Fri | Oct 15, 2021

Playoff square-off

JFF, Wadadah at odds regarding 12th JPL spot

Published:Monday | September 27, 2021 | 12:09 AM
DALEY
DALEY
STEWART
STEWART
In this file photo from June 2018, Wadadah defender Tyshan Hill (left) shields the ball from Barbican FC’s Cornelius Simms during a Magnum/Charley’s JB Rum/Jamaica Football Federation Premier League playoff game at the Barbican Sports Complex in St And
In this file photo from June 2018, Wadadah defender Tyshan Hill (left) shields the ball from Barbican FC’s Cornelius Simms during a Magnum/Charley’s JB Rum/Jamaica Football Federation Premier League playoff game at the Barbican Sports Complex in St Andrew.
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Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) Competitions Committee Chairman Gregory Daley has removed himself from discussions regarding playoffs to determine a 12th team for the Jamaica Premier League next season. This decision follows Wadadah coach...

Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) Competitions Committee Chairman Gregory Daley has removed himself from discussions regarding playoffs to determine a 12th team for the Jamaica Premier League next season.

This decision follows Wadadah coach Daniel Ricketts’ claim that he was told by Daley that the club would take UWI FC’s spot after their withdrawal from the league before the start of this season. As such, Wadadah did not anticipate talk of playing fellow western side Montego Bay United (MBU) for the place in the league. But Daley says that Ricketts’ comments are false.

Vice-chairman Ewan Scott has now been left in charge of all matters regarding a playoff for the spot.

Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Vice-President Carvel Stewart says, though, that Wadadah is the only team, based on the rules, that qualifies for the Premier League spot.

Stewart says that in the case of a withdrawal, the 11th-place team from the previous season (as they are now technically in last place), and the third-place team, meaning the team immediately after the two who were promoted from the previous playoffs, from the playoff should face each other.

But with no relegation over the last two seasons, Stewart said there is no legitimate 11th-place team for a playoff. As as result, the third-place team from the last playoffs is the only qualified team by this rule.

“Wadadah should be preparing to start the next Premier League season,” Stewart said. “There is no qualifier for the 11th place right now. There is no demotion, so you have no properly qualified 11th-place team.”

But Daley says Stewart’s interpretation is incorrect.

“The situation with KSAFA, I could not agree with it,” he said. “The playoffs should be between the third-place team from the last JFF playoff, which is Wadadah, and the 11th-place team from last Premier League relegation, which is MBU.”

POOR TIMING

Stewart says the playoff game could have been played before the start of this season, but Daley says that was not possible.

“This is done now because of the timing of the (UWI) withdrawal, days before the competition,” Daley, who is also the St James Football Association president, said. “Also, if they had called for the playoffs from then, MBU would be through as they have everything in place.

“I have been trying to help Wadadah on behalf of the FA, but persons seem to expect me to go in to Wadadah when it is Wadadah’s inability to get persons around them to help them with such technical things.”

Daley says that Wadadah has missed JFF’s registration deadline, but Ricketts says the club is facing numerous challenges, and they have asked the JFF for an extension to rectify these issues.

Ricketts explained that with the passing of club owner Gene Grey, who registered the club in his name, they have been advised that it would be wise to change the club’s name to avoid any future controversy. They also need to provide a bank account.

OBJECTIVES

Ricketts says that the club is now trying to achieve both of those objectives.

“Gene Grey registered the team in his name,” Ricketts said. “He died. There is no will, no inheritor to sign it over.

“The Companies Office said that I should discontinue the name Wadadah because Gene’s children could sue if the team becomes successful.

“Also, I do not want to take it upon myself to change a legacy like that. My intention is to take the “h” off or add FC to Wadadah so there is some kind of resemblance to its origin.”

Ricketts expects that the adjustment to the name will be approved today, with the process completed within another seven days.

“After taking off the “h” or adding FC Wadadah, we can move on and use the next seven days to get that done, and after that’s done, we can go and get the bank account,” he said.

“I wrote a letter to the JFF requesting 14 days to finalise everything. They wrote me and told me they received my letter and that they will get back to me.”

Ricketts says that although he agrees with Stewart that the spot should be theirs, his team is willing to face MBU.

“If they (MBU) deserve to be there, let them come up against us and prove it. Don’t just put them there and they haven’t earned the spot,” he said.

sports@gleanerjm.com