SportsMax – Jamaica Premier League (JPL) clubs Portmore United and Waterhouse have opted to withdraw from the CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championships, scheduled for Santa Domingo, Dominica Republic, next month, citing a lack of preparation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The group stage of the Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship kicked off on January 29 in Kingston, Jamaica last year. However, the island’s top league has not been played on the island since last May as the country struggles to get COVID-19 cases under control.
According to the release issued by Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL), the clubs have also been unable to train consistently in recent months, due to changes in the country’s Disaster Risk Management Act.
Despite ongoing talks with the government regarding the staging of a league that could take place in a controlled environment, the PFJL admitted it was unlikely to take place before the start of the Caribbean Club Championships.
Chairman of the PFJL Chris Williams, expressed sympathy with the clubs but believed it could be a sign of things to come.
“…this decision by two of our clubs saddens the PFJL but we remain 100% in support of their decision given the circumstances that have occasioned their pulling out of the most important regional tournament that has realised much success for many of our clubs in years past,” Williams noted in the release.
“It is also inescapable for me not to point to the fact that this is the first of many dominoes that will befall the sport and our players locally, if we not able to restart the Jamaica Premier League before the end of the 2021 season.”