NEWS

Daniel Ricketts disappointed as JFF confirms promotion of MBU to JPL

Saturday, October 23, 2021

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Daniel Ricketts, head coach and driving force behind St James club Wadada United, has expressed his disappointment after the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) on Wednesday confirmed their decision to call off the play-off game against Montego Bay United (MBU) who will be promoted to the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) for the 2021-2022 season.

Wadada United and MBU were scheduled to play on October 6, with the winner replacing The University of the West Indies (UWI) Football Club in the next JPL, but the game was cancelled after Wadada United failed to complete the registration of the team by the October 1 deadline, with the JFF handing the spot to MBU.

Ricketts and Wadada filed an appeal and, while the appeal was not accepted, they were invited to a meeting with the JFF earlier this week where President Michael Ricketts promised to revisit the situation.

However, on Wednesday, a letter from the JFF over the signature of General Secretary Dalton Wint, said the original decision would stay. “Having reviewed correspondences between the JFF and Wadada, it was confirmed that Wadada failed to register their players and officials on the JFF Connect platform by the stated deadline of 5:00 pm on 1 October, 2021.

“Therefore, the decision of the JFF Competitions & Regulations Committee (CRC) stands, that Montego Bay United FC will be the 12th team for the 2021-2022 Jamaica Premier League,” the letter said.

Daniel Ricketts, however, felt they were given a raw deal and were just trying to cover their tracks. “We are disappointed in the JFF, even when the facts presented themselves they failed to do the right thing,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“Guess it's just to save face as they would say. Thirty players who worked hard for this opportunity are left disappointed by a set a board members who themselves don't understand the system they implemented.”

Ricketts said they were not able to register their players through no fault of their own. “We were only able to register players after we were allowed in to the system by Mr [Ian] Kemble at the meeting,” he said. “We were originally blocked from entering players in the system until we had the meeting [and] it was discovered the proper access was not granted to us.”

Wint's letter said that, even after the time had lapsed Wadada United had still not registered their players. “On the request of JFF President Michael Ricketts, the captioned meeting was held on October 19, 2021 for him to hear their side as it relates to Wadada's failure to meet the deadline to register players and club officials for a schedule Jamaica Premier League (JPL) play-off match, on October 6, 2021. It was also noted that even at the time of this meeting Wadada United did not complete their registration.”

Wadada United had come up just short to get their team registered but was always racing against the clock to get all their paperwork lined up and in place.

Given there was a dispute about the ownership of the original club, Wadadah FC, after owner Gene Grey had died without handing over the cub to anyone, the name had to be changed and a new ownership group had to be registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica.

A request for a name change had to be submitted and approved by the St James Football Association, as well as a bank account had to be set up before they were given access to the online portal to register players and executive members of the club.

Ricketts had managed to get everything in place except to complete the registration of the players when time ran out.