Ja’s Prendergast eyes politics

Peter Prendergast, former FIFA referee and immediate past president of the Jamaica Football Referees Association, has hit the campaign trail.

His quest is for the presidency of Kingston and St Andrew Football Association at the confederation’s upcoming voting Congress due in August.

One of Prendergast’s highest points in his referee career was being the man in the middle in the Korea vs. Japan World Cup game in the 2002 World Cup. He was also on the panel for the 2006 World Cup games when unfortunately he was cut due to injuries he received during training for that event.

His decision to throw his hat in the ring followed hot on the heels of the announcement by incumbent Ambassador Stewart Stephenson to not seek re-election at the end of his four-year stint in the office.

It is anticipated that Treasurer Rudolph Speid will surface and signal his intentions to run for the presidency.

The former Wanderers National League and St. Georges College of Manning Cupper player cautiously refuted reference to himself as a ‘clone of Burrell’ and promised to continue to uphold the tradition of the KSAFA as a defender and watchdog for the development of the sport at the national level

The 45-year-old Real Mona delegate has so far met with eight clubs “to share my vision and get a feedback”. Prendergast admits he has a lack of experience with the inner workings and establishment politics of KSAFA.

He hopes to galvanize the affiliates in an effort to restore the glory days of the KSAFA of the 70s and the 80s that brought out thousands to matches and involved real community participation.

Among his initiative is constitutional change. He proposes to increase the elected elements on the council over nominated sub-committee chairmen and to replace the latter with a restored regional and zone management committee chairman elected by the clubs.

A paid general secretary, appointed by the council, would be a new feature to improve administrative efficiency.

He also wants to overhaul the subcommittees. This will involve divesting the council of standing committee chairmen to enable them to focus more on administrative and technical matters rather than political matters to make the subcommittees more functional and accountable. He hopes also to foster greater participation of KSAFA Premier League Clubs, include medical personnel on the technical committee and introduce a new planning and development committee.

Another area to be addressed is the restructuring of KSAFA senior competitions and the amending of qualifying criteria for KSAFA junior competitions.

Prendergast suggests a two rather than a three tier league for the senior competitions. He proposes to retain the Super League and a new look Major League for the Syd Bartlett trophy.

Prendergast is proposing to give clubs facing a lack of money and pursuing long term development objectives the option to participate in the junior competitions only.

Prendergast hopes to introduce a Futsal/5-a-side Community League.

Consistent with the FIFA directive to encourage grass roots participation, Prendergast is proposing a new-look sponsored competition to embrace all the communities in the corporate area city league in character.

It is also proposed to have some of the matches played at the national arena indoor facilities on a Friday night.

He wants to negotiate cheaper gear and equipment for clubs and is negotiating a major sport equipment deal with a sport good manufacturer and supplier.

Prendergast wants to regularise technical and management seminars, schedule seminars and work closely with the JFF.

For more information, contact the CIFA office at 949-5775 or email [email protected].