Antonio, Bailey and Morrison out for Mexico but JFF confident of fielding strong teams for qualifiers

By August 30, 2021

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.

With Jamaica at risk of not having its English-based players available for its World Cup qualifying matches because of the United Kingdom’s red-list restrictions, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) says it has adopted a strategy that will help players returning from red-listed countries avoid lengthy quarantine periods that could ultimately hurt their respective clubs.

According to the current coronavirus re-entry rules, individuals returning from red-list destinations face a mandatory 10 days of hotel quarantine on return to England. The matter is compounded by the fact that Premier League clubs have argued that in addition to the 10 days’ quarantine, the players will also need more time to regain fitness and could miss a number of games.

However, with the World Cup qualifiers set to begin this Thursday, the JFF believes it has found a way to avoid those challenges.

“With three matches in the first window of the World Cup Qualifying campaign and the uncertainties surrounding players based in England, the Jamaica Football Federation has entered its vast player pool to compose the current squad of players,” the federation said in a statement Monday.

“Some of the players will be utilized in the two away games versus Mexico and Costa Rica, while some will only be activated for the home game against Panama. There are others who will play critical roles in all three encounters.”

As such, the squad selected to play Mexico on September 2 will assemble in Mexico City on Tuesday. Some members will fly directly to the Mexican capital from their host country while the rest will be flown by charter flight along with the technical and administrative staff. The players based in the USA arrived on the island on Sunday. The flight leaves Jamaica at 1 pm on Tuesday.

Most of the players based in England are scheduled to arrive today (Monday), the JFF said, some of whom will be activated for the first game.

After the game on September 5 versus Panama at the National Stadium, the majority of the England-based players will return home on September 6. The squad to play Costa Rica on September 8 will leave for San Jose by charter flight on the same day.

Please see attached the full list of invited players for the three games. Players with an asterisk will be available to represent the country on September 2 against Mexico.

The JFF said it is satisfied that the best available players have been called up despite the extraordinary challenges and is fully confident that both players and staff will give an excellent representation for the Qatar Motivated campaign.

Andre Blake *, Dillon Barnes*, Dennis Taylor*, Ethan Pinnock, Damion Lowe*, Adrian Mariappa * Pending, Liam Moore, Alvas Powell*, Wesley Harding, Kemar Lawrence *, Amarii Bell, Ravel Morrison, Daniel Johnson, Devon Williams *, Kevin Stewart, Bobby Reid, Junior Flemmings *, Leon Bailey, Jamal Lowe, Michail Antonio, Kemar Roofe, Cory Burke *, Shamar Nicholson *, Oniel Fisher *, Blair Turgott * Norman Campbell *, Ricardo Morris*, Anthony Grant *, Tyreek Magee *, Lamar Walker *, Peter Vassell *, Javon East *, Romario Williams *, Javain Brown *, Richard King *.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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