CMLF, CFU at loggerheads

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

BRIDGETOWN, Cana - Caribbean Major League Football (CMLF) officials are again preparing a new-look tournament, but some developments have left the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) "somewhat confused", as the region waits to see what will happen with this important championship.

Commissioner of the CMLF, Jorge Ramos, is speaking positively about prospects for a May 27 start, and following discussions with several franchise holders, he has prepared a tentative match schedule to include eight teams.

Since this draft, Guyana's G.T. Cobras have expressed their intention to compete, bringing the number of entries to nine.

Five new teams are in the list, while reigning champions Trinity Pros from Trinidad and Tobago, the C.C. Lions from Jamaica, Grenada's R.E. Walker International, and Lambada of Barbados, are not included, "after failing to confirm their willingness to take part," according to Ramos.

In the meantime, the Scarborough Young Pros from Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua's Wadadli Deers, Riverplate from Aruba, Grenada's Spice Nationals, and Boyo Stars from Haiti, have been listed by the CMLF as the teams joining Jamaica's Harbour View, Caledonia A.I.A. (T&T) and Hairoun Lions from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in the draft for a tentative match schedule.

Serious financial problems had surfaced in March when the tournament was originally set to start, and plans to have a 16-team championship were shelved.

The proposal now, is to have two zones, with teams travelling to one country in some cases, for as many as three games in seven days.

"We have restructured the league to reduce travelling costs, while allowing the teams to play more games," Ramos told the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) in an interview Tuesday.

However, CFU president Austin "Jack" Warner is concerned about these decisions being taken prior to a planned May 15 meeting in New York with all franchise holders to agree on matters of format, and financial regulations.

"I am somewhat confused by all the releases and signals which have been sent to the Caribbean re conduct of the league this year, all of which impact on the meeting of May
15 with the clubs... I am at a loss, since I believe that the meeting (next Monday) was
called to handle these matters," Warner stated, in a memorandum to CMLF officials in
New York.