Cease and desist!
JFF issues warning after reports surface of illegal tournament
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) General Secretary Dalton Wint said the cease-and-desist order issued by the federation on Monday was necessitated due to the online circulation of a photo showing the fixture list for an apparent local football tournament, which seemed to feature several well-known academies and clubs.
Wint underlined that the Government is yet to provide approval for the return of competitive football in the island and made it clear that the JFF administration had not sanctioned any tournament, adding that the organisers were required to immediately cancel the competition or face the consequences.
“We are seeing a picture that is being circulated. We saw a picture that has several club academies that is a part of a competition,” said Wint. “We are acting on that because it was brought to our attention, and as a responsible organising body, we have to do the right thing, hence our cease-and-desist order.”
“The JFF is the sole authority for football in this country and the Government has not given us any permission to start any football apart from for the national team. We have to work with the Government because they have the bigger picture. We have football to deal with but they have the whole country to deal with,” Wint added.
The fixture list, which was outlined on a spreadsheet document, was obtained by The Gleaner and featured several football organisations and academies, such as Phoenix Academy, Kickers Academy, Baptist Alliance Academy, Pembroke Elite, Irvin Youth Academy, Aptitude Academy and LAX taking part in an Under-19 tournament.
The scheduled showed matches from May 1 to June 13 with matches scheduled for Mona High School, where Phoenix Academy is based, Irwin playing field in Montego Bay, Phillipsfield in Yallahs, St Thomas, and Greater Portmore field in St Catherine.
When The Gleaner reached out to Phoenix Academy founder and coach, Craig Butler, he denied his involvement and offered no further comment.
“No comment on that. I am not involved in any shape or form,” Butler stated.
Meanwhile, Wint also warned referees and officials from participating in unsanctioned activities, noting that they now expect the Government to handle the situation.
“We will let the authorities deal with it. From our end we did our part and our officials, referees, are not allowed to participate in any competition,” Wint said.
In its release, the JFF categorically disassociated itself from any football tournament currently being played in the island, adding that those in breach will face the full brunt of the law.
“No permission has been granted for any tournament to go ahead, and all players, coaches and other individuals associated with any tournament do so illegally under the country’s disaster preparedness laws.
“The JFF is therefore mandating all concerned with any tournament, youth or adult, to cease and desist all activities. Anybody found to be involved in any new activity will face the full force of the laws of the federation and will be reported to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management for their attention,” the release read.