Olympic qualification could boost World Cup hopes claims JFF TD Downswell

By May 16, 2018
The Jamaicans last qualified for the World Cup in 1998. The Jamaicans last qualified for the World Cup in 1998.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Technical Director Wendell Downswell has highlighted historic qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games as another major priority for the organisation over the next few years.

Despite their numerous exploits on the track and qualification for the 1998 World Cup, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have never managed to qualify for an Olympic Games.  The team narrowly missed out on qualification for the tournament in 1996 after finishing fourth in the final round of the tournament. 

Having already pointed to qualification for the next World Cups as a priority, Downswell also highlighted qualification for the Olympics as not only a desire of the JFF but also a means to bolster the talent pool of the national squad for the World Cup qualifiers.

"Haven't not qualified for Russia 2018 itself we have embarked on a programme to qualify for the 2022 and 2026 World Cups. Our vision now is the qualification for Qatar and beyond,” Downswell told CONCACAF.com

"Now we are in the process of starting the Olympic programme of which we have gotten the Jamaican Olympic Association playing a significant role by sponsoring the programme. We are giving it a serious effort towards qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” he added.

"In our 1998 World cup campaign, we came very close to qualifying for the 1996 Olympics and a lot of those youngsters made the transition to our '98 World Cup squad. And this is a similar programme and period for us. These players will play a pivotal role in us going forward." Downswell said.

Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi has been a sports journalist with more than 10-years’ experience in the field. First as a Sports Reporter with The Gleaner in the early 2000s before he made the almost natural transition to becoming an editor. Since then he has led the revamp of The Star’s sports offering, making it a more engaging and forward-thinking component of the most popular tabloid newspaper in the Caribbean.

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