'COVID hampered JFF planning' - gen sec Wint claims pandemic fallout posed major challenges for Saudi Arabia tour

By Sports Desk November 26, 2020

General secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Dalton Wint, has claimed the unusual situations emanating from the coronavirus pandemic complicated the association’s planning efforts for the recent tour of Saudi Arabia.

The JFF came under heavy criticism from head coach Theodore Whitmore, team captain Damion Lowe and a host of others for a wide range of issues that occured on the team’s middle east tour.  Some of the problems included the unavailability of players due to coronavirus testing, unpaid match fees, and incorrect seat bookings.

In arguing the JFF’s case, however, Wint pointed to the peculiarity of the current situation surrounding travel and restrictions brought on by the pandemic.

“We thought we were at a stage to have the proposals signed, but unfortunately they came back with some concerns.  I think some part of it was reasonable because they were going into an environment which was not a usual situation, where the match fees that we generally agree to we did not agree to because the fact is that we were going into Saudi Arabia during the COVID pandemic, which put another spin on the issue,” Wint said in a recent interview with the SportsMax Zone.

While insisting he understood the coach's situation, with not having some key members of the team available in time for the first match, Wint pointed out that in some regards the JFF was in uncharted territory.

“During the time of COVID, it’s not a perfect situation.  You are encounter things you never encountered before.  The fact is that we had players reaching days late, because of the fact that flights had to be changed, they had to re-do their COVID tests and all different issues because borders were closed left right and centre."

The Jamaica national team lost the first game 3-0, before rebounding with a 2-1 win in the second.

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