KSA referees demotivated because of owed payments

October 15, 2020
A local referee warning Tivoli’s Kemar Flemmings about his conduct during a National Premier League match at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday, January 19.
A local referee warning Tivoli’s Kemar Flemmings about his conduct during a National Premier League match at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday, January 19.

Administrator of the Kingston and St Andrew Referees Group, Garnet Paige, says the parish's match officials are losing interest in officiating football, as they have not received payments owed to them before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paige told STAR Sports that he is concerned that when football restarts in Kingston, there will be fewer qualified referees to officiate the sport in the parish.

"I would say their interest has waned a lot, and, on Sunday, we had a Zoom meeting with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) referee's department, as it relates to the update on the new amendments to the laws," he said. "They listed 35 persons for Kingston, and only five showed up.

"Other competition organisers have not paid our referees before the lockdown, such as the JFF for the ISSA School Girls' football competition, the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA), Jamaica Civil Service Association, the Institute of Sports, and others.

He accepted that they owe us

"We have written to them, and they have not acknowledged even a receipt of the emails and letters. I spoke to the president of KSAFA, and he accepted that they owe us, and is waiting for funds from the JFF to pay us. Most times when we write to the organisers that owe referees, I will say that they pretend that they haven't seen the correspondence."

But JFF Referees Department head, Victor Stewart, says the federation is in the process of compiling a list of referees who are in need of assistance during this time.

"Of course, we have identified a group within the group of referees that are the most vulnerable, and I am not obliged at this moment to say what and when this will take place," he said."We are looking at referees who have been unemployed, those who would have been reliant on schoolboy leagues and other JFF competitions.

"Because we are dealing with a global sport, I am trying to find out why some of our own people make it seem that the JFF is compelled or obligated. It is a matter of welfare, and at all opportunity, we are trying to find a way to assist the referees. Nowhere in the world of football, the federation is obligated, or has been doing that to find a way to sustain their number of referees. These are exceptional circumstances."

- Athena Clarke

Other Sports Stories