Western crime taking its toll on MoBay United
THE increase in crime in western Jamaica is having its own effect on Montego Bay United (MBU) Football Club says president of the Red Stripe Premier League champions Orville Powell.
Powell said that team players have had to seek refuge at the club's home because of the flare up of violence in their home communities.
"From time to time we have to counsel our own because of flare up and sometimes they themselves seek refuge not wanting to go into the communities," he told STAR Sports.
Last week an "ardent fan" of MoBay United, popularly in the ay region as 'Lunch' was hospitalised after he was chopped.
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"You could call him the most passionate fans for MoBay United ... at times he would want to act like our mascot he was affected by the same crime that we are talking about and we're just giving thanks that he is out of the hospital," Powell added.
The Premier Leagues Club Association (PLCA) and Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has taken an official position noting that team officials of all Premier League Clubs will wear black armbands and observe a minute silence before the start of every RSPL match until the end of this season.
In addition, the Reggae Boyz and the national technical staff will also wear black armbands in their training sessions.
While praising the initiative, Powell said more needs to be done. As a start, clubs need to engage their players by inviting them to spread peace in their own communities. It's something MBU FC itself started a few years ago.
"I think it's a great start but more concentration should be on these clubs to be a part of the communities and get that message out and we need partners and different agencies to be part of each club," Powell said.
"Montego Bay tries to go into different communities. We also need to tell it to our youngsters. We need a better organised structure and structured message. I think that is something on a whole we need to look. We need to educate the communities on what crime does, that it breaks the fabric of our societies," said Powell.