Retired Jamaica international Simpson calls for unity following end to JFF, Reggae Boyz contract dispute

By Sports Desk April 13, 2021

Retied Jamaica international, Fitzroy Simpson, has called for the return of the spirit of togetherness for the Reggae Boyz, expressing the hope that the current squad can go on to match the exploits of his historic 1998 unit.

Up until recently, some members of the Jamaica national team and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) were embroiled in a bitter contractual dispute, which saw several members of the team unavailable for the Caribbean team’s clash against the United States last month.

With the dispute now settled, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers coming later this year, Simpson is urging both parties to come together.

“Unity is so important,” Simpson said in a recent interview with the Irish Mirror.

“The set-up now has to be unified and improvements made on the business side,” he added.

Simpson was one of several English-based players to join the Jamaica national team ahead of their historic qualification for the World Cup in France.  The former Manchester City and Portsmouth player started all three games at the tournament and has fond memories of not just playing at the final itself but also the build-up.

“It was breathtaking.  It was the greatest honour in my playing career to lead Jamaica to history,” Simpson said.

“I remember my mother, my brother, and my uncle in the stadium when we qualified.  I looked at them and couldn't believe what we had achieved because Jamaica wasn't recognised as a footballing nation.  The whole country really drove us on, the support was incredible.”

 

 

Related items

  • 'Difficult to play home games without making money' - JFF mulls moving Reggae Boyz matches elsewhere 'Difficult to play home games without making money' - JFF mulls moving Reggae Boyz matches elsewhere

    Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has said the organisation will consider playing the rest of the country’s home World Cup qualifiers on foreign soil, due to losses incurred from hosting the matches.

    The JFF hosted its first home qualifier earlier this month and it’s safe to say things did not go as planned.  The team suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat to Panama, which led to questions surfacing regarding the stewardship of the national program.

    In addition, however, the match was played in front of an empty stadium due to existing covid-19 protocols.  As such, the organisation has been unable to collect gate receipts or other revenue, while footing the expenses associated with hosting the game.  With seven home games left to go, Ricketts insists the issue could become a major one.

    “We can’t afford to play games without making any money at all at the turn styles,” Ricketts said. 

    “So we are looking at options and we will have to discuss it with some of our key players, then we will look at whatever options may present themselves,” he added.

    The Jamaica national team will next be in action on October 7 when they face the United States, while their next home match will be against Canada three days later.

     

  • Rennes 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs lose Lucas and Bergwijn to injury in Europa Conference League opener Rennes 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs lose Lucas and Bergwijn to injury in Europa Conference League opener

    Tottenham lost Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn to injury as they played out a 2-2 draw with Ligue 1 side Rennes in Thursday's opening Europa Conference League match.

    Lucas played a big part in Tottenham's opener, which was credited as a Loic Bade own goal, before having to make way following a poor challenge from Flavien Tait.

    It was Tait who had earlier equalised for Rennes with a curled finish at an atmospheric Roazhon Park, shortly before Bergwijn was withdrawn with an apparent ankle issue.

    Gaetan Laborde completed the turnaround 19 minutes from time, only for substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to quickly hit back and earn Spurs a point in the Group G clash.

    Tanguy Ndombele was brought into the Tottenham side for his first appearance under Nuno Espirito Santo and played a huge part in the opening goal with 11 minutes played.

    The Frenchman kept the ball in play with a fancy backheeled pass in a swift move that culminated in Lucas' attempted cross hitting Bade's boot and wrong-footing Romain Salin.

    Serhou Guirassy then had a shot saved by Pierluigi Gollini but exchanged passes with Tait soon after for his team-mate to curl one into the bottom-right corner for the equaliser.

    That ended Rennes' 212-minute wait for a goal and the hosts spurned a big chance to edge in front before half-time when Kamaldeen Sulemana headed wide from close range.

    The second half had a disrupted feel to it following a number of fouls, one of which led to Lucas' injury, with the Spurs attacker unable to run off the damage.

    That all changed when Laborde converted a rebound after Gollini pushed Sulemana's shot into his path, but it took Nuno's side just five minutes to respond through Hojbjerg's poked finish from close range to ensure the points were shared.

  • Kean does not feel pressure to replace Ronaldo Kean does not feel pressure to replace Ronaldo

    Moise Kean has insisted he does not feel the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus following his return to Turin.

    Ronaldo, who scored 101 goals across 134 matches in all competitions at Allianz Stadium, moved back to Manchester United in August as he ended a 12-year absence from Old Trafford.

    Moments after the Portugal captain's departure, Kean signed for Juve on an initial loan from Everton, with the Serie A outfit obliged to buy if certain objectives are met.

    The Italy forward spent last season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, where he impressed with 13 goals in 26 Ligue 1 matches.

    Despite arriving in the wake of Ronaldo's move, Kean told reporters at his Juve presentation that he is focusing on achieving success with Massimiliano Allegri's team and not on who he has replaced.

    "I don’t feel any pressure in replacing Ronaldo,” he said at Thursday's news conference. "I just want to lend a hand to the team where I grew up and where I lived good times.

    "I just want to play, I have no pressure, I just feel the responsibility of wearing the Juventus shirt."

    Indeed, the 21-year-old has played for the Bianconeri before, making his debut aged just 16 years, eight months and 21 days to become the club's youngest ever player.

    He managed seven goals in 16 Serie A appearances before an underwhelming spell at Everton, where he managed only two goals in 32 outings.

    Allegri has already granted Kean cameo appearances against Napoli and Malmo and Juve's new signing is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

    "Wearing the black and white jersey has always given me great emotions," he continued.

    "It is the right choice, I am ready for this new challenge. I'm lucky to have played in foreign championships.

    "I'm here to give a big hand to the team I grew up in. I don't feel its weight, but the responsibility of wearing this shirt and giving 100 per cent.

    "We didn't start well but we have great objectives. I'm sure we will aim for great results."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.