KSAFA leagues to start weekend
The Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Championship Super and Major League competitions, originally scheduled to start in January, will kick off this weekend with games in both.
KSAFA president, Mark Bennett, attributed the delay to budgetary constraints, which will again shorten the competition as the organisation has taken a stance on not incurring a deficit to host competitions.
"The time we have to play is short, and the sponsorship money is not there for us to play three rounds of games, and this administration is not here to just run competitions and pile up a lot of bills.
"We want to ensure that in everything we do, we at least break even. If there is no sponsorship, we have to look at different ways to fund our activities.
"The budget for this season is just under $5 million, but ideally, it's usually around $13 million, but we have to face reality and be practical about what we are doing. So everything will have to be within budget," he said.
The Championship League will consist of eight teams divided into two zones, while the Major League will have 16 teams divided into four zones. The teams will play inter-zone and cross-zone matches and are guaranteed a minimum of 10 games for the season.
The winners in the Championship League are set to walk away with $500,000 and the Major League champions will take home $300,000.
The top two teams from each zone will advance to the Championship semifinals. The top two from each Major League zone will progress to the quarterfinals.
The top four teams from the Major League will progress to the Championship,League next season.
"It will be a shortened competition, but I expect it to be intense. All the clubs want to go to the higher level, and we are expecting a lot of youngsters, 17-19 year-olds, will be representing the clubs, so a lot of energy and intensity," he pointed out.
He noted that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, clubs have had to play at a central location, but home matches will return this season.
The association has also granted hosting rights to the clubs for all playoff games except the final.
"Interestingly, this season we will be playing the semifinals at the clubs. The clubs will have a chance to earn some money in their coffers, so all games up to the semifinals will be hosted by the home teams," he declared.
"The clubs are excited and longing for this because since COVID, the clubs were playing at a central point and were disconnected from their home bases. We are basically re-engaging the clubs and the communities, and the communities will come out to rally their teams," he added.