that be to give us a chance to really show that we can get this thing done and get it done properly and safely,” he noted.

It would appear the Anderson's optimism was severely misplaced, as one day later, on Wednesday, the Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton stated that there will be no more team sports for the rest of the year and that the situation will be revisited and reviewed in January 2021.

It is now inevitable that the a condensed version of the Premier League will have to be played, if approval eventually comes from the MOHW.


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