CONCACAF begins research into Caribbean league

| 03/03/2014

(CNS): The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has formed a new task force to examine the feasibility of a potential Caribbean wide professional football league. The task force will analyse all the possible options for developing a sustainable league structure in the Caribbean, with the objective of improving playing standards and overall professionalism. “I am certain that there are immense untapped opportunities for football in the Caribbean,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.

We need to evaluate thoroughly how best to convert potential into a viable structure that could create new futures for clubs, players, fans and the game as a whole,” the president added.

Don Garber, Commissioner of Major League Soccer is one of the members and he explained the aim of the task force. “Our focus will be to analyse the feasibility of a sustainable business model – one that can serve as the cornerstone to build a league that provides a platform for Caribbean talent, as it develops equity and value in the long term,” he said.
As some nations in the Caribbean possess established domestic leagues, the group will review current infrastructures and assess what competitive format would achieve the best outcomes for long-term success.

Decio de Maria, President of Liga MX who is also on the task force added: “Analyzing past attempts to develop such a project in the region will provide important information as we seek to create an entity that serves the good of the game. Any new plans must respect existing structures in each country and successfully fit into an already crowded international soccer calendar.”

Meanwhile, England’s Premier League will support the process in an advisory capacity and Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive said, “The Premier League is honoured to be one of the special advisers to this task force. We are making our entire executive team available to offer any help we can in realizing the potential for top-class professional football in the Caribbean. The region’s football fans deserve it,” he added.
Dr Yves Jean-Bart, President of the Haitian Football Federation, will chair the group which along with Garber and Decio de Maria includes  Dr Keith Mitchell the prime minister of Grenada; Edward Seaga the former Prime Minister of Jamaica and Chairman of the Jamaican National Premier League; Damien Hughes  who is the general secretary of the Caribbean Football Union; Simon Firth a partner with Maples and Calder in the Cayman Islands; David John Williams  the owner and president of W Connection Football Club in Trinidad and Tobago; K.H. Randolph Horton the speaker of the House of Assembly in Bermuda; Randy Harris the President of the Barbados Football Association;  James Johnson Senior Manager Member Associations, FIFA; and Shaka Hislop football commentator and former Trinidad & Tobago national team captain.

Alongside the English premier league Jefferson Slack, the senior vice president, global business development at IMG and Kieran Foley Group Head of Marketing at Digicel will also be special advisors.

The task force will hold its first meeting on March 12 in Los Angeles.

“This is an outstanding group containing individuals with extensive experience and invaluable expertise from across the Caribbean, CONCACAF, and beyond,” said Webb.  “I am looking forward to working with the task force as we focus on the challenge of truly advancing the game.  It is a goal that can only benefit the whole of CONCACAF, and the football world in general.”
A previous attempt to institute a Caribbean league began in 1992 when clubs from as far north as Jamaica and south as Guyana competed in the Caribbean Professional Football League. After changing competitive formats and league name over its three seasons of play, the circuit ceased operations before the 1995 season.


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