Refs demand $2 million Christmas payment
Former FIFA referee and current FIFA referee instructor Peter Prendergast, told STAR Sports that local referees are restive about unpaid monies, warning that the officials could be unavailable for this weekend's round of Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) matches if the more than $2 million in outstanding allowances are not paid before.
Prendergast, who still commands considerable influence among his peers said local referees and assessors are owed more than $260,000 from last season, over $1 million for travelling and subsistence and over $700,000 in assessor fees for this season. He noted that the effects of financing their own transportation and subsistence has taken its toll on these match officials and their families, which could make it difficult for officials making it to games this weekend.
"They are not withdrawing their service, but the referees may not be available because of family matters, as they are having to seek alternative financing to offset the monies they are due, so that they and their families don't fall out over Christmas," the former FIFA referee stated.
"They have been paid match fees for the months September to October and October to November, but no travelling and subsistence have been paid and some (money) is still outstanding from last year. But they (PFAJ) want to pay those monies in January and the referees have to decide if they are going to accept or not accept the money.
"But they are saying they need it this week - before Christmas. They want their money for Christmas, they have families and they spend out the family money (to be available for games) and need to replace if for Christmas and they (PFAJ) are telling them January.
"But it is up to them (referees) to decide if they want to accept it or not and right now they are not up to that suggestion, so they (PFAJ) need to come better than that," he argued.
However, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) general secretary Dalton Wint assured that the fees will be paid and that the match officials will be available for games this weekend.
"That won't happen my brother (officials not turning up). We believe that we will be able to deal with the referees. There is some misunderstanding and we are looking to clear that up and we believe we will be able," Wint said.
When asked if the officials would receive payment by this weekend he insisted: "That will happen my brother, we have to make it happen."