Mon | Dec 11, 2023

KSAFA clubs seek reaffiliation waiver

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2023 | 12:35 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
President of KSAFA Mark Bennett.
President of KSAFA Mark Bennett.

Six Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) clubs are currently awaiting a special general meeting with the Corporate Area’s governing body after they were recently reaffiliated but denied participation in senior competitions.

KSAFA president Mark Bennett explained that during the 2021-22 football season, Cooreville, Shortwood, Seaview, Rockfort and Allman/Woodford (Major League) and Olympic Gardens (Championship League) lost their affiliation status for one reason or another.

After being reaffiliated, the clubs sought re-entry to senior competitions by requesting a waiver from compulsory youth competitions.

However, the association did not grant the waiver and the clubs have asked for a meeting to explain their position.

Bennett said he is aware of the issues the clubs faced, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic but declared that they will rely on the association’s constitution for guidance.

“They would first have to play the compulsory under 13 and under 15 and one other competition to qualify to play Major and Championship (Super) league. They cannot start out in the Major League,” he stated.

He noted that the eligibility rule, which forms part of the competition rules, is also part of the constitution.

The association has placed the matter under review and all affiliates will be invited to vote at the special meeting the clubs requested.

“Once it is in keeping with the rules and constitution of the association, it (meeting) has to be facilitated for the matter to be debated based on the reasons put forward,” he said.

The clubs lost their affiliation status after they failed to respond to the calls for a reaffiliation, Bennett said.

However, Cooreville Gardens president Richard Patterson argued that the association gave no notification and that there is a lot more at play than just their league playing status.

He also thinks it’s an injustice for the association to deny them participation in senior competitions when no football was being played, youth or senior, for nearly three years.

“It is a deep injustice against the clubs. Some technicalities given as the reasons are utter nonsense.

“If somebody fell short by a month, or in one club instance, a day, in paying their affiliation fee, that cannot justify clubs being suspended,” he said.

He reasoned that KSAFA should represent the interests of the clubs and that if there are breaches or tardiness, the right thing for the association to do was to inform them.

He noted sponsorship remains a major difficulty for the association and they want to limit the clubs to reduce competition expenditure.

“There are several factors at play that do not amount to a serious justification,” he continued.

“No football was being played so how could we get to play youth competitions. One youth competition was held (under 10) and we played. So they are using a lot of technicalities to keep the clubs out of this particular Major League,” he insisted.

Although they have been promised a special meeting, they haven’t received any word regarding that as yet.

Olympic Gardens manager Michael Peart admitted they came out of COVID-19 unprepared but argued that the extenuating circumstances caused by the pandemic should afford them some reprieve.

“They said other clubs paid their affiliation and we have benefited. But I do not see any benefits. They can accept us as a prodigal son but they do not want us. We made a mistake and they are persecuting us,” he said.