Jamaica Gleaner / Patrick Malcolm, the chairman of the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) Referees Committee, has made an urgent appeal to corporate Jamaica for assistance with the development of the country’s referees.
Malcolm strongly believes that the sport will suffer without this help from the business community.
“Football may become a dying sport in this country if Corporate Jamaica does not come to the rescue of our referees,” said Malcolm.
“We have 20 referees in a parish, and the cost to train them and bring them up to Level One standard is easily over $100,000 per person,” he said.
“This burden is totally borne by the parishes or by the JFF. These associations do not have all this money to assist these referees,” Malcolm said.
He added: “If corporate Jamaica comes in, it will help us to train more people and we will, therefore, have a wider pool. More people would also be able to grow.”
Malcolm stated that there are about 200 trained referees across the island, but said that this was still not enough because of the amount of football being played now.
“For example, about 1,000 matches per season are played in Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) competitions, and we have to find referees for these games,” said Malcolm.
One of the busiest periods for referees occurs during the schoolboy football season from September to December. In addition to the ISSA competitions, there are midweek games in the Red Stripe Premier League and the various parish leagues.