The Jamaica Football Federation has called up 22 players, including two newcomers, for a one-week camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida ahead of the Football is Freedom initiative created by Jamaica's Global Ambassador for women's football, Cedella Marley.

The initiative features an international friendly between Jamaica and Costa Rica on October 24 at the DRV stadium. The match is part of a fundraising drive for the Reggae Girlz FIFA 2023 World Cup campaign that kicks off in February 2022.

Jamaica will be hoping to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for a second time following their historic entry into the 2019 World Cup in France.

The 22 players will have two new faces in Page Bailey-Gayle who plays for Leicester City in England and Kalyssa van Zanten, who suits up for the University of Notre Dame in the United States. Also named in the squad is prolific striker Khadijah ’Bunny’ Shaw, who plays for Manchester City, after signing from Bordeaux in France during the summer.

Meanwhile, both teams are expected to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on October 18 for a week of training and the two-game series.

According to the JFF, the local delegation is set to depart the island on Saturday, October 16, to join other members of the technical staff from overseas who will finalize preparation for the camp ahead of the arrival of the players.

The full squad comprises Sydney Schneider (Washington Spirit), Chantelle Swaby (Glasgow Rangers FC), Jade Bailey (Liverpool FC), Vyan Sampson (Charlton Athletic), Konya Plummer (Orlando Pride; on loan to AIK Stockholm), Chinyelu Asher (Washington Spirit), Kayla McCoy (Glasgow Rangers FC), Atlanta Primus (London City Lionesses), Khadija Shaw (Manchester City FC), Sashana Campbell (Unattached), Rebecca Spencer (Tottenham Hotspurs FC), Allyson Swaby (AS Roma), Tiernny Wiltshire (KUPS), Drew Spence (Chelsea FC), Cheyna Matthews (Louisville FC), Marlo Sweatman (Haladas FC), Satara Murray (Bristol City FC), Yazmeen Jamieson (P18 IK), Olufolasade Adamolekun (University of South California), Trudi Carter (FC Gintra), Kalyssa Van Zanten (University of Notre Dame) and Paige Bailey-Gayle (Leicester City FC).

 

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in association with CONCACAF, will be hosting a team from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Assist League Development Programme for a capacity-building workshop with clubs in the Jamaica Premier League.

The workshop begins on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, and ends on Friday, October 8, with a closing session and Press Conference at midday.

UEFA’s key aims are to share knowledge and best practices to help UEFA’s sister confederations and their member associations develop and strengthen football within their respective territories as well as to respond to the needs of national associations and confederations around the world while increasing solidarity and facilitating football development globally.

The intensive programme will cover a wide range of topics on best practices in the modern league across several topics aimed at further developing the Clubs of the Jamaica Premier League.

"The clubs represent the main cornerstone for the development of football in Jamaica. We have come a long way in club development over the years but there is still a mountain to climb if we are to get to our destination,” said JFF President Michael Ricketts.

“This workshop will help to bridge the knowledge gap and introduce our clubs to best practices and methods in today's game. The JFF welcomes the assistance of both CONCACAF and UEFA and I implore the participants to capture as much knowledge as is possible.”

The capacity-building sessions are only a part of an overall League Development Programme and follow similar sessions conducted online last year for the JFF and with the participation of the then recently-established Professional Football Jamaica Limited, PFJL.

This week, the sessions are being delivered directly and in person with international experts to the clubs of the Jamaica Premier League, including the clubs for the 12th spot.

“Building the capacity of the Jamaica Premier League clubs is a vital step in the UEFA Assist League Development Programme. Strengthening their knowledge in key areas like income generation, governance and financial management will prove invaluable to ensuring the clubs remain sustainable over the long-term,” said Eva Pasquier, UEFA Head of International Relations.

“We are delighted to support this important initiative and help grow Jamaican football.”

Meanwhile, Howard McIntosh, ONE Caribbean Project Senior Manager at CONCACAF believes that strengthening the clubs’ capacity augurs well for regional football.

"Clubs are the heartbeat of football. Developing the clubs in Jamaica and the region is part of our commitment to improving the game in Concacaf. This is even more critical with the professional game,” he said.

“We remain committed to supporting our member associations and the clubs in our region. This workshop is one small demonstration of our continued support. I would encourage all the Clubs to take full advantage of this opportunity to learn about best practices in the professional game."

The Jamaica Football Federation has revealed that Shamar Nicholson suffered a facial fracture during Charleroi FC’s 1-0 loss to Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League on Sunday.

However, the player will be able to continue playing this season and in the upcoming world cup qualifiers with the use of a protective face shield.

Nicholson was forced to leave the field in the second half of the match after he was hit in the face during a violent collision with Brandon Mechele.

The striker jumped to head a ball on goal but Mechele,  the Club Brugge defender, in challenging for the ball, headed Nicholson in the jaw, rendering the Jamaican unconscious for a short time. Reports on the incident said Nicholson tried to play on after regaining consciousness but was unable to continue and was substituted.

Immediately afterwards, club officials feared Nicholson have suffered a broken jaw but were awaiting the results of additional tests. Their fears were proven valid as Reggae Boyz team manager Roy Simpson confirmed this morning that Nicholson suffered a minor fracture but will be able to continue playing this season with the use of a protective face shield.

Nicholson scored both of Jamaica’s goals in the Reggae Boyz first three World Cup qualifiers in the Octogonal round. He scored Jamaica’s only goal in Jamaica’s 2-1 loss to Mexico and scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica in San Jose.

Jamaica’s next round of qualifiers begins on October 7 against the United States. The Reggae Boyz then take on Canada on October 10 before facing Honduras on October 13.

 

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.

 

Michail Antonio, Leon Bailey and Ravel Morrison will not be available for Jamaica’s World Cup qualifying opener against Mexico on Thursday as the Jamaica Football Federation tries to navigate a Covid-19 minefield laid by the United Kingdom and other European countries.

The Jamaica Football Federation has conveyed a message of congratulations to Christopher Samuda who was overwhelmingly returned as president of the Jamaica Olympic Association during an Extraordinary Annual General Meeting on Saturday.

The noted attorney will serve another four-year term after handsomely defeating challenger Alan Beckford 40-10 in the voting.

The significance of the vote of confidence was not lost on the JFF.

“The Jamaica Football Federation heartily congratulates Mr Christopher Samuda on his re-election as President of the Jamaica Olympic Association,” it said in a statement.

“The overwhelming support given to his re-election is an indication of the quality of leadership he has given, especially as he has extended the support of the JOA to many non-traditional sporting entities even whilst maintaining guidance to the traditional sports.

“The JFF has benefitted in many ways from his stewardship in particular in the recharging of professional football and overall guidance on other initiatives. We extend congratulations to the entire executive including our own Vice President Raymond Anderson and the first female 1st Vice- President of the JOA, Jacqueline Cowan. We look forward to forging an even stronger working relationship with the JOA going forward.”

Cowan of the Jamaica Volleyball Association defeated incumbent first Vice-President Nelson Stokes 29-11.

Robert Scott is the second vice-president after defeating Ian Forbes, 33-17.

Nichole Case was unopposed as treasurer.

Paul Hall has been appointed assistant coach to Reggae Boyz Head Coach Theodore Whitmore for the Gold Cup and the duration of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Leon Bailey and Michail Antonio will not be available for the Reggae Boyz matches against Japan and Serbia that have been scheduled for June as Jamaica’s senior squad continues its preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July and the World Cup qualifiers in September.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has welcomed the Jamaican government’s decision to grant approval for the resumption of Jamaica’s Premier League after more than a year of inactivity because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Football was suspended in March 2020 after the virus began to spread across the country.

However, after months of meetings and deliberations, the decision to allow for the resumption of football was announced today by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie following a meeting between representatives of the Ministries of Health and Wellness, and Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Premier League Clubs Association, the Jamaica Football Federation, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and the Social Development Commission.

“We have been meeting for some time to ensure that all possible mechanisms concerning the efficient prevention and management of COVID-19 are applied to all aspects of Club competition, including the health and safety of players, referees and Club workers and administrators. Further details regarding the starting times and the conditions under which the competitions will be held, will be disclosed at a later date,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Even as the management of COVID-19 remains paramount, the Government is keen for sport to resume in a phased, orderly manner, consistent with the continued reduction in the country’s positivity rate. The impact of sport on social well-being and social development is well recognized, and the Government will support all efforts to promote the enjoyment of sport in the safest way possible. In this regard, the Government is actively considering applications from a range of sporting associations.”

JFF President Michael Ricketts welcomed the news.

“This is very positive news for the stakeholders of football,” Ricketts said in a statement late Wednesday.

“Of course, my first thoughts are with our players and coaches who will now have opportunities open to them to resume the trade that they so love. I also want to commend and thank the partners who have invested, for their patience and loyalty to the sport.

“Finally, thanks to the ministries and state agencies for the work done to get us here. While I am sure the players are overjoyed with the news, I implore them to be constantly mindful of the current local health conditions and act responsibly. While we play, let’s play our part in containing this pandemic. Let the games begin.”

The approval was given for the format that allows clubs to train at their home grounds with the official matches to be held at central venues. Most recently, the PFJL had developed a protocol for the official matches to be held in a controlled environment based on the significant upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Jamaica starting in February. However, with the success of the most recent measures that have cut back the number of new cases, all parties were satisfied that the previous model would align with the current measures.

There is also greater confidence with the start of national vaccination efforts.

The JFF will now work to finalize the design of the format for the official matches following the delay in receiving approval and the resulting shortened season. The JFF will also have to integrate the Jamaica Premier League matches with those on the national and regional calendars as both the Gold Cup and World Cup Qualifiers are being held in the coming months.

Details of the start, duration and league format will be shared in the coming days.

Like most sporting events globally, the Jamaica Premier League will be held without spectators in order to contribute to the nation’s efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, fans will be able to enjoy the matches as the PFJL has secured a broadcast partner for the Caribbean who will be responsible for identifying television broadcasters for Jamaica and the region.

Acting General Manager of the PFJL, Arlene L. Martin was very pleased with the go-ahead.

 “The PFJL appreciates the government’s recognition of the importance of the resumption of professional football as well as the confidence in the approved protocol and the ability to comply with these measures. The PFJL has worked with our national and regional stakeholders to develop a thorough protocol that we are confident will support and even enhance the government’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to an exciting season with the Clubs and our commercial partners and to delivering quality football to our fans.”

Southampton star Nathan Redmond is yet to make up his mind regarding his international future, after recently receiving confirmed interest for his services from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Earlier reports had suggested that the 27-year former England U-21 representative was among a number of players that had decided to switch their allegiances to Jamaica after being approached by the JFF.

 The player had, however, later rejected those claims, insisted he was yet to be contacted by the JFF regarding the option of joining the country’s national program.

"I’ve not been contacted. I’ve heard some stories and seen a lot of stuff in the media, but no one from the international set-up in Jamaica has contacted me,” Redmond had told UK publication The Daily Echo.

 "So, I’m seeing it exactly the same way as everybody else is."

A recent update, however, indicates that the player was contacted three weeks ago, and he is now carefully considering the decision.  Redmond had also previously indicated that the decision would include his family.

"I’ve not really spoken to my family about some of that stuff as of yet,” he had said.

"Obviously, it’s been difficult to see people during lockdown. So, I’ve not really spoken to the family about that,” he added.

"That’s a decision I guess for all of them to make with me, because I’m quite close with my family and whatever I do football-wise impacts them and our lives."

A number of players, including West Ham star forward Michail Antonio and Swansea’s Jamal Lowe, have already accepted the invitation to join the Jamaica national team, who will begin competing in the final round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year.

After being at loggerheads over wages for the past few weeks, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the Reggae Boyz have reached a contractual agreement that now allows the focus to return to the coming CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Two members of the Reggae Boyz delegation in Austria for their international friendly against the United States on Thursday have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, the Jamaica Football Federation announced today.

The members of the delegation were tested when they arrived in Austria earlier today.

The players have been isolation in their hotel rooms in keeping with UEFA protocols while they await another test before any activity can be initiated.  All the players subsequently took a PCR Covid-19 test with the results due 12 hours later.

Ten England-based players including Adrian Mariappa and Michael Hector, are among those who are now in Austria.

 

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Michael Ricketts, has admitted that the team’s preparation ahead of the upcoming friendly against the United States is less than ideal, as the team will be without some of its best players for the encounter.

With the JFF and some national representatives yet to agree to terms on player contracts, several players will not suit up for the friendly.  President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts, however, believes the situation is an opportunity.

“The show must go on,” he said. “We will be missing some of our best players, but this game provides a perfect opportunity for coach Whitmore to see other players who could possibly help to bolster his squad going forward. It is not a perfect situation, but it could be useful.”

At least one member of a 15-man local squad, called by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to prepare for the upcoming friendly against the United States, tested positive for the coronavirus and is now isolating at home.

The rest of the contingent, including head coach Theodore Whitmore, ancillary staff, and administrative staff, tested negative for the virus and are now in camp at the UWI/JFF/Captain Horace Burrell Centre.

The local unit will train at the venue for the next few days before leaving on the weekend of the 20th to join the overseas-based players, who will fly directly to Austria by March 22.  The match will take place on March 25th at the SC Wiener Neustadt.  The match will be Jamaica’s first international friendly since they faced Saudi Arabia over two legs, in November of last year.

 

 

 

 

 

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and national players have reportedly moved close to securing a deal after protracted and acrimonious negotiations.

According to reports, the latest counter-offer from the representatives of the players is a lot closer to what the JFF had initially offered and is now being considered by the body.  The parties are scheduled to meet to discuss the latest offer in short order. 

Initially, the parties had been miles apart on wage demands with the group of national players demanding US$7,000 ($1,039,068) per match, for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and the JFF insisting that based on expenditure it was unable to go above US$2000 ($296,876).  However, according to JFF committee chairman Rudolph Speid the latest submission is much closer to what the JFF can afford.

“The players actually made a late submission to us yesterday.  They’re our players, we are not enemies, so we want to have a peaceful resolution," Speid told Television Jamaica.

“Of course, we are still determined that we have a plan that we have to stick to, but we are willing to listen to the players and we are going to be meeting with them again,” he added.

“They have come down substantially.  We are closer now than we have ever been before.”

Although Speid did not go into specifics, the new wage demand from the players is reported to be US$3000 ($445,315) and a US$2000 ($296,876) win bonus for the World Cup qualifiers.  However, a major sticking point is likely to be the team's demand for half of the US$8m ($1,187,507,200), prize money provided to the JFF by FIFA for qualifying for the tournament.  The amount the players would receive in that scenario would be US$4m ($593,753,600).

Jamaica Reggae Boyz shot-stopper, Andre Blake, believes a lot more can be done by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to secure the funding necessary to meet or at least go close to the wage demands of the national players.

With the time running out for the deadline to sign contractual obligations, the parties remain far apart in terms of wage demands put forward.  The Reggae Boyz have asked for US$7000 ($1,050,895) per player, per match for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.  The JFF has insisted that, due to financial constraints, US$ US$2000 ($300,256) is the highest that they are able to offer.

“I think that there can be a lot more marketing done to get sponsors on board and there are a lot more ways that funds can come in to compensate the players,” Blake told the SportsMax Zone.

“I think that there’s a lot more that can be done.  I don’t think there’s enough being done.  It’s almost like I am asking someone to come and work for me and that person must figure out how they are going to get paid or how I am going to pay them.  Our job is to come and play not to worry about how we are going to get paid.  The JFF has a job and they must do their job," he added.

With a 22-man squad, the players’ current demands could see the federation spend US$2,156,000 ($323,675,752) on wages for the 14-match World Cup qualification round.

 

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