A Discussion On Jamaican Football

Photo by Nathan Rogers on Unsplash

The confederation playoffs are the pinnacle of most rural parishes’ ambition to join the prestigious Premier League. Mount Pleasant FC will soon show how crucial this achievement is, in not only developing their club, but also St. Ann and the region.

Recent public comments by the JFF’s General Secretary to KSAFA indicate that he has “flown way past his nest”. The sheer arrogance reflects an amazingly

confrontational position — for an individual who has invested so little in football. Hope these comments do not represent the official position of the board, as consultation and inclusiveness is a part of Mike’s positive leadership style.


Regrettably most rural clubs/parishes won’t realize how the continued victimization of KSAFA is diametrically opposed to their own survival — as the premier league teams (7 from KSAFA) comply with CONCACAF club mandate , regulations , structure and a 2019 professional club timeline —the gulf broadens between those premier league teams at the top and other mostly rural clubs aspirants at the bottom of the club structure.

This new confederation vision must be exposed for what it is — a brazen attempt primarily for football politics to replace technical and financial achievement in placing inferior rural teams into the premier league.

This by a JFF who to date have not formulated and presented to Jamaica’s football a consistent technical program for the game.

CONCACAF /FIFA funding inclusive of the World Cup Russia wind fall of some 850K USD (affiliates share of the profits of World Cup Russia 2018) and meant for the

development of the game, can now be used to politically threaten compliance by the JFF’s largest affiliates.


A deep seated long term understanding of the JFF’s recent history reflects :


*a positive legacy which they are struggling to emulate but making steady progress in world ranking and the mountain of debt they have inherited, will need our full support.

Most of the structural problems the JFF are facing are national problems which needs national solutions — the JFF tends to get all the blame

*a negative legacy where political power has been intentionally concentrated totally into the hands of parish presidents, ignoring other major stake holders, all to the detriment of club football.

A quick-fix would therefore require a constitutional review to promote transparency minimize corruption and look at term limits to enhance good governance. In the current confederation issue there are genuine geographical problems of excessive mileage within the Confederation which need JFF geographical solutions eg:

St Ann travelling to Portland. Maybe the formation of more confederations geographically aligned could be considered. This was the gist of the now defunct 2013

JFF Technical documents’ proposal i.e. 2 adjoining parishes sharing 1 premier league team.

The football and Jamaica still await the long promised JFF position on franchises. I’m not sure our own position in Manchester should be recommended to KSAFA i.e. a quiet internal diplomacy to try and convince our MFA to return to good government principles by a constitutional review, abiding by rules and regulations and the structuring of our elections to be determined by above.

Despite FIFA’s clear mandate to its affiliates that executive members cannot vote at an AGM, Manchester is one of many rural parishes that are politically unwilling to abide by this. Manchester’s deteriorating position in national football is caused by our own continued decline in club structure, our lack of commitment to the national game and the erosion over the years by our political leaders, their supporters and their policies, especially so over the past decade.

Many members of the MFA are better than that. We have to hope that our common love for football supersedes the egos, power and excessive politics.

We will try again at our next AGM to convince apathetic clubs — loosely quoting my favourite Gleaner columnist Gordon Robinson — “if you have no clear vision of


Jamaica’s future (football future), your daily decisions will have no purpose — your sole concern will be to defend your place at the national trough without regards for truth or consequences”.

Without an agreed JFF technical program the clubs can make no real progress. In trying to save our own technical icon, we will make one last effort this year.

Footballers have to be true to football and ironically we may end up like KSAFA, having to face whatever consequences result from this.

Tony James

Los Perfectos F.C.

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