Wed | Jul 28, 2021

‘Let good sense prevail’

Carl Brown advocates cancelling Premier League this season

Published:Tuesday | April 27, 2021 | 12:20 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Dunbeholden’s Nickoy Christian (left) and Thorn Simpson of UWI battle for possession during a Jamaica Premier League match at the UWI Mona Bowl on Sunday, January 12, 2019.
Dunbeholden’s Nickoy Christian (left) and Thorn Simpson of UWI battle for possession during a Jamaica Premier League match at the UWI Mona Bowl on Sunday, January 12, 2019.
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Former senior national men’s football team head coach Carl Brown says that cancelling the Jamaica Premier League for the 2020-21 season is the sensible thing to do, as there are no guarantees that it will not impact an escalation of COVID-19 cases...

Former senior national men’s football team head coach Carl Brown says that cancelling the Jamaica Premier League for the 2020-21 season is the sensible thing to do, as there are no guarantees that it will not impact an escalation of COVID-19 cases.

Brown said that the Government understands the importance of sports and the league being played, but its hands are tied in the situation. However, he thinks it is doing the right thing by putting public health first.

“We have to make good sense prevail,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, this is one of the responsibilities of the Government.

“I am sure that a lot of thought has gone into it, but what are the guarantees that you don’t have an escalation of the virus going around because of the accumulation of people in one place?

“So it is a very difficult situation for the Government to make these type of decisions. The Government understands what it means to the people participating in the sport, but I think they are thinking about putting people first.

“People are dying every day from the virus, and how can we ensure that playing in the Premier League will not worsen things? What are the guarantees?”

Brown sympathises with the players and those who rely on the sport for their livelihood and recommends that the Government assists in trying to ease the financial burden on the industry.

DEPEND SOLELYON THE SPORT

“The reality is they depend on football,” he said. “In the past, you used to have players go to work and then come to play football, but now about 70 per cent of them out there depend on the pay from the club and I understand and sympathise with them.

“It is an industry like any working environment and the Government has to ensure that these people earn a living to ensure they have a life at home. Some countries have offered stimulus packages to help people along the way.

“But players that depend on the club for a salary are no different from a man that goes to a factory to work. So I can understand how the players are feeling about it.

“I would love to see it played. We know the role it plays a from a psychological point, but right now we are facing a situation of life and death, so are we going to start something that is going to let us be faced with more deaths?”

There has been no domestic football played in an official capacity in Jamaica since March 2020 and numerous attempts by the Jamaica Football Federation and league organisers Professional Football Jamaica Limited to get government approval to start the league have been denied.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com