Chasing history! – Portmore hunting RSPL record

first_imgNever in the history of Jamaica’s football has a promoted team rose from the lower league to the summit of top-flight football in successive seasons.However, former winners Portmore United are hoping to rewrite the record book as they prepare to take on Humble Lion in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) semi-finals, starting tomorrow, and coach Jeffrey Hewitt said it would be “special” to accomplish such a feat.Portmore were relegated from the Premier League in the 2013/2014 season, but after battling their way back to local football’s premier competition last year, no one expected the season the St Catherine side has delivered.They topped the preliminary standings on points to take the $1-million prize and Hewitt said winning the play-offs would be the added bonus.”Definitely, it would be something special (to come straight up and win the league), but our objective is not really based on that. Our intention is to make sure we are champions of the league, but that (coming up and winning) would definitely add to it,” he said.Hewitt said that prior to the start of the season, they were confident of doing well on their return, however, as the team performed above expectations, he said their objectives also changed.EXPECTATIONS SURPASSED”We surpassed it (expectation) and our objectives changed along the way. Coming into the season, we played some practise games against Premier League teams and, based on what we saw, we knew, for a fact, we were going to finish high up the table, but as the season progressed, we realised we could push further and we kept pushing and, hopefully, at the end of the season, we will be on top.”We have been putting in a lot of work, and it’s definitely about the backroom staff. We have been working very hard with this team and credit must go to (technical) director (Andre) Waugh who set the programme. He knows what he’s about and what he wants and the guys have fallen in line and as it is we are getting there,” he continued.To achieve this dream, Portmore must first get by arch-rivals Humble Lion in their two-leg semi-final and Hewitt claim things are looking good for them as they head into tomorrow’s first-leg clash at Effortville.”Finishing on top of the league ahead of Arnett Gardens, Montego Bay is a good feeling. We are really proud of what we have achieves so far and our ambition is to go all the way. The job is not yet done, we just have to keep on working, as our focus is on getting through these two semi-final games and try to advance to the final.last_img read more

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‘Gambia Should Not Dent Progress of Democracy in West Africa’ -Dr. Ibn Chambas

first_imgDemocracy, which is government by the people, is gradually taking a stronghold in the West African region and The Gambia, which is gradually being plunged into political anarchy after the December 1 electoral process, cannot be of any exception, the most senior official of the United Nations in West Africa, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has said.The West African region has experienced successful elections as well as smooth transitions across the region in recent years, and Dr. Chambas said at a press conference in Monrovia that the situation in The Gambia cannot be a dark spot on these successes.The conference was the climax of the 30th High-Level Meeting of the heads of the UN Missions in West Africa, convened at the invitation of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas.The Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General and heads of the UN Missions in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Ms. Achatouw Mindaoudou Souleymane; in Liberia (UNMIL), Farid Zarif; and in Mali (MINUSMA), Mahamat Saleh Annadif, attended yesterday’s meeting.The objective of the bi-annual meeting, Dr. Chambas said, was to provide insight and exchange views on the peace and security dynamics in the areas of operation of the respective missions as well as in the West African region.In the last two years, there have been ten presidential elections across the region. Opposition leaders were victorious in five of them with the rest won by incumbents. There have been smooth transfers of powers in all of the elections that the opposition won. “This is the level of progress that we have seen in recent years and this cannot be reversed in our region,” Dr. Chambas, a native of Ghana, said.On behalf of his colleagues, Dr. Chambas expressed the hope that upcoming elections in West Africa, especially in Liberia and a few other countries, will consolidate democratic progress and bring about increased participation in politics.Election successes and smooth transitions simply mean that the period of coup d’états are over and democracy, the popular will of the people, is now reigning across a region that was known to have experienced the highest number of bloody coups. Dr. Chambas indicated that The Gambia must move by the wind of democracy that is sweeping across the continent.He expressed serious concern over the rejection of the December 1 election results by incumbent President Yahya Jammeh, and called for peaceful transfer of power, noting that heads of UN Missions support the ECOWAS and the UN Security Council position on The Gambia.Upholding the election result is a must. “The will of the people of The Gambia must be respected,” he added.He also prayed that Liberia and other countries that will be going to the poll next year will have peaceful and transparent processes, and admitted that the real challenge that the region faces has to do with extremism. “This is our greatest challenge as a region and we must address it collectively,” he said.The Monrovia meeting was meant to also strengthen coordination in order to address common challenges in such areas as elections, transnational organized crime, violent extremism and terrorism, the security sector and constitutional reform processes and democratic transitions.Chambas lauded the peaceful execution of the December 7 elections in Ghana, while also commending the outgoing President John Mahama for peacefully conceding defeat. He also referenced the peaceful local and presidential elections in Cape Verde, held in September and October, respectively, this year. “We are very glad that all of these are happening in our region,” he added, and made specific reference to the upcoming Malian election which will be its first since 2009.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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