NZL | Mar 30, 2023

World Netball fines Netball Jamaica £5,000  

/ Our Today

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Penalised for last year’s Silver Ferns series flop

Netball Jamaica has been fined GBP £5,000 (NZ $9,800) by the sport’s governing body, World Netball, after last year’s flopped series with New Zealand’s Silver Ferns.

World Netball recently completed its investigation into the flopped series, which was billed to be a tensely fought series between the second and third, world-ranked teams. Passport and visa issues delayed the Jamaican team’s departure and led to the first two tests in Hamilton being scrapped.

When Jamaica finally did touch down in New Zealand, just seven of their 12-player squad made it with the other five unable to travel due to further visa problems. The Taini Jamison series in September was cut from three to two tests and moved to Auckland.

Forced to add retired players

To field the mandatory 10 players for a recognised test match, Jamaica were forced to add their aged 50-plus coach, Connie Francis, to the team sheet. Netball New Zealand also flew over Jamaican international Romelda Aiken-George, who had given birth six weeks earlier, and retired Sunshine Girl, Carla Borrego from Australia.

Jamaica used the minimum seven players for the two tests. Lost tickets sales, the changing of venues, and travel assistance cost Netball New Zealand a significant amount of money, prompting World Netball to launch an investigation.

The senior Jamaica women’s netball team, Sunshine Girls, thanking the crowd for their support after reaching a historic first gold-medal final where they lost 55-51 to Australia. The Sunshine Girls earned Jamaica’s first silver medal in netball at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. (Photo: Twitter @NetballSL)

World Netball imposed the maximum fine of GBP £5,000 (NZ $9,800) on Netball Jamaica for failing to fulfil the fixtures that were due to be held on September 17 and September 19. The two fixtures were also recorded as losses to Jamaica for world-ranking purposes.

That led to Jamaica dropping to fourth in the world rankings update late last year, while England swapped places with them to lift to third. Ironically, had Jamaica not dropped to fourth in the world rankings, the Silver Ferns would be meeting England in their side of the draw at July’s Netball World Cup.

Similar fines for other teams

Instead, the Silver Ferns will have to meet Jamaica, who will arguably be stronger than England come the World Cup. World Netball imposed the same sanctions on two other countries for not meeting their commitments to playing tests in 2022.

The Uganda Netball Federation was also slapped with a GBP£5000 fine and a loss of rankings points after they pulled out of the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa in August due to financial constraints.

Netball Papua New Guinea got the same penalty for pulling out of the 2022 Nations Cup in Singapore in December. According to World Netball’s regulations until full payment of all fines have been paid, the Netball Association of the defaulting team is not eligible to participate in any international tests.


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