Carib Pro Football To Start August 10

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

NEW YORK, Cana -

Representatives of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and Caribbean Major League Football (CMLF), have agreed on a delayed start to the 1995 regional professional football league season, following a meeting lasting more than four hours here Monday.

A proposal to start on May 27 was unanimously rejected, and organisers are now preparing for an August 10 start, with twelve teams.

The meeting, which was at times stormy, was held at the CONCACAF headquarters to discuss the league's status. It also involved franchise holders, some of whom had become angry and confused when the CMLF were announcing plans earlier this month, without full discussion on certain vital issues.

Although conclusive financial agreements are still to be achieved, it was felt that the tournament is of such great importance to the development of regional football, that every effort should be made to ensure that the 1995 season comes off.

Kelly Pierre, the chairman and chief executive officer of CMLF, explained their difficulties in being able to fulfill earlier promises, regarding what they had originally offered to the clubs.

League commissioner Jorge Ramos told the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) Tuesday, that proper communication lines will be implemented to ensure a smoother operation: "A committee of franchise holders will discuss issues with CMLF officials on an on-going basis, to finalise logistics for the staging of the league this year.

Ramos also credited the role played by CFU president Jack Warner in making Monday's meeting a fruitful one.

Carvel Stewart of Harbour View FC (Jamaica) has been appointed chairman of the franchise holders committee, which also includes Wayne Cunningham of Trinidad and Tobago, and Winston Charles of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The 12 teams in the championship, will be placed into three groups.

Each team will play the others in its group twice, for a total of six matches, over a period of six weeks.

The group winners, plus the best second-placed team will qualify for the play-offs.

Group one will consist of Hairoun (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Spice Nationals (Grenada), Lambada (Barbados), Scarborough Young Pros (Tobago); group 2 has, defending champions Trinity Pros (Trinidad), Caledonia AIA (Trinidad), G.T. Cobras (Guyana), Riverplate (Aruba); and group 3 has, Harbour View (Jamaica), Cornwall County Lions (Jamaica), Boyo Stars (Haiti), and Wadidi Deers (Antigua).

The season will start on August 10, with competition in group three, while play in groups one and two will start on September 16, as organisers seek to avoid clashes with the domestic season in participating countries.