Jamaica Football chief says Caribbean not ready for pro league

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC- President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell says he does not believe the region is ready to stage a Caribbean Professional league.

Horace Burrell
Horace Burrell

Burrell was adding his voice to a new debate across the region on the possibility of rekindling the Caribbean Professional Football League (CPFL).

Advocates of the CPFL are hoping it would reintroduce professional football in the Caribbean by setting up a multinational league.

“I have heard some talk, but, frankly and honestly speaking, there is no infrastructural development across the Caribbean to accommodate such a football competition in astructured way, so personally, I don’t see this manifesting itself now,” Burrell said.

“There is so much that needs to be done before we can start looking at that, such as the level of financing and travel. Maybe in years to come, this will happen, but for right now, there is no infrastructural development”.

Jeffrey Webb, president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and chief executive officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League, Dexter Skeene, have thrown their support behind a professional league in the region.

Burrell says he sides with the argument that steps will have to be taken to improve football in the small territories before the start of such a professional league.

“We also need infrastructural development prior to the league to ensure that all the countries are on a level playing field,” said Burrell, also a CONCACAF Vice President.

“And also that it could be attractive enough for people to want to watch; the grounds will have to be improved.”

The CPFL was first established in 1992 and the teams that entered were franchises set up by local businessmen.

However the league suffered from financial and organisational problems and in October 1994, was renamed Caribbean Major League Football.

The 1995 staging was cancelled after a number of postponements, and the tournament was not revived.

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