'A definite win-win'
Play-off between St James clubs for JPL spot augurs well for football in the parish, says DaleyThursday, September 02, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The Jamaica Premier League (JPL) play-off between St James clubs Wadadah FC and Montego Bay United (MBU) to replace UWI FC for the 2021-22 season has been described as a “win-win for the parish and for western Jamaica,” by Western Confederation Chairman Gregory Daley.
With two St James-based teams participating in the play-offs, Daley said there will be a team from western Jamaica in the Premier League next season — the first time in three seasons — when the new season gets underway later this year, in late November or early December.
“We were fortunate to have these two teams in these positions as it ensures that we will have a team in the Premier League which will be good for the region,” added Daley, who is also the chairman of the Jamaica Football Federation Competitions Committee.
Montego Bay United and FC Reno of Westmoreland were the last western Jamaica-based teams to participate in the Premier League in the 2018-19 season, which saw both of them being relegated.
The play-off, which will be on October 2 at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, was mandated after UWI FC withdrew from the current 2020-21 competition, leaving just 11 teams playing.
According to the rules of the competition, “in the case of any withdrawals, the replacement team will be selected from a play-off game between the third-place team from the most recent JFF Premier League qualifier play-offs and the 11th-place team from the most recent Premier League season.”
Wadadah FC were the third-placed team in the last play-offs and Montego Bay United were the 11th-placed team the last time there was a promotion and demotion from the Premier League.
Under normal circumstances teams are promoted to the Premier League from the Premier League play-offs to replace the relegated teams but with the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, all other football competitions in the country have been put on hold, and as such, there cannot be any other competitions from which to promote teams.
Both Wadadah and Montego Bay United had participated in the Western Confederation Super League in the 2019-20 season, and according to Daley, they might be forced to use the same players who were registered to the teams at that time, as there would not have been any opportunity to make changes since.
The next transfer window is estimated to be around the end of the present Premier League season later this year, which will be after the play-off game.