Empty stadium for Reggae Boyz, USA clash - JFF surprised by government decision to not allow vaccinated fans to attend match

By Sports Desk October 28, 2021

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will face another empty stadium for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against the United States, after a request for permission to have fully vaccinated fans attend the game was denied by the government.

The Jamaicans are scheduled to face the United States in a crucial encounter on November 16, as the team looks to push itself back into contention for a spot at next year’s World Cup. 

So far, the team is the only country not to allow fans into the stadium, in some capacity.  However, with an estimate of just 12.4 percent of the population being fully vaccinated Jamaica also has the lowest rate of any nation in the final round and is the only one below 20 percent.

According to a recent press release the denial was based on concerns regarding the capacity and logistics required to ensure that only vaccinated persons were allowed inside the stadium.  The decision caught Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) boss Michael Ricketts off guard as, according to him, the football body had harboured optimism of having fans return in some capacity for the upcoming round, following positive talks with government entities.

“We had discussions with persons from the Ministry of Health and we would have put our ID unit in motion.  In fact, one suggestion was that we would merge both ID entities so that once you apply for a ticket the JFF could say to you we can or cannot verify your vaccination,” Ricketts told TVJ.

“We put everything in place, all the plans.  We made several site visits.  We were working closely with IPL on how to have the patrons seated.  We had a meeting and went through all the protocols and that gave us the confidence that we would have been permitted to have fans.”

The government has indicated, however, that the proposal is under review and the request could be granted in time for the January round of matches. The team is currently in 6th place on 5 points, three outside of an automatic qualifying spot.

Related items

  • 'I've done it before and can do it again' -  Blake hasn't given up hope on returning to top of men's sprinting 'I've done it before and can do it again' - Blake hasn't given up hope on returning to top of men's sprinting

    Former 100m World Champion and world’s second-fastest man Yohan Blake has not quite given up on the idea of returning to dominate sprinting, despite an underwhelming performance at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

    The 32-year-old Blake was once considered the heir apparent to celebrated compatriot Usain Bolt.  In fact, it is Blake that still holds the second-fastest times over both the 100 and 200m sprints.  Devasting injuries, which happened to the sprinter in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, however, largely curtailed that promise and left the sprinter unable to step into the void.  In a barren stretch of results, Blake has gone without a medal since the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

    Since the 2012 Olympics, the athlete has finished outside of the medals at the last four major championships and failed to make the final at the last two. 

    Despite the lack of success in recent seasons, however, Blake is feeling confident of a late-career revival this season, on the back of a decent showing at the Birmingham Diamond League last week.  The Jamaican finished second in the men's 100m, clocking 10.18 behind Canadian Aaron Brown who took top spot in 10.13.

    “I think I took it too easy at the end and didn't see the guy in lane 8. I was focused forward. It was challenging because it was cold. The two false starts were tough but I am used to dealing with these things. I am feeling good after coming back. I want to stay hard to beat and move from being second fastest in the world to be fastest,” Blake said following the race.

    “I have been here before and I am used to the pressure. I am looking forward to the trials and getting back to my best and challenging the American top sprinters. I have done it before and can do it again.”

  • Aston Villa agree deal for Sevilla defender Diego Carlos Aston Villa agree deal for Sevilla defender Diego Carlos

    Aston Villa have agreed a deal with Sevilla to sign centre-back Diego Carlos for an undisclosed fee.

    The club confirmed on Thursday the player will travel to England "in the next few hours" to finalise personal terms and undergo a medical, with reports suggesting the fee will be in the region of £26.4million (€31m).

    Diego Carlos would be Villa's second signing in the space of a few days, with a deal also announced earlier this week for Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara, who will soon become a free agent.

    Former Nantes defender Diego Carlos was pursued by Newcastle United for much of the January transfer window – even reportedly handing in a transfer request – but will now link up instead with Steven Gerrard's side, who finished 14th in the Premier League this season.

    The 29-year-old played 136 games for Sevilla since his signing in 2019, winning the Europa League in 2020 when his overhead kick was turned into his own net by then Inter striker Romelu Lukaku for the decisive goal in the final.

    Diego Carlos was also a part of the Brazil team that won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    A statement on Sevilla's website also confirmed the news, with the Spanish club adding: "Sevilla FC wants to thank the player for his work during all these years in Seville and wishes him the best of luck in his new professional stage."

  • 'I've never suffered so much' – Ibrahimovic reveals pain of knee injury 'I've never suffered so much' – Ibrahimovic reveals pain of knee injury

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic revealed he has "never suffered so much" as he did in the past six months after the Milan striker underwent knee surgery.

    The new Serie A champions on Wednesday revealed Ibrahimovic will be out for up to eight months following an operation on his left knee.

    Ibrahimovic came off the bench in a 3-0 win over Sassuolo on Sunday that sealed the Rossoneri's first Scudetto for 11 years.

    The 40-year-old Sweden striker only started 12 games for Stefano Pioli's side this season and with his contract expiring at the end of next month, his future is up in the air.

    Ibrahimovic on Thursday opened up on the pain he has experienced this year.

    "For the past six months I played without an ACL in my left knee," he posted on Instagram.

    "Swollen knee for six months. I was only able to train with the team 10 times in the last six months.

    "Took more than 20 injections in six months. Emptied the knee once a week for six months. Painkillers every day for six months.

    "Barely slept for six months because of the pain. Never suffered so much on and off the pitch. I made something impossible to something possible.

    "In my mind I had only one objective, to make my team-mates and coach champions of Italy because I made them a promise. Today I have a new ACL and another trophy."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.