Chung: Women’s tier two on hold
‘We do not have a broad base pool of women playing football, like we have with the men’
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has put its plans to start a Jamaica Women’s Premier League (JWPL) tier two competition early this year on hold.
General Secretary of the JFF Dennis Chung says the primary aim is to stabilise the women’s domestic game first and that they have encountered a number of issues with the tier one competition which returned in November after a three-year hiatus. As a result they have decided to push back the start of a second tier female league until later in the year.
“I have discussed it (tier two) with the head of women’s football Elaine Walker-Brown and some other people like (technical committee chairman) Rudolph Speid and the thought is that maybe we should delay the start,” he told The Gleaner.
“If we are having issues with tier one, it might just make sense to delay the start of the tier two until later in the year. We want to make sure that we iron out all the issues in the tier one first,” Chung said.
He admitted that the teething pains with the tier one league were to be expected. However, the response for participation in the second tier competition has not been what was expected because of various issues impacting the women’s game locally.
“A lot of the women work full time and it has been difficult for them, so we want to work with them to put in an infrastructure that can encourage more persons to be available.
“Also in Jamaica, we do not have a broad base pool of women playing football, like we have with the men. So it has been a bit more difficult to find players,” he pointed out.
“Funding is also an issue but we (JFF) are assisting them with some. It is a new league and organisation is one of the biggest issues and we have to work on some of these things.
“But we are looking at the lessons and learning while we go along and we will see how we can improve,” he said.
He added that the women’s leagues are a big focus area for the federation and that they are not perturbed by the fact that they are having issues, as they will not give up on their vision for both leagues.
“We are going to press on with it because women’s football is a big focus for FIFA in 2023.
“We are going to have challenges but it is important to keep going. When the men professional league started, they had issues but you have to just keep on pushing until you have a much better situation.
“But we have the women playing football again. Organised women’s teams with more women getting involved and that is more of a positive than a negative. It is just to build on it,” he said.