Referees also feeling the pinch

May 28, 2020
Victor Stewart
Victor Stewart
Action from a 2018 Red Stripe Premier League match between Dunbeholden and Montego Bay United at the Royal Lakes Complex in St Catherine.
Action from a 2018 Red Stripe Premier League match between Dunbeholden and Montego Bay United at the Royal Lakes Complex in St Catherine.
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Manager of the referees department at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Victor Stewart says that like other stakeholders in football, they, too, are feeling the financial crunch from the coronavirus pandemic.

With uncertainty surrounding the restart of football locally, following the cancellation of the 2020 season by the JFF, Stewart says the outlook for the immediate future for match officials as far as earnings from the game is concerned appears grim.

"Like all the other stakeholders in the game- players, administrators, coaches - the referees are also suffering from the cancellation of games.

Significantly affected

"You have no games, so you have nothing, and most of the referees rely on the subsistence from football to really top up their situations," he told STAR Sports.

"So we are significantly affected. Last (Tuesday) night, we had a meeting with the panel referees, and after our video analysis, we had a discussion with regard to how are they faring, and the response was general: everyone has to be digging deep into their reserves, and everyone seems to be in IC (intensive care) now," he continued.

He also believes that lower-level-ranked officials, who are dependent on the sport, are the ones most affected.

"There are a number of our referees that are professionals in their fields - teachers, police officers, and many others jobs, but even those of us who have a job, the returns from officiating helps. 'Every mikkle mek a muckle'," he reasoned.

Stewart said that even the higher-earning FIFA referees are being affected as there are no international matches, and, as such, their earnings are significantly far less than they could have earned.

The 2020 schoolboy football season is also in doubt, and Stewart says that this would mean that match officials could again miss out on a lot of the usual fees from these matches.

"We are also in an air of uncertainty as to if and when the Manning and daCosta Cup competitions will be played. The hope is that these competitions start in either September or October.

"This (June-August) would be our preparation period, but having lost a lot from February until now, the hope is that in very short order, things can return to normal," Stewart said.

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