Jamaica's 2019/2020 football season cancelled, declared null and void

By May 15, 2020

Jamaica's 2019/2020 football season in - nationally and at the parish level - has been cancelled and declared null and void, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts said in a statement on Friday.

However, the Reggae Boyz will continue their preparation for the final round of qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The island-wide cancellation of the season effectively means that the Red Stripe Premier League, the Super League, Major League competitions, have been cancelled and declared null and void.

This also means that there will be no champions of the respective competitions and no relegation.

Ricketts said delaying the decision to cancel the season had serious implications for clubs that were already struggling to survive.

“The JFF was also concerned about the cost ramification for a lot of the stakeholders, especially the professional arm, for delaying a cancellation decision. In other words, the prolonging or procrastination will have untold financial burden on some clubs,” Ricketts said. 

“As a result of the foregoing and since most competitions have either not been completed or have not yet commenced, like the Eastern Confederation Super League, the JFF is of the view that given the strong position of ‘health first’, the responsible decision would be to annul the current season.

“Therefore, and in order to ensure balance for all competitions, especially those that have a promotion and relegation policy, that the 2019-2020 season should be void and the next season should continue with determinations from the completion of the 2018-2019 season. 

We appreciate the magnitude of these decisions, but they are being made in good faith and with the focus on health and wellness as a priority over all other considerations. 

Ricketts explained that in light of the events that have led to the cancellation of the season, the 2020/2021 season is tentatively set to commence in September 2020 with consideration being given to an adjustment of the 2020/2021 registration periods and transfer windows, if necessary.

 

All teams will retain their ranking as of September 2019 and be eligible to participate in the 2020/2021 season of competitions if they so desire, the JFF president said. 

The decisions were arrived at, Ricketts said, “After extensive discussions and consultations that included the JFF Competitions and Regulations Committee, the JFF Medical Committee, the Minister of Sports, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, other football stakeholders and the Board of Directors of the JFF.”

According to the JFF president, the Board held a strong view that the federation should prioritize the health and wellness of all its stakeholders; that is, sponsors, media, players, coaches, referees, administrators, medical staff, and groundsmen over all other considerations.

Therefore, the Committee considered the debilitating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country as a whole, “Which has led to disruptions of monumental proportions never before experienced in the history of the country and the decision of the government of Jamaica to cancel physical school gathering for the remainder of the summer term and until September 2020.

“This decision as explained by the Government of Jamaica was consequent to the strong recommendation by the health authorities and based on Science, CONCACAF’s decision to postpone and or cancel all its competitions carded up to July 2020, and the international forecast on the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization,” Ricketts said.

“In short, the world is far from out of the woods.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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