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JM | Oct 16, 2021

JFF moves to clarify decision to promote Montego Bay United to Jamaica Premier League

/ Our Today

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The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has moved to clarify their decision to promote former champions Montego Bay United to the Jamaica Premier League.

The decision has rankled the principals of Wadada United that was to have played Montego Bay United on October 6 at the JFF/Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence with the winner being elevated to replace UWI FC in the Jamaica Premier League.

However, the game was cancelled after the JFF ruled that Wadada had failed to complete their registration process by the 5:00 pm October 1 deadline.

As such MBU, who were relegated after the 2018/19 season, were been promoted to the JPL.

Attorneys representing the disaffected club have written to the JFF urging them to reconsider.

The Western-Jamaica club has also garnered support from the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association.

But, in a statement issued late Friday, the JFF moved to justify the seemingly controversial decision.

“After continuous negotiations between agencies of the Government, the JFF and the PFJL, the Jamaica Premier League was approved to be played in June 2021. After the announcement was made and just days before kickoff, the UWI FC withdrew from the competition. Hence the usage of Article 5 of the Competition’s rules to remedy the unforeseen situation,” the JFF said.

“As per article 5 of the JFF Organization of Competition, Montego Bay United, the 11th placed team in the NPL 2018/2019 season and Wadada FC, the third-placed team in the NPL playoff, were selected to play an elimination game for the twelfth spot in the Premier League.

Article 5 states that in the case of team withdrawals, the replacement team will be selected from a playoff game between the third place team from the most recent Premier League Playoff (Wadada FC) and the 11th place team from the most recent Premier League (Montego Bay United FC).

The winner was mandated to obtain or qualify for the requisite club license. 

“However, this qualifying game would have delayed the start of the new season another four to six weeks as these clubs would need the opportunity to register and put a team together for the playoff,” the JFF said. 

“A decision was made to commence the season with 11 clubs and the playoff would be delayed and played nearer the end of the season with the winner joining the other 11 in the 2021/22 season.  There was no favoritism shown as the aforementioned rule determined who would participate once the winner qualified for a CONCACAF club license.

“Montego Bay United did the requisite registrations and also obtained their club license while Wadada FC failed to do so in the prescribed period.”

President of Kingston and St. Andrew Football Association, KSAFA, Wayne Shaw has dismissed suggestions that there are plans to split the federation.

It is a position that KSAFA disagrees with based on a letter the association sent to the JFF in early September. In that letter, KSAFA President Wayne Shaw suggested that JFF’s interpretation of the laws was flawed.

“The said article was never envisioned or created to deal with the unique problem we are facing now. Hence any application of the said article in this manner may give credence to the belief that this is nothing more than legalistic gymnastics to satisfy special interests,” Shaw’s letter concluded.

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