What about the RSPL?

What about the RSPL?

Humble Lion, H'View coaches chide JFF for lack of communication

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

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Head coaches of Humble Lion and Harbour View football clubs, Andrew Price and Ludlow Bernard, respectively, are fuming at the lack of communication from the governing body about the possible resumption of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).

The coaches said they have heard nothing from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) since the league was scrapped in May and that they are unaware of a date to restart premier league football which has left them in a conundrum not knowing their next move.

“On May 15 we were told that the season had been declared null and void and that football will resume in September 2020. To date we have heard nothing from anybody. We have not been called to any meetings, as stakeholders in the sport, to look at how we will restart football for the coming season. There is no dialogue, there is no communication,” said a livid Price.

“We have players that we coach who keep calling us daily because normally at this time of the year, July 7, a lot of clubs would have begun their preseason training. Now you can't plan for a season if you don't know the start date of the season. There has been no communication so you don't know when and if you are going to start,” Price added.

Price also noted that the Costa Rican League has resumed just two months after the shutdown and urged the ruling body to act swiftly.

“Nobody is communicating and you are not hearing anything from anybody. ISSA (Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association) has already started the dialogue but there is no dialogue that is started with the senior football coaches, senior football doctors, senior football management. A lot of these clubs, a lot of people are dependent on them for their survival. People need to plan ahead of time,” said Price.

Bernard, meanwhile, questioned why there was no proposed date to restart “after they unceremoniously aborted the league”.

“Are there possible sponsors? Will the league be delayed until 2021? Is this a ploy to delay so all can position themselves in office? The silence just got a wee bit noisy, but it's very disappointing,” said Bernard.

“Communication with coaches and players is just as important as those taking place with administrators. After all, as a coach we have to plan. Our input is valid. Just look how ISSA went about their decision-making... all-inclusive,” he pointed out.

Bernard is also the head coach of Kingston College and said he would have loved to hear from other clubs in voicing their disappointment with the delayed restart as they did with the cancelling of the last season.

“All we are demanding is communication that will lead to effective planning. I don't want to be advised at the last minute that the league starts in two weeks,” Bernard noted.

Price, who had led Humble Lion to fourth spot when the league was called off, said it is obvious that the intention of the Government is for the country to open in a phased manner.

“A lot of sports have started already. A lot of sports have declared the various protocols and parameters in which they are going to start back their sport. Horse racing began. Track and field is to resume. Cricket is to resume. They have discussed the protocols with their stakeholders. Football has not done the same,” Price pointed out.

But the JFF general secretary Dalton Wint said there is nothing that can be done at this time as the local governing body is awaiting further advice from the Government.

“Remember, it's the Government that has to tell you when to start. They are on record saying they are developing a back-to-sporting-events protocol so we just have to wait,” Wint told the Jamaica Observer.

“We said from the beginning that we have suspended football until September and we haven't changed anything. Can they start any training now because the Government is still restricting the amount of people that can gather.

“But we are going to send a proposal to Government by next week or so and see if they will accept it,” Wint explained.


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