George Evans

Noelita Lawrence-Ricketts

Outspoken longtime administrator George Evans is the latest among many calling for the resumption of sports and in particular his beloved sport, football in the island.

Evans in an interview with the Western Mirror said despite the welfare and health of the nation being first and foremost, “it is a bit unfair that some events have been allowed to restart while others have been left languishing”.

“ it seems somewhat disjointed how some sports, some such as Track and Field, at certain meets have taken place, also Horse Racing, all of this whilst Football, and I refer specifically to the Premier League, has not re-started, despite several dates set and attempts made”, Evans noted.

The former two-time President of the St. James FA and ex Vice President of the Jamaica football Federation (JFF) the local governing body for football in the island, Evans has long been known for his no-nonsense approach and he thinks with so many important competitions including the World Cup qualifiers fast approaching a decision to allow for the return of football should be made in the swiftest manner.

Evans says if something does not give, Jamaica’s footballers could be left behind.

“In an important calendar year, such as this when the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers are to be contested and where almost every country worldwide has re started sport, we seemingly are being left behind, an annoyed Evans said, something has to give or we as a nation and our players will be left in the wake” he noted.

“Not withstanding the spikes, and though we cannot be blasé about it, there should have been a way to have overcome the Football challenge, he further added, It has been a difficult and fine balancing act by the powers that be in keeping Sports active, but a solution must come, the businessman said.

Evans who stepped down as President of the St. James FA back in 2010 following his second stint in the position, is an intellect of the game, and believes a secured bubble should have been made possible to facilitate the resumption of at least the premier league in the country, “by all accounts, the new football entity armed with funding would have been well prepared with all protocols observed, at one secure venue in a bubble, and yet time seems to be running out on them for this season”.

“Other working environments have continued, people have been crammed into more confined areas since, like markets and supermarkets, more than what is being proposed by the footballing bodies and all this continues daily, Evans remarked, we must find a common ground and way to get our players back on the field and in action”.

“With that said, am of the opinion there should have been a concerted effort to have Football played in a secure and protocol controlled area, no matter the cost”.

Despite several dates and proposals being bandied about, footballers remain idle and unclear when they will return to the pitch.
Football has not been played on the island in more than year because of the Pandemic.

Meanwhile the lack of playing time has also seen the withdrawal of Portmore and Waterhouse form the CONCACACF Champions Cup in recent months.

Meanwhile just hours after the interview news came that the government had given the green light for the return of the Premier League. A date is now to be set for the definite start.
The Premier League Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) got the news following detailed, lengthy talks over a sustained period.

The decision at the moment surrounds whether the league will take place in a controlled or sanitized environment.


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