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Game on: KSAFA gets green light

Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) have reached an agreement that paves the way for the immediate resumption of competitions run by the Corporate Area affiliate.

"We had a very successful meeting with executives of both associations and have come to an understanding that will allow for the resumption of KSAFA competitions," JFF vice-president, Dale Spencer, told the media following a hastily arranged meeting between both parties at the JFF's New Kingston offices yesterday.

The meeting came as a result of a KSAFA decision on Monday, June 1, to immediately suspend all its competitons.

directive of the JFF

That suspension followed a directive of the JFF, that referees in its competitions wear shirts branded with Digicel logos. This, in light of a sponsorship agreement for referees, which included the provision of uniforms, reached between the JFF and Digicel in September last year.

Digicel is a direct competitor with KSAFA's sponsor, Claro, and the Corporate Area football body said such a directive would have compromised its sponsorship arrangement, a similar position held by the JFF regarding its deal with Digicel.

bring closure

Spencer, who chaired the meeting in the absence of JFF president, Captain Horace Burrell, and general manager, Horace Reid, who are attending a FIFA Congress in The Bahamas, also said that an emergency board meeting is planned to bring closure to the matter.

Following yesterday's meeting, KSAFA's president, Rudolph Speid, said: "We have reached an amicable agreement."

No further details were divulged, but a reliable source said the agreement reached permits referees to wear any uniform except those branded by Digicel.

Additionally, KSAFA is expected to meet with its affiliate clubs on Monday to announce a date for restart, which could be as early as next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Digicel, prior to the meeting, had issued a release yesterday through its corporate affairs manager, Jacqueline Burrell.

football in disrepute

"It is unfortunate that this conflict of interest has brought the game of football in disrepute," the Digicel release said. "We recognise that football plays a pivotal role in strengthening the social and economic thread of Jamaica.

"Notwithstanding that, Digicel respects the stance that the JFF has taken to honour the terms and conditions of a legally binding contract that was signed between Digicel and the Referees Association of Jamaica in September 2008."

It added: "At this point, resolution of this matter lies solely with the JFF and KSAFA. It is our hope, however, that a resolve can be reached as soon as possible in the interest of the sport and its positive impact on Jamaica and Jamaican lives."