Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have a series of international friendlies scheduled over the next six weeks as the Jamaica Football Federation looks to get the national senior side back on track after a disastrous failed World Cup campaign.

Two international friendlies are to be played in Spain against Catalonia on May 25 and the Basque Country on May 27, respectively.

According to the JFF, these matches will offer opportunities to look at new players, mainly from Europe. These new players, depending on the assessment of the technical staff, could play a role in the short, medium or long term plans.

 Crucial Nations League games against Suriname away on June 4, and then home on June 7, along with a June 14 home game against Mexico will be aimed at maximizing points for the 2023 Gold Cup qualification while the team continues to develop a style of play, improve its FIFA ranking as well as building team chemistry and a winning mentality.

An international friendly against Uruguay is set for June 11.

As they begin preparations for the CONCACAF Nations League tournament in June, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz has been confirmed for a friendly international against Catalonia at the Montilivi Stadium in Girona, Spain on May 25th.

Interim Coach Paul Hall, who has reportedly been offered the job full-time, and his staff will use this game as a warm-up and a further look at the players, who will lead the team into the very important Nations League tournament which starts in early June.

 Jamaica, now in group A, will play away to Suriname on June 4, host Suriname on June 7, and host Mexico on June 14 before rounding out group play on June 26 away to Mexico.

The game gets underway at 6:45 pm.

Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Most of the territory lies on the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, to the south of the Pyrenees mountain range. The capital is Barcelona and it has a population of 7.7 million.

As the Catalan Federation is affiliated to the Royal Spanish Football Federation as one of the several Spanish regional football federations, Catalonia cannot be affiliated with either FIFA or UEFA as a national member association and is therefore not allowed to participate in official competitions for national teams such as the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. Other than in certain cases where other nationalities are involved, Catalan players are full Spanish citizens who are eligible to play for Spain and often do.

Since 1904, the team has played nearly 200 games against various national, regional and club teams. International friendly games have been played more regularly since 1997. Among the teams they have played are Nigeria, Brazil, and Argentina.

Interim Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has named a 24-man squad for the final three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts is pleased with the ongoing increase in the number of qualified coaches in the country. He was speaking at an official ceremony at the JFF Headquarters this week where a number of coaches received their badges adding to the growing number of certified football coaches across the island.

“We certainly want to highlight the work of our coaches and the JFF is intent on ensuring that our coaches are always at a premium as it relates to exposure, and certainly, qualifications,” the JFF boss said while addressing the coaches and officials on Tuesday.

Ricketts, who took office in 2017 after the passing of Captain Horace Burrell, added that more and more coaches across the country are earning their C and B level coaching licenses.

“When we got into office, there was not a single B-licensed coach and Jamaica now has 27 and I understand that there’s no other Caribbean country that has more than five.”

According to Ricketts, initiatives are already in place to ensure that the numbers continue to grow.

“Jamaica has 27 B-licensed coaches. There were 1264 primary schools that were playing without certified coaches when I got into office and we’ve started the B-license coaching seminar. St. James, St. Catherine, KSAFA, Manchester and St. Elizabeth have already been covered in recent times and we certainly will be looking to do the other eight parishes,” Ricketts says.

Ricketts also emphasized the importance of coaches getting these qualifications as early as possible.

“We are intent on ensuring that our coaches are of the best quality," he said.

"We have nine coaching educators and these are tasked with the responsibilities of preparing our C-licensed coaches and they have, for the last two or three months, been going around ensuring that coaches at the lowest level are so prepared that they can prepare players from 12 years and under to get into high schools, get scholarships, get into premier league teams, play overseas and, of course, to ensure that the social impact on our little boys and little girls is at a premium.

“I believe it is important that the best coaches should be at the 12 and under level because they represent the future of our football.”

 

 

Coaches, schools and referees were recognized at the first-ever Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Awards and Presentation Ceremony at the JFF headquarters in Kingston on Tuesday.

Members of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), principals, members of JFF staff, and members of the media were on hand to see the presentation of plaques to the schools that won trophies in the recently concluded schoolboy football season and FIFA referee badges to the new crop of FIFA referees.

“As I congratulate these schools, I want to also extend congratulations to the staff members and principals because if they didn’t support these programs, the schools wouldn’t be doing very well,” said JFF president Michael Ricketts while addressing the gathering.

“Once again, I want to say a huge congratulations. I’m just absolutely excited at the prospects that I’m seeing after not playing for such a long time and the quality of play, I think, was at a premium,” he added.

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda also commented on the importance of ceremonies like these to highlight the outstanding performances of individuals while they are with us.

“We have a habit of recognizing people when they pass on, or when they have transitioned to another career. On behalf of the Jamaica Olympic Association, we want to congratulate the Jamaica Football Federation and all its stakeholders. This an event that should not perish and I have every conviction that it won’t,” he said.

The schools recognized were Manning Cup and Olivier Shield winners Kingston College, Walker Cup winners St. Catherine High, ISSA Champions Cup winners Clarendon College, DaCosta Cup winners Garvey Maceo High School and Ben Francis Cup winners Edwin Allen.

The referees awarded were Melvin Reid, Jermaine Yee Sing, Damian Williams, Richard Washington, Steffon Dewar, Neressa Goldson, Nicholas Anderson, Princess Brown, Ojay Duhaney, Odette Hamilton, Jassett Kerr, Oshane Nation, Damion Parchment and Stephanie Yee Sing. Eight of the 14 referees are currently on assignments overseas.

 

 

Reggae Girlz Head Coach Vin Blaine is to name his squad on Thursday that is to face Bermuda in the preliminary rounds of the Concacaf Women’s World Cup Qualifier on February 17 at the National Stadium in Kingston.

 Match time is 7:00 pm.

 Jamaica will have to win Group C which comprises Bermuda, Grenada, the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands to advance to the next round of qualifiers.

 Following the Bermuda match on February 17, Jamaica will travel to face Grenada on February 20. The remaining games against the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands will be played in April.

 The top finisher in each group will advance to the Concacaf W Championship joining the top-ranked CONCACAF nations, the USA and Canada – that have each received a bye straight to the W Championship which takes place in July 2022.

 The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has received approval to accommodate up to 2500 fully vaccinated fans in the Grand Stand of the National Stadium.

 Interested fans will have to be validated by the government’s electronic system which will open soon. Following the validation process, fans will be able to purchase tickets for J$3000.

 Those fans who were already validated by the system can simply enter and purchase a ticket.

Below are the respective groups for CONCACAF qualifiers.

Group A: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla
Group B: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Saint Kitts and Nevis, US Virgin Islands, and Curacao
Group C: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Grenada and Cayman Islands
Group D: Panama, El Salvador, Barbados, Belize and Aruba
Group E: Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands
Group F: Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica and Turks and Caicos Islands

Interim Head Coach of the “Reggae Boyz,” Paul Hall, says his selection policy in the short term will be to pick the best players available as he aims to get Jamaica into the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Football’s world governing body FIFA has fined Jamaica Football Federation (JMD$170,000) for a bottle-throwing incident that occurred during the World Cup qualifying match against the United States at the National Stadium in Kingston last month.

Near the end of the match that ended in a 1-1 draw, a plastic water bottle was thrown from the bleachers' seats near the running track. The incident was reported to the FIFA security officer on-site and the JFF was subsequently fined.

According to the FIFA ruling, “The Jamaica Football Federation is ordered to pay 1000 Swiss Francs for the inappropriate behaviour of its supporters in connection with the match Jamaica vs the USA played on 16 November 2021 in the scope of the Preliminary Competition for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, CONCACAF Zone. The fine is to be paid within 30 days of notification of the present decision.”

The JFF appealed the decision but the appeal was deemed inadmissible. In its appeal, the JFF expressed regret at the incident while pointing to its constant appeal to fans through different means not to throw objects, as well as the limitations on the sale of refreshments inside the stadium.

In light of the fine, the JFF said it was once again reminding spectators that they must follow all outlined protocols once they are within the confines of the National Stadium on match day as another breach could threaten Jamaica's hopes of hosting international games in the future.

Paul Hall has been appointed head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz following the sacking of Theodore Whitmore earlier today, the Jamaica Football Federation has confirmed. Hall will be in charge for the remainder of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers that resume early next year.

 “Bearing in mind that the World Cup campaign is still ongoing, the JFF has decided to appoint former assistant Paul Hall to lead until the World Cup cycle ends,” a statement from the JFF read.

 “The JFF wishes to thank Mr Whitmore for the work that he has put in with the team over the years."

 JFF President Michael Ricketts confirmed Hall’s appointment earlier today saying, “Paul is the new head coach. We have had discussions with Paul and he is willing and ready. Everything is in place for him to take over.”

Hall is no stranger to the Reggae Boyz. He was a member of the team that historically qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup along with other English-based players Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton and Robbie Earle.

Hall joined the coaching staff in June on a part-time basis while still being employed by the English club Queens Park Rangers.

The decision to fire Whitmore stems from a recommendation from the JFF’s Technical Committee, who voted almost unanimously to fire him after what has been a disappointing final round campaign in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

After eight games, Jamaica has seven points and lies sixth in the eight-team table. Jamaica has only one win so far after wasting glorious opportunities to defeat the United States at the National Stadium in Kingston in November and Costa Rica a few weeks earlier.

 

 

Theodore Whitmore has been fired by the Jamaica Football Federation, Sportsmax.TV has confirmed.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts was on Saturday elected a Vice President of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) during a virtual Annual Congress of the regional body.

"I feel honoured that my regional colleagues have seen it fit to place their faith in my abilities to support the leadership of this important organisation. I will do everything within my power working with my colleagues to ensure that the mandate and expectations of this body are fulfilled," said Ricketts, who became the second Jamaican to occupy the post.

The late Captain Horace Burrell was also a vice president of the CFU.

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.

 

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