Eight persons, including a Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) footballer, were murdered and five others were shot and injured in a number of incidents across Jamaica on Wednesday.

The day started off on a sombre note with the murder of two men at Payton Place in Hermitage, St Andrew.

According to the police, at about 7:50 am, the men — Demar Francis, a 36-year-old furniture maker; and 25-year-old labourer Robert Clarke — who are reportedly siblings, were killed when men armed with rifles and handguns entered their premises and opened fire, hitting them all over their bodies.

Both victims were taken to hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

As the day unfolded, there were other murders committed: one in Bethel Town, St Ann; one in Cyril Gully, St James; another murder, that of 28-year-old Clarence Johnson of a Manchester address in Race Track, Clarendon at about 6 pm; then yet another, of 57-year-old Desmond Prince in Diamond district in Buff Bay, Portland at about 8:45 pm.

Then there was another double murder, that of Jaleel McLean of a Kingston 13 address and 22-year-old Shemar Nairne, a Premier League footballer who last represented Dunbeholden FC, of Southborough, Portmore. The crime took place in Greenwich Town, St Andrew.

Both men were reportedly on Eight Street in Greenwich Town when they were pounced upon by unknown assailants who opened fire, killing them. Three other persons were shot in that incident.

There were also two other incidents of shooting, one in Text Lane in Central Kingston, and a shooting in Bamboo River, St Thomas.

Nairne formerly represented Harbour View FC and Vere United in the Red Stripe Premier League and was hailed by Harbour View on the club’s Facebook page.

“RIP to our former player, Shemar ‘Shakey’ Nairne, who tragically died following a Greenwich Town shooting…??,” said Harbour View in a post.

“Shemar played for us in the 2018-19 season in 14 games, scoring three goals. He transferred back to Vere United in August 2019, then to Dunbeholden FC in January 2020.

“Our sincere condolences to his family, friends, teammates and loved ones, as well as to the other victims?Shine on, Shakey,” the East Kingston-based club added.

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.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), in effort to ease the financial pressure facing clubs in the Red Stripe Premier League, has decided to forego payments due from clubs on office rental, utilities, registration fees, contract administrative fees as well as home match levies, yellow and red card fees for the 2019-2020 season.

Peter-Lee Vassell, a Reggae Boy who was last season cut by his Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit, Los Angeles FC (LAFC), after the player only managed six games for them and six out on loan with United Soccer League (USL) outfit Phoenix Rising FC.

Vassell has since been seen training with Danish second division club, HB Koge, sparking rumours he was on his way there this season.

The playmaker’s agent, Damani Ralph, confirmed that Vassell was training with the club, but would not go into any further details.

“[Vassell] is currently on trial with HB Koge, and we are hopeful for a successful trial. He has now played in two friendly games and is doing well. This is as much as I can comment on right now,” said Ralph.

Vassell was a standout at high school, playing for Cornwall College and Montego Bay United, before he began his professional career with Harbour View FC, making 44 appearances before his move to LAFC.

He debuted for the Reggae Boyz in 2018, earning 16 caps, from which he scored six goals.

Reggae Boy Cory Burke may be finding his way back onto a professional pitch if his club, the Philadephia Union can have their way.

The 28-year-old Burke has been playing for Portmore United, despite having a contract with the Philadelphia Union in the United States’ Major League because he lost his P1 status early last year.

A P1 visa is applicable to athletes entering the United States to perform at a specific athletic competition as an individual athlete or as part of a team at an internationally recognized level of performance.

Burke’s misfortune was beneficial to Portmore United, for whom he turned out in the interim.

Burke’s paperwork was complete recently and he is now well on the way to being able to apply for a green card but until then, the Philadephia Union the team he has been playing on since 2017 when they bought him from the Bethlehem Steel, will be loaning him out.

The striker, who has scored 11 goals in his 20 appearances for Portmore, will now turn out for Austrian outfit, SKN St Polten.

Polten, the 2016 Austrian Champions, now sits ninth in a 12-team table, just three points from bottom.

“I think I found a pretty good solution for him. He is on his way at this moment,” said Philadephia’s Sporting Director Ernst Tanner.

“Everything is not written, but we have an agreement and Cory already has an agreement with the club.”

According to Tanner, the loan spell with St Polten is to get Burke playing at a high level again before his re-integration into the MLS system.

“I think they have a good situation for him, as he will join a club where the coach is a friend of mine and he knows everything about the player,” Tanner said.

“The goal is to give him match practice on the higher level than he has had so far and bring him back at the beginning of May if possible,” he added.

“He can re-apply for a green card by the end of April, and that’s what we have in mind. Loan him out until then and then bringing him back.” 

In January, former Portmore United attacking midfielder, Javon East will be embarking on a three-year stint with Primera División de Costa Rica outfit, Santos de Guápiles, when the new season begins.

Back in June, East went on loan with the Costa Rican top-tier club and has impressed enough to be offered a more permanent switch.

However, East, who made his debut for the Reggae Boyz in 2018, while happy with the club’s decision to see him as important to their future, is also looking elsewhere to secure that future.

“I am feeling good about this because it is a start to push my career towards Europe,” said East.

“I think that I just have to start the season good and finish it good in order to stand a chance to make it into Europe.”

East, had a phenomenal start to life with Santos, scoring 10 goals in 18 appearances for the club, making him its leading scorer last season, just three off the top goalscorer in the league.

East, though, has set his sights much higher, saying he wants to, at least, double that tally in the upcoming season.

“My aim for next season is to score 20-plus goals because from the first week that I went there, I adapted to their style of play and so I know that I can hit this target,” he said.

With much bigger targets, East, one of three foreigners in the Santos squad, believes he will have to do more adapting because he is no longer and unknown quantity.

“I think next season is going to be a bit tougher because my opponents in the league know about me now, and so I am going to have to double my work ethic going forward in the competition,” he said.

Promoted Molynes United battled their way to a gritty 2-1 win over Waterhouse at the Drewsland Stadium.

Defending champions Portmore United and Tivoli Gardens scored victories on Sunday during round 16 of the Red Stripe Premier League.

Euardo Cornwall, the Chairman for Red Stripe Premier League club Molynes United, believes that despite the team’s 1-0loss to Humble Lion on the weekend, he is optimistic that they will return to winning ways soon.

Waterhouse FC’s to go one better in this season’s Red Stripe Premier League continues to look promising after last year’s runners up, courtesy of a 2-1 win over Humble Lion at the Effortville Community Centre, moved to 30 points.

Waterhouse’s lead is now eight points after second-place Mount Pleasant lost 2-0 to RSPL defending champions Portmore United.

National representative Cory Burke scored a brace to help the champions keep momentum that is now four games strong. They are now on 18 points and up to sixth place in the standings.

Molynes United, continued to struggle, losing 3-0 to Vere United at the Wembley Centre of Excellence but they are still third on 20 points.

Cavalier SC now lie ninth in the table on 15 points after they were held 1-1 by 10th place University of the West Indies, who now have 12 points.

In the day’s late game, Duneholden, who began the day ninth, are now up to seventh with 17 points, leapfrogging Harbour View, who drop to eighth on 16.

A furious late-game rally from Mount Pleasant kept the pressure on Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) leaders Waterhouse after they secured a 2-1 win over Humble Lion.

The St Ann-based club seemed well on their way to a home loss after Rohan Richards had given Humble Lion the lead at the stroke of halftime.  With the advantage holding for most of the second half, Mount Pleasant only sprang into action in the final 10 minutes.  Sue-Lae McCalla finally brought the team back on level terms in the 86th minute and in the dying embers of the game, Jourdaine Fletcher scored again to leave Humble Lion stunned.  The win was the fifth in a row for the surging Mount Pleasant.

Elsewhere, the downward spiral continued for previous league leaders Molynes United who crashed to a fourth loss in five games following a 2-1 loss to UWI.  Sergini Frankson gave the promoted team the lead in the 13th minute but UWI struck back almost immediately when Shuwayne Barrett responded in the 17th minute.  Zhelano Barnes handed the visitors all three points from the penalty spot in the 57th minute.  In another game, ten-man Tivoli Gardens went down 1-0 to visiting Portmore United.  Forward Rondee Smith got the game’s only goal in the 72nd minute.  Elsewhere, a Dean-Andre Thomas double saw Dunbeholden snap a two-game winless streak with a 2-1 win over Vere United.

In the late kick-offs, goals from Kenroy Howell (37th), Tremaine Stewart (74th) and Colorado Murray (83rd) saw Waterhouse come from behind to secure a comprehensive 3-1 win over Harbour View.  Bebeto McDonald had given the home team the lead in the 28th minute.  In the other game, Arnett Gardens cruised to a 4-2 win over Cavalier.

Hosts Arnett Gardens and Cavalier were unable to separate themselves, battling to a tough draw as SportsMax Monday night football returned at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

Humble Lion handed promoted Molynes United a second loss in as many games a result which left the newcomers struggling for answers after a fast start to life in the top flight.

The promoted team won their first six games but have managed just one point in their last three games.  On Sunday, it was the home team that struck first after Andre Clennon found the back of the net in the 52nd minute after a scoreless first half.  Molynes were quick to strike back, however, and pulled level through the efforts of Ryan Brown three minutes later.  LeVaughn Williams ensured the host would plunder all three points, however, finding the back of the net in time added on.

In other games, Dean-Andre Thomas scored the all-important goal as Dunbeholden edged UWI 1-0.  Thomas found the mark in the 52nd minute.  Vere United and Arnett Gardens played to a 1-1 draw.  Tamar Edwards gave Arnett Gardens the lead in the 60th minute but Javior Brown stuck back to ensure the home team had at least a share of the points nine minutes later.

 

RSPL Monday Night Football returns on October 28 following an agreement signed between the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and Caribbean sports cable giant, SportsMax.

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