Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential candidate Raymond Anderson has expressed concern about the recent developments surrounding the Jamaica Women's Premier League (JWPL).

This, as three days post-launch, the league has encountered notable setbacks, including the cancellation of its opening ceremony, the withdrawal of two participating teams, and widespread confusion regarding the match fixtures and venues.

Anderson in a release through his Real Solid Action (RSA) team on Saturday, argued that the initial presentation of the JWPL lacks a coherent vision for the growth of women's football, as details on the league's strategic plans, as well as the announced sponsor, Sherwin Williams, were both absent from the launch. Furthermore, he said there was no information on the support to be extended to the participating clubs or efforts to promote the games and foster interest in women's football.

The inconsistency in messages regarding the inclusion of a knockout competition, Anderson believes further contributed to the perception that the launch was merely a superficial attempt to garner positive public relations.

"This approach mirrors the ongoing issues faced by the Senior Reggae Girlz, underscoring a pattern of inadequate management and planning by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). In light of these challenges, the RSA urges the General Secretary to promptly address these critical issues. Immediate action is necessary to rectify these flaws, which threaten to demoralize players and undermine the clubs' stability," Anderson's statement read.

"I firmly believe in the potential and significance of women's football in Jamaica and pledge to ensure the establishment of a well-structured, Tier 1 women's league, complete with substantial sponsor support, under his leadership. This commitment is a cornerstone of the manifesto (launched December 2023), reflecting our dedication to elevating the standard and visibility of women's football in Jamaica," it added.

Anderson, who is challenging incumbent Michael Ricketts, pledged that the JFF under his leadership would commit to revolutionizing women's football in Jamaica through a multifaceted approach. He also promised to prioritize and invest the necessary resources and effort into the development of the local women's football league, ensuring it reflects the high standards set by the national team's accomplishments on the global stage.

"Our manifesto emphasizes the importance of grassroots development, aiming to significantly increase girls' exposure to football from an early age, thereby laying a solid foundation for the future. Recognizing the critical role of competitive play in development, the initiative includes the establishment of a properly organised Professional Football of Jamaica Women’s League and support for annual competitions across various age groups and technical levels. This framework is designed to enhance skill development, experience, and national representation opportunities.

"The achievement of a women's squad qualifying for the World Cup twice would presumably serve as a significant incentive for investing in the local women's league. However, this expectation appears to have been unmet," the statement ended.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) election is set to face another delay, as the country’s governing football body has been served a notice of appeal filed on behalf of Patricia Garel as President of Beach Soccer Jamaica.

This follows a recent Supreme Court ruling that denied an application for the continuation of the temporary injunction, which initially barred the elections from proceeding on January 14.

That application was denied on the basis that the applicants, Garel and Beach Soccer Jamaica, did not establish that they are an affiliate or member of the JFF. As a result, the court ruled that there was no serious issue to be tried by the court.

However, instead of heading to an Elective Congress, the parties are headed back to court as Garel, whose initially application in the Supreme Court sought an order to compel the JFF to allow Beach Soccer to participate in the election of officers as the entity representing beach football in Jamaica, has appealed against the recent ruling.

Still, the JFF in a release says it remains confident in securing a favorable decision on the appeal.

“The JFF is on course to set a new date for Elective Congress, in order to ensure that the members are not disenfranchised,” the JFF statement noted.

With this latest move said to be in violation of the JFF Constitution and the FIFA Statutes, incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, expressed his discontent with the court action.

Ricketts stated that he is “opposed to the action, especially as it goes against the provisions of the JFF Constitution and the FIFA Statutes and is a deliberate attempt to deny the legitimate members a right to exercise their vote for the development of football in Jamaica and for Jamaicans.”

Meanwhile, vice-president Raymond Anderson, who is challenging Ricketts for the post, declined to comment on the matter.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is now in the process of setting a new election date, after the Supreme Court denied an application for the continuation of the temporary injunction, which initially barred the proceedings.

It is understood that the application was denied on the basis that the applicants, Patricia Garel and Beach Soccer Jamaica, did not establish that they are an affiliate or member of the JFF. As a result, the court ruled that there is no serious issue to be tried by the court.

"This has been the position of the JFF, and we are pleased that the way is now cleared for us to set the new election date, which will be determined by the Board," the JFF said in a statement on Friday.

The initial January 14 election date set by the JFF was thrown out the window when Garel filed the application in the Supreme Court seeking an order to compel the JFF to allow Beach Soccer to participate in the election of officers as the entity representing beach football in Jamaica.

Garel, in the application which was filed this week, contends that in 2022 the respondent, JFF, promulgated a new constitution and article 12 stipulates that Beach Soccer Jamaica is one of the affiliates under pillar 3 of the constitution.

By virtue of that promulgation under article 12, Beach Soccer became a member of the JFF and was so treated.

Subsequent to the promulgation of the constitution, Garel said recognition was given to Beach Soccer when the respondent invited Beach Soccer to send three representatives to the congress on September 24 last year, which is reflected in the minutes of the JFF.

The injunction was granted but expired today.

Incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, is being challenged by vice-president Raymond Anderson for the presidency.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Presidential Election has been delayed by at least 28 days.

The elections were scheduled for Sunday, January 14 at Rusea’s High School in Hanover.

The postponement is due to an injunction granted by the Supreme Court following an appeal made on behalf of Beach Soccer Jamaica, the Jamaica Football Referees Association and Intercol Jamaica to become registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ).

The COJ registration would allow those parties ratification to become delegates ahead of the election.

Incumbent Michael Ricketts is being challenged by JFF First-Vice President Raymond Anderson. Ricketts has been in office as President since September 2017.

 

Cedella Marley has resigned from her role as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s women's football team effective immediately.

Marley, who was highly regarded by the players as the Reggae Girlz’ ‘fairy godmother,’ made the announcement via a release on Thursday.

Marley, in the statement, pointed to the current state of affairs involving the senior Reggae Girlz World Cup representatives and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) as reasons behind her departure, a decision which comes after 10 years partnering with the country's governing football body, to raise funds for the Reggae Girlz as they qualified for consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019 and 2023.

"I must express my disappointment and growing concern with the turn things have taken in recent months. After the World Cup, I was under the impression that we all were committed to working together to build on that success. However, the ever-widening rift between the JFF and the team is very alarming. Numerous overtures to each of you to voice my concern and try to assist with a resolution, continue to be met with noncommittal, generic response," a part of her statement read.

She said she believes the federation is “neither receptive nor interested" in her "current manner of support.”

Marley explained that after sharing a mutual vision with Captain Horace Burrell, she joined the team with an understanding that she would bring “help and support.” She further expressed that since coming to that understanding, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations alongside a host of partners have invested some US $2.7 million into the growth and development of the country's women’s football team since 2014.

“We have worked diligently with the federation to build a solid women’s programme. The results of this work speak for themselves as the Reggae Girlz have gone on to literally make history – not once, not twice but repeatedly,” she noted.

Despite her resignation, Marley declared that she would continue to support the Reggae Girlz’ journey via the Football is Freedom initiative.

Meanwhile, JFF Vice-president Raymond Anderson, who will challenge incumbent Michael Ricketts for the presidency next week, believes Marley's resignation speaks clearly to the inability of the current leadership to be trusted. 

"This resignation casts a long shadow of mistrust over the current JFF administration. It is now clear that there has been a deliberate effort to discredit our two-time World Cup-qualifying Reggae Girlz. This squad, a beacon of hope and pride for our nation, has been let down. In just three months, the JFF has managed to undo what took Cedella Marley and everyone involved a decade to build," a release from Anderson's Real Solid Action (RSA) team stated.

"I utterly condemn the manner in which the Reggae Girlz and Ambassador Marley have been treated. The lack of communication, unfulfilled promises, and disregard shown are inexcusable. To see such disregard for the team, the handling of coach Lorne Donaldson, and the dismantling of their structure after ascending to the Round of 16 in the World Cup, is not only a betrayal of trust but a tragic misstep," it added.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has broken his silence about recent developments and allegations laid against his administration by vice-president and challenger Raymond Anderson and his Real Solid Action (RSA) team.
 
With the January 14 elections now less than a month away, Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, expressed concern about the mudslinging involved in the elections campaign, chief among them, the allegations of fraud against his administration where the handling of stakeholders in Pillar three is concerned, and more recently, an uproar during the JFF Congress in Montego Bay.
 
"I have up until now refrained from offering any public comments regarding the election, as we are guided by a constitution, and I have always emphasised the need for both sides to maintain respect for each other, as we all need to live together after the election. There have been several comments made in the public, which are disturbing, to say the least," Ricketts said in a release on Tuesday.
 
The comments to which Ricketts refer involves the situation in which Anderson and some delegates were Anderson, along with 11 delegates, who were travelling in a bus, were asked to provide their names before entering the schoolyard. They were held outside the college gates for approximately 15 minutes.

Anderson characterised the situation as employing intimidatory tactics, but Ricketts rubbished the allegations.

"At a recent extraordinary congress, the matter escalated with some delgates arriving at the gate and refusing to provide their names to the security, which was done by everyone else, a standard practice within the FIFA organisations. As president, I not only waited on their team for almost an hour after the meeting was scheduled to start, but allowed them to enter even with their refusal to provide their names," the president explained.
 
"Also, at a recent board meeting, a member from each side was involved in a regular verbal exchange. This was surprisingly reported to the police by the other side as a threat.
The latest episode was an attempt to publicly embarrass my candidate, with a public effort to arrest without even a warning. If it is the incident that I know of, it does not warrant this type of action," he added.
 
Finally, in expressing his disappointment, Ricketts is hopeful that good sense will prevail for the remainder of the respective campaigns.
 
"I am extremely disappointed that some elements have allowed the election process to play out in this manner, which is aimed at embarrassing persons. Once again, I ask all involved to let good sense prevail in the interest of football," the release ended.

Anderson’s RSA slate includes Keith Wellington, Jacqueline Cummings-Martin, Donald Beckford and Orville Powell, as vice-presidents, while Carole Beckford and Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron would serve as ordinary directors.

Meanwhile, Ricketts’s slate has Gregory Daley, Elaine Walker-Brown, Raymond Grant and Baron Watson as vice-presidents, with Rudolph Speid and Bruce Gaynor as ordinary directors.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential hopeful Raymond Anderson reaffirmed a commitment to lead with integrity, transparency and efficiency, as he believes his Real Solid Action (RSA) team boast the capacity to fulfill the objectives they have pledged to pursue, if elected on January 14.

In fact, Anderson, during the launch of his 27-page manifesto on Thursday, outlined a wide-range of plans to not only improve, but also to move the country’s football product forward.

To achieve this, he pointed out that his team will rely on eight key points –rebranding football, establishing a youth development programme, restoring financial stability, developing women’s football, regaining stakeholder trust, investing in fields and infrastructure, establishing local senior elite squads and facilitating qualifications –as their guiding light.

Anderson, a current vice-president said the decision to challenge incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, stems from the fact that he hasn’t been able to effect real change from the back seat, where decision-making is concerned.

"My association with the Jamaica Football Federation spans well in excess of three decades. This period includes the last six years with the current administration. The question therefore arises as to why am I challenging for the leadership of the Jamaica Football Federation at this time?

“My answer is simple: my association with the JFF has provided me with a comprehensive view of the challenges with which the JFF has been grappling. However, I have not been able to act on what I know is needed. I need to be in a position to make the decisions to make the difference required,” Anderson said during the launch at the Courtleigh Hotel.

Anderson revealed that chief among the challenges the JFF has faced over the last six years, is the fact that they have been operating under a restricted funding mandate from world governing body FIFA.

“Please recognise that this restriction is due primarily to poor reporting and accountability over the period. This has imposed enormous constraints on the JFF to pursue meaningful developmental objectives. In fact, the federation has been unable to meet some of its basic obligations which has resulted in unseemly public disputes with some of our key stakeholders, most notably, the players,” Anderson stated.

On that note, the former St Mary FA president argued that a lack of trust has been a feature of the current administration and, as such appealed to the 56 delegates across the three pillars to assist his RSA team to regain stakeholder trust, and more importantly, engage corporate Jamaica’s return to football.

“This current administration enjoys very little trust among its various stakeholders. Trust is essential to the efficient running of any venture. The JFF is no exception to this rule. Trust lost is often hard to restore.  Rebuilding trust is almost akin to putting Humpty Dumpty back together after the fall. We therefore have no alternative but to replace this regime,” Anderson declared.

He continued: “We neither have the time nor the resources to do otherwise. This administration needs to go, not because it is comprised of evildoers, but simply because Jamaican football cannot continue in its current state. Trust impinges on everything we do. Corporate sponsors will not support our programmes if they don’t trust us. That is why the administration has failed to garner any substantial support from corporate Jamaica.

“The public will not stand behind our teams unconditionally in the absence of trust, and our players will not be able to perform to their very best levels when they have no confidence in the administration. Under the current administration, we have qualified twice for the Women’s World Cup, but we have done so by overcoming unnecessary obstacles which were brought about by inefficiency, incompetence and lack of trust in the administration. This continues even up to today, four months after the last World Cup.”

Anderson’s RSA slate includes Keith Wellington, Jacqueline Cummings-Martin, Donald Beckford and Orville Powell, as vice-presidents, while Carole Beckford and Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron would serve as ordinary directors.

Meanwhile, Ricketts’s slate has Gregory Daley, Elaine Walker-Brown, Raymond Grant and Baron Watson as vice-presidents, with Rudolph Speid and Bruce Gaynor as ordinary directors.

“There is much to be done, but we are up to the task. There will have to be a considerable amount of cleaning and rebuilding, but we promise to retain those policies which have worked for football, and which we believe will be in the best interest for us to sustain. I extend an arm of friendship to you all, mindful of the possibilities which exist for the beautiful game and Jamaica land we love. I urge voters to join my team in the journey to achieving that dream,” Anderson ended.

The Real Solid Action campaign team, led by Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Presidential candidate, Raymond Anderson, has provided evidence of what they describe as “massive electoral fraud” by the incumbent JFF administration led by President Michael Ricketts.

Last week, Anderson’s team expressed profound outrage and dismay at the recent uncovering of actions taken by the Michael Ricketts-led administration to disenfranchise constitutionally recognized voter organizations. 

Anderson's team said it has in its possession irrefutable evidence showing the JFF's repeated attempts to prevent legitimate voter organizations from exercising their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for January 14.

These tactics, the RSA team believes are a blatant disregard for democratic principles and are aimed at silencing voices that are crucial to the fair and transparent functioning of the electoral process.

They presented said evidence to members of the media and, thus, to the public during a press briefing at the Liguanea Club in Kingston on Monday. 

To better understand the questions at hand, we must first gain a better understanding of exactly how the voting structure for the JFF elections is made up. 

“There are 56 votes spread across what we refer to as three pillars,” according to RSA team member and current JFF director Denzil Wilks. 

“Pillar one comprises all the football parish associations and each parish has two votes so that’s 26 votes there.” 

“Pillar two comprises the top four clubs in the Men’s Premier League, the top four clubs in the Women’s Premier League, the top four clubs in what is referred to as the men’s tier two and equally in the women’s tier two. We are aware that in the current circumstances, because there has not been any tier two in the women’s area, there is a special arrangement as far as voting is concerned where the top four in tier one will vote on behalf of what should be tier two.” 

“Pillar three comprises the Referees Association, Jamaica Football Coaches Association, ISSA, Inter-col, Beach Soccer Jamaica, Past Players Association and the PFJL.” 

With that said, RSA’s major concerns have to do with the disenfranchising of two of these members-the Jamaica Football Coaches Association headed by Vin Blaine and Beach Soccer Jamaica headed by Pat Garel. 

The RSA argues that the current JFF administration masterminded the formation of two shell companies, namely the Jamaica Coaches Association led by Rudolph Speid, and the Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited which listed current JFF vice president Bruce Gaynor, team manager for the Senior Reggae Boyz O-mar Stennett and current JFF director Patrick Malcolm as directors. 

These companies were formed to supplement votes for the current administration at the January 14 elections. Both companies were granted admission to the JFF.

The evidence provided against the Jamaica Coaches Association was a letter from the Companies Office of Jamaica stating “the name Jamaica Coaches Association Limited does not appear on our list of registered companies.” 

“When we looked at the coaches and we sat and planned, the only group we had in mind was the Vin Blaine-led group that was formed in 2009. There was no other group,” Anderson, who also the current vice president of the JFF, said. 

The board was essentially tricked into thinking that the Speid-led Jamaica Coaches Association Limited was a registered company as Anderson explained further. 

“When we as a board made that decision, the General Secretary Dennis Chung told us that all the boxes by the Speid-led association were checked and that the association led by Blaine had some outstanding boxes. If you look at it, the boxes that were not ticked for the Blaine-led group did not apply to coaches. It was an inside job. They went ahead and tried to register the company and it could not be registered so they just ticked that box and brought it to the board. Based on that, the board referred it to congress with all those boxes ticked. So, the decision congress made on the coaches’ association is not true. It is a lie!” 

A similar situation took place regarding Beach Soccer Jamaica and Beach Football Jamaica Limited.

Beach Soccer Jamaica, run by Pat Garel, is the internationally recognized body controlling the sport in the country by the global governing body, Beach Soccer Worldwide, whereas Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited is not internationally recognized.

The latter was, however, chosen by the JFF to cast a vote at the upcoming election instead of the actual body overseeing the sport in Jamaica.

“On September 15th, we (Beach Soccer Jamaica) were invited to what would be a congress on the 24th of September to ratify the affiliates based on the mandates of the new constitution. Prior to that time, when we were having any kind of Beach Soccer event, all that was necessary was to send a letter to the JFF and ask them for a sanction letter,” Garel said.

“The congress took place and we were told that we need to be compliant in being a registered company which we did on September 18, then we sent in our membership application on the 19th of September as instructed by the JFF so we thought that we would have gotten an acknowledgment letter which would have been the proper process,” she added.

Garel said that they followed up regarding their application on September 22 with JFF General Secretary Dennis Chung and even thought that they couldn’t go to the congress on the 24th without it being ratified.

“The congress took place and they said don’t worry about it. We need more supporting documents-a short profile of your directors- and we duly obliged and sent those. We kept calling and we kept writing then he (Chung) sent to say that they are giving some of the pillar three people, who are not as compliant as we have been, time to get their documents in,” she said.

According to Garel, they wrote again on October 30th and the message from the General Secretary was the same as before.

“On November 7, we heard through the media that there was consideration for another Beach entity and so we enquired and we were told that on October 18, a Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited was registered,” she said.

“We got back in touch with Mr. Chung and he said they’re not understanding what’s going on. He told us to just send any other additional information we have regarding our qualification and I said ‘what else would that be?’ He said anything from the international body so we got a letter from the international body inviting both the JFF and Beach Soccer Jamaica to the World Cup in Dubai next February so we sent that letter only to understand, through the media again, that they decided on Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited,” Garel added.

In fact, one of the listed directors of Beach Football Jamaica Limited, O-mar Stennett, denied any involvement with the company, stating that the furthest his involvement with the sport goes is being added to a WhatsApp group titled Beach Football Jamaica.

The other listed directors of the company- Bruce Gaynor and Patrick Malcolm- wouldn’t even be able to vote at the elections due to the JFF’s constitution. There was even evidence of Stennett's signature being forged on an official document signed by Gaynor.

To conclude, the RSA is appealing to the JFF’s electoral committee, including JOA President Christopher Samuda, Leighton McKnight, Acting Principal of Jamaica College Wayne Robinson and Steve Distant, will overturn the JFF’s decision and grant voting privileges to the legitimate, constitutionally recognized pillar three members, Jamaica Football Coaches Association and Beach Soccer Jamaica.

The Real Solid Action (RSA) campaign team, led by candidate Raymond Anderson, has expressed profound outrage and dismay at the recent uncovering of actions taken by the Michael Ricketts-led Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration to disenfranchise constitutionally recognized voter organizations.
 
Anderson's team said it has in its possession irrefutable evidence showing the JFF's repeated attempts to prevent legitimate voter organizations from exercising their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for January 14. These tactics, the RSA team believes are a blatant disregard for democratic principles and are aimed at silencing voices that are crucial to the fair and transparent functioning of the electoral process.
 
"Among those wrongfully and shamelessly targeted are the Vin Blaine-led, Jamaica Football Coaches Association and Beach Soccer Jamaica, led by Pat Garel.  These organizations play a pivotal role in the development and governance of football in Jamaica and must not be silenced.  We also find it absolutely deplorable, unconstitutional and shameful that the federation's leadership deliberately failed to inform these groups of their rights and obligations under the new constitution and has decided to share the document with these entities only as recently as October 2023," an RSA release said.
 
"Further investigations by Team RSA have unearthed attempts by the incumbent president, Michael Ricketts, and his administration to register newly formed "shell" companies. These entities, formed by disingenuous directors and federation staff members, are intended to replace the disenfranchised organizations, further skewing the electoral process in favor of the current JFF leadership. Contact has been made with the Electoral Committee regarding these developments, and we expect and have confidence that this body will act in keeping with its mandate and thoroughly examine the evidence presented as a matter of urgency and with fairness," it added. 
 
On that note, the RSA team declared its plans to host a press conference on Monday, as it called for action and asserted that the alleged misconduct must end immediately. The conference scheduled for 11:00am at the Liguanea Club will be used to present evidence and further details on the disenfranchisement efforts, as well as the RSA's action plan to restore fairness and integrity to the electoral process.
 
"We stand united in our commitment to ensuring a fair and just electoral process within the Jamaica Football Federation. The RSA campaign calls for immediate corrective measures and stands ready to lead the way towards a more transparent and accountable governance of football in Jamaica," the release ended.

The Michael Ricketts-led Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration has once again found itself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, as their integrity has again been called into question by stakeholders.

This, as Beach Soccer Jamaica demanded an explanation for why its application for membership was turned down, while another recently formed entity “that has never operated or been involved in beach football in Jamaica, has been accepted as a member by the Board of the JFF.”

Beach Soccer in a letter addressed to general secretary Dennis Chung said it complied with all the JFF’s request to submit various documents and at no time based on all email responses where there any indication from the country’s governing football body that there were outstanding documentation.

In fact, Beach Soccer in its statement pointed out that they were “never officially provided with the Constitution or any other document that detailed the required submissions,” and, as such are disappointed with the outcome.

“It is with great dismay and shock that we learned in the news media that another recently formed entity that has never operated or been involved in beach football in Jamaica, has been accepted as a member by the Board of the JFF. It is disheartening that this new entity was equally incorporated after the June 30, 2023, deadline for being in existence as stipulated in Article 83(ix) of the JFF constitution.

“We demand an explanation of why our documents were not accepted by the Board of the JFF or why we were considered non-compliant when prior to this decision, we were never advised that we had not met any of the requirements. We note that included in the leadership of the alternative Beach Football Association, which was accepted, are two current members of the JFF Executive,” Beach Soccer’s statement said.“This is a serious breach of your obligation to us as a stakeholder in the JFF, which has unfairly resulted in our organization being disenfranchised for the upcoming election congress, and is an affront to good governance, and appears discriminatory.

“Your actions have left us with no alternative than to report this serious dereliction of duty to the CFU, the CONCACAF, and FIFA for their intervention and as such we have copied them herein,” it added.

Meanwhile, Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron, chairman of the Real Solid Action (RSA) –the team behind Raymond Anderson, who will challenge Ricketts for the JFF presidency on January 14 –conveyed their discontent with how the JFF has handled the stakeholder agreement for Pillar Three for the upcoming elections.

The elections are constitutionally due this year but the decision to move it to early next year, was made to give other stakeholders, particularly those in Pillar Three to apply for acceptance. Only the Past Players’ Association, the Beach Football of Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Coaches Association have been accepted from Pillar Three.

The deadline for application closes on December 20, and that will allow other stakeholders in that section to apply.

The Jamaica Football Referees Association, ISSA, PFJL and Intercol are the other stakeholders in Pillar Three.

The JFF constitution was changed to allow 56 delegates to vote, up from 13 in previous elections.

“Pillar Three was introduced specifically to recognize the supporting and most important segment of our football landscape to ensure that the representation at the highest level reflects the view of the majority of the stakeholders participating in football.  

“We are of the firm belief that the process to engage the stakeholders was not treated with the requisite due process and importance to ensure they were properly registered,” Cameron’s release said.

“The JFF has been aware of what is required to engage all 56 voting members, but its failure to communicate same has been met with a possibility of them being disenfranchised. We believe there has also been a major breach of the code of ethics which has just been adopted by the JFF again underlying the challenges of the organization,” it noted, while requesting that the issues be resolved as quickly as possible. 

 

Former Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Tony James says the recent move to cut Lorne Donaldson from the Reggae Girlz programme, could prove the final nail in the coffin of the Michael Ricketts-led administration, as he believes their chances of retaining leadership of the country’s football were already slim.

James –like many football enthusiasts at home and abroad –has always been critical of Ricketts’s leadership and even felt he should have relinquished the post last year when the senior Reggae Boyz players called for the scalp of then general secretary Dalton Wint.  

At that point, James said Ricketts lacked the requisite acumen to continue leading the sport’s local governing body, as he failed to accept responsibility for the chaos that has unfolded in Jamaica’s football over the past few years with players and some coaches consistently expressing discontent at the constant “lack of respect, transparency and communication” from the JFF hierarchy.

Now thrown in the spotlight once again with the non-renewal of Donaldson’s contract, and the elections due by year end, James thinks it might just result in Ricketts and administration’s demise.

Donaldson, who was appointed in 2022, led the Reggae Girlz to a second-consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup. At the tournament jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, they had an historic run to the round of 16, after drawing with France and Brazil and defeating Panama in the group stage.

The Reggae Girlz eventually bowed out following a 0-1 loss to Colombia.

In their most recent fixtures, the Reggae Girlz suffered back-to-back losses to Canada in a failed bid to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, but the progress the team has made under Donaldson’s leadership is without question.

“The upcoming election is the exact reason why that decision with Lorne is poor. If you have an election in a couple of weeks, why are you going to make a move like this.

“You have a lame duck presidency and administration why are you going to take on a massive investment for a national women’s coach when JFF is still in restrictive financing, why would you want to do that now. So that decision is a matter of bad timing,” James said in a recent interview with Sportsmax.tv.

By virtue of hiring a new coach, James argues that the Reggae Girlz programme will be unnecessarily reset, when there are other areas of the country’s football that needs more attention.

“The schoolboy football needs to be reset, the academy programme needs to be reset and the parishes, the most important on the agenda heading into the elections, have to be reset,” he asserted.

For the upcoming elections, Ricketts, who has been in power since 2017, will be challenged by current vice-president Raymond Anderson.

Anderson, who has served in previous administrations has the likes of former Cricket West Indies President Dave Cameron, Marketing Strategist Cecile Dennis, Kingston and St Andrew Football Association President Mark Bennett and St Thomas Football Association President Wayne Thompson, on his campaign team.

Last year's changes to the JFF's constitutional reform will result in an increase in delegates from 13 –previously consisted solely of parish confederation presidents –to 56, comprising more stakeholders.

James also took issues with those changes.

“Everything seems to be wrong structurally about what they are doing. The election of the parishes comes three months after the JFF elections, and what exist now is a corrupt construct, you can’t have a corrupt construct electing a president and a new board for a four-year term. You should have the election for the parishes first and then out of that election you elect a new JFF board,” James opined.

“The thing is that when you have a corrupt construct that exist in the JFF, the majority of people that are going to vote are people you have to appeal to, to vote for you. So, if you accept the fact that the parishes, especially the rural parishes, some of them are extremely weak and extremely poor in their structure, you have to correct that first or at least attempt to correct that.

“But they are going for votes rather to correct the structure and if the structure is not corrected no matter who gets there (the presidency) then it won’t make a difference. Because you're trying to get football moving forward and get football resilient which means you have to always be moving forward without moving back. Instead, what has been happening now is that you take two steps forward one step back you need everybody in the same boat moving in the same direction,” he ended.

While his administration has had its fair share of negative highlights over the years, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts believes they have done enough to retain power, as he welcomes the challenge from current vice-president Raymond Anderson for the top job.

In fact, Ricketts, who has been in power since 2017, promised to not only build on the Reggae Girlz tremendous success at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and, by extension, their legacy, but also sustained growth going forward, if re-elected.

Still, the strained relationship between his administration and various coaches and players of both the senior Reggae Boyz and Reggae Girlz team, in particular, cannot escape them and Ricketts knows he will have to convince more delegates than is customary, to vote in his favour.

Last year's changes to the JFF's constitutional reform will result in an increase in delegates from 13 –previously consisted solely of parish confederation presidents –to 56, comprising more stakeholders.

“The challenge from vice-president Anderson comes at a time when the JFF is doing so very well to the point where for the first time it has its own Tax Compliance Certificate which is among a number of significant strides that we have made over the years. We are very well current with our tax payments and that's something we haven't been able to do or say for so many years,” Ricketts told Sportsmax.tv.

“I would also refer to the success from the technical component of the programmes and the success from a financial standpoint. So, we really are on a track for greatness, especially having had Adidas, arguably one of the finest apparel manufacturers on board as our main sponsor. This is no ordinary feat to achieve this,” he added.

With elections due by November, Ricketts pledged to make inroads in areas where there have been shortfalls, namely a proper grassroots programme to ensure sustained development, as well as to iron out payment issues with the history-making Reggae Girlz, until then.

“So things are progressing, we've been getting a number of sponsors in recent times which shows that the JFF is doing something right. So for vice-president Anderson to contest for the position of President, I am not sure the timing is right.

“But I welcome whatever challenges there are. I know that the work has been done and I want to assure every single stakeholder that this is just the start of a number of initiatives that will impact the total well-being of every single boy or girl in this country,” Ricketts declared.

Anderson, who has served in previous administrations has the likes of former Cricket West Indies President Dave Cameron, Marketing Strategist Cecile Dennis, Kingston and St Andrew Football Association President Mark Bennett and St Thomas Football Association President Wayne Thompson, on his campaign team.

“Let's see what the outcome will be, I have the greatest respect for him [Anderson], I just hope that the people around him will maintain a level of professionalism and respect and not make derogatory comments. But there are no ill-feelings, just that the political battle lines have been drawn. So again, let's see what will happen from here on,” Ricketts stated.

That said, Ricketts heaped praises on the Lorne Donaldson-coached Reggae Girlz, who became the first Caribbean team –male or female –to make the knockout round of a World Cup since Cuba’s feat in 1938.

The Girlz held powerhouses France and Brazil to goalless stalemates and defeated Panama on their way to the Round of 16.

“This year certainly must go down as one of the most significant years in the history of football in this country. The achievements were absolutely wonderful and we must credit or technical staff or technical committees for the positive results that we got. The Girlz and more recently the Under-15 boys, really have done so very well,” the president noted.

“We are just very, very delighted and we must now put things in place to ensure that the legacy continues. I know this must provide some kind of a catalyst for every little girl or boy, who now really wants to play the sport of football. Congratulations and a big thank you again to all the stakeholders and all the sponsors, who contributed in so many ways to make the Reggae Girlz campaign the success that it was,” he ended.

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