Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary Dalton Wint appears to have yielded to the demand of the Reggae Boyz that he resigns his position.

Wint has been the target of the players’ ire after being left stranded in Suriname on Saturday night, June 4, after their 1-1 draw with the host country. The JFF had failed to make proper arrangements for the players to return to Jamaica, an embarrassing situation that the players laid squarely at the feet of the beleaguered general secretary.

According to a statement reportedly coming from the players, “it was the straw that broke the camel’s back” and they refused to go on unless Wint resigned from his post. JFF President Michael Ricketts confirmed on Monday that the board had met to discuss the situation but up to later that day, there was no official word regarding the board’s position on the demand made by the players, who Sportsmax.TV understands refused to train in preparation for the return match against Suriname on Tuesday evening.

However, in a statement released late Monday night, the JFF signalled that an end to the impasse is in sight.

“The General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, Mr Dalton Wint, has given his unequivocal and irreversible commitment to submit his resignation from the post,” the JFF said. “The Board of Directors of the JFF look forward to receiving same soonest. Other relevant information regarding this matter, will be shared with the country in the coming days.”

Meantime, Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, revealed its part in getting the players home from Suriname early Monday morning.

Minister Olivia Grange revealed that her ministry intervened to facilitate the safe return of the irate players, who returned to Jamaica at approximately 7:15 am Monday.

“On Saturday, June 4, 2022, I was advised of challenges being experienced by the Reggae Boyz delegation in Suriname. I was made to understand that travel arrangements for their return to Jamaica, after the match against Suriname on Saturday, had been cancelled and my assistance was being sought,” the minister said in a statement.

 “I was told that because the players had to return in time for another match, normal flight schedules would not allow for their return. On my instructions, a number of steps were taken by my Permanent Secretary and the General Manager of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) to assist in addressing the problem.

 “A company was identified from which we could charter a flight in the short time frame. Reggae Boy Leon Bailey was instrumental in identifying the charter company.

“We were advised by the company identified that the charter flight would cost US$105,000.00 which had to be paid immediately in order for the aircraft which was in Mexico to be released to pick up the team in Suriname. Unfortunately, with this taking place over the weekend, the circumstances prevented the SDF from accessing the required banking services.”

 As a result, Minister Grange said, JFF President Michael Ricketts contacted Christopher Williams, CEO of PROVEN and Chairman of the Premier Football Jamaica League (PFJL) to assist with the identification of the required funds and the Government of Jamaica through the SDF committed to ensuring that the funds advanced would be repaid.

“Based on the commitment of the Government, Mr Williams put the necessary mechanisms in place to advance the payment for the charter flight, with the firm understanding that he would be reimbursed in the shortest possible time,” the minister explained.

“All the parties involved were aware of the urgent need to act, bearing in mind the risk of the Jamaican delegation being stranded in Suriname, and the players not being able to honour the fixture scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2022,” the minister continued, adding that she spoke directly to the players, who she said were upset with the JFF Administration which they blamed for the crisis.

The players, she said, then agreed to play the game in Suriname on schedule.

“The Under Secretary for the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) played a critical role in securing the landing and fly over permits. The team from the Ministries were in negotiations from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning to ensure that the permits were received,” the minister said.

  “I will be writing to the JFF requesting a detailed report on the matter and my team and I will continue to work closely with the JFF and the Reggae Boyz as we are also aware of other matters of concern related to the management of what is possibly the most popular sport in Jamaica.”

 

Reports are emerging that Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has resigned his position and the players have refused to move forward unless Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary Dalton Wint tenders his resignation.

It is a position with which JFF President Michael Ricketts appears to agree. Sportsmax.TV has obtained a Whatsapp voice note created Saturday night in which a player speaking on behalf of the team, is heard demanding Wint’s resignation and President Ricketts seemingly agreeing with the players.

“On behalf of the team, captain, vice captain, we are asking Mr Wint to resign. That’s the only way we move forward. Can we get your word on that?” said an unidentified player.

A voice sounding like the JFF president responded, “I am saying I agree.”

“You agree as the president. Okay,” the player said in reply.

This latest fallout stems from a situation that developed in Suriname on Saturday night where the Reggae Boyz played to a 1-1 draw with the home side in their opening match of the CONCACAF Nations League.

After the match, the players came to the realization that they did not have a return flight to Jamaica for the return match on June 7. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Jamaica was to have shared a charter flight with the Suriname national team back to Jamaica on Saturday night. However, Jamaica is alleged to have failed to come up with their share of the cost of the flight.

The players are reportedly still in Suriname.

Calls to both JFF President Ricketts and General Secretary Wint went unanswered up to the time of publication on Sunday.

It is unknown what arrangements are being made for the players to get back to Jamaica to prepare for their match against Suriname and their upcoming match against Mexico on June 14.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz kicked off play in the Concacaf Nation’s League League A with a 1-1 draw away to Suriname on Saturday.

After a first that saw more clear chances being created by the hosts, it was the Jamaicans who took the lead through Toulouse FC forward Junior Flemming.  Flemming put the Jamaicans into the lead after swiveling onto a low cross played into the area and firing past Suriname goalkeeper Hahn Warner in the 39th minute.

Ironically, it was the Jamaicans who looked more likely to add to their lead in the second half but after missing a few early chances, found themselves pegged back late on.  Jamaica goalkeeper Amal Knight was credited with an own goal, after badly misjudging an 84th-minute corner that he punched into his own goal.

Reigning Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah will be back in action on Sunday at the Rabat Diamond League, in Morocco, where she faces a quality field in the women’s 100m.

Lining up alongside Thompson-Herah will be experienced Ivory Coast sprinter Marie Jose Talou, Trinidad and Tobago star Michelle Lee Ahye, and compatriot Natasha Morrison.

Thompson-Herah heads into the event off the back of a dominant performance at the Prefontaine Classic last weekend where she got the better of United States sprinter Sha’arri Richardson, compatriot Shericka Jackson, and Great Britain athlete Dina Asher-Smith.  The Jamaican won the event in 10.79.

Elsewhere, another Jamaican Stephenie Ann Mcpherson will compete in the women’s 400m, while Shanieka Ricketts will compete in the women’s triple jump.

 

Ackera Nugent will miss the 2022 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships set for June 8-11 in Eugene, Oregon and Jamaica’s National Championships in Kingston from June 23-26, because of an ongoing ankle injury.

Nugent, the reigning World U20 champion, is the second fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year after running a personal best of 12.45 at the Big 12 Championships at Lubbock, Texas on May 15. Only fellow Jamaican, Demisha Roswell of Texas Tech, who ran 12.44 to beat Nugent at the Big 12 Conference Championships, has run faster this season.

The 20-year-old Nugent, a sophomore at Baylor University revealed on social media Thursday that the severity of the injury makes it impossible for her to carry on this season.

“With my ankle, this year has been a roller coaster but that has never stopped me from going out there and giving it my all,” she posted on Instagram.

“As a fighter, you have to know when to stop fighting and let go and I just wanted to let you know my season is over. I will not be competing in the NCAA Championship not will I be competing in the national senior trials this year.

“However, God has helped me along the way to have accomplished my main goal this year and I am at peace.”

Nugent’s absence will take away from the much-anticipated clashes at the NCAA Championships against the likes of the LSU pair of Alia Armstrong and Tonea Marshall as well as Roswell.

At the Jamaica National Senior Championships, she would have faced Roswell as well as 2015 World Champion Danielle Williams and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Megan Tapper.

 

United-Kingdom-based Formula Woman Driver Sara Misir has been signed as NCB Capital Market's newest brand ambassador.

Misir, 24, is Jamaica's first and only Formula Woman driver, after successfully earning a seat in the GT Cup Championships by winning the Formula Woman qualifying competition in March from a field of over 10,000 applicants.

"It's official. I'm NCB's newest Brand Ambassador!" Misir posted on Instagram Thursday.

"I'd like to thank NCB Capital Markets for choosing me to represent such an iconic brand with such a long history in Jamaica. As I pursue my passions and continue to race towards my dreams, I'm happy to be on the journey with NCB Capital Markets,”

NCB Capital Markets expressed delight about having Sara on board in a statement.
"Sara has made an indelible mark in the world of motorsport, becoming the first Caribbean Formula Woman driver. Together we will go further, go faster, chart new roads and shatter expectations".

Jamaican Olympian Kerron Stewart has been appointed Head Coach – Sprints, Hurdles and Middle Distance at SPIRE Academy in the United States. SPIRE Academy is an international, high school and postgraduate sports performance training and education academy in Geneva, Ohio.

The 38-year-old Stewart takes the position as head coach, a year after signing with Buena Vista as an assistant coach for their Track & Field/Cross Country programs.

“I am elated to join this dynamic and evolving team that’s invested in developing and inspiring young men and women. I can’t wait to start this new position and contribute my wealth of experience and knowledge to growing and developing our student-athletes,” said Stewart, who won a silver in the 100m behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

 “With any new position, I know there will be challenges, but I am ready and committed.”

Stewart, who won a silver medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m team at the London 2012 Games, will be working with Coach Tim Mack as well as SPIRE’s Director of Track & Field Kibwe Johnson.

"I am thrilled to have Kerron join our coaching staff at SPIRE,” Mack said of Stewart’s appointment. “She brings a ton of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to our track & field program.”

Meanwhile, Johnson said Stewart completes the ‘Dream Team’  coaching staff at SPIRE.

"I'm incredibly humbled to be able to add a coach with the vast wealth of knowledge and experience that Kerron will bring to the student-athletes of the SPIRE Track & Field program,” Johnson said.

“It's one thing to be a coach with vast personal experience. It's quite another to also align with the principles of leadership and teaching that I expect from this coaching staff. We're happy to have her.”

Jamaica Reggae Boy striker Andre Gray is attracting attention from English Championship club Reading FC after recently parting ways with relegated Watford.

The forward has been a part of the Watford squad since 2017 but spent the last season on loan at Queens Park Rangers.  During his stint at Queens Park Rangers, Gray scored 10 goals as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs.

Gray has had a productive stint in Championship football since joining Burnley in 2015.  The forward notched 20 in 52 at Brentford and 33 in 78 at Burnley before making a reported £17m switch to Hertfordshire in 2017.

According to reports, the player has also drawn interest from Birmingham and Preston North End where another Jamaican Daniel Johnson is a part of the squad.

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association has laid the blame squarely at the feet of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission for World Athletics' decision not to ratify the World U20 Women 4x100m relay record set on April 17, 2022, during the 49th staging of the Carifta Games at the National Stadium in Kingston.

On that night, the quartet of Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, Brianna Lyston and Tia Clayton scorched the track in 42.58s eclipsing the time of 42.94 also set by Jamaica at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2021.

However, World Athletics rejected the time set in Kingston citing that not all four athletes were subjected to anti-doping control. JADCO, in a statement on Wednesday, said they only tested three athletes after the record was set because one of the athletes had been tested the day before after she had won her event. Hence, they took the decision not to test her again.

However, in a statement released later Wednesday, the JAAA, which had contracted JADCO for the three-day meet, made it clear that the Jamaican anti-doping agency did not adhere to their instructions.

“It is a fact that all four athletes were notified by the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission (JADCO) officials and presented themselves to the anti-doping station within the required time window to be tested. Unfortunately, JADCO took the decision, unknown to the JAAA and the NACAC’s Anti-Doping Delegate, not to test the athlete based on a JADCO standard. This was in direct contradiction to oral and written instructions by the JAAA,” the athletics governing body stated.

“It is to be noted that JADCO is the agency that performs anti-doping testing on our athletes both in and out of competition on behalf of the JAAA and was contracted to do so at the NACAC 2022 Carifta Games.”

The JAAA said it sent the performance along with the supporting documentation to World Athletics for ratification and it was only after they did so that it was pointed it that one of the athletes, Tina Clayton, who won the U20 Girls 100m, was not tested on the night of the relay world record.

Lorne Donaldson has been appointed head coach of Jamaica’s National Senior Women’s team ahead of the CONCACAF Women Qualifiers set to begin in Mexico on July 4. He replaces Vin Blaine who resigned from the post in mid-May after a falling out with the players.

 After more than two weeks of searching for a replacement, the Jamaica Football Federation has decided that Lorne Donaldson, a member of the coaching staff that took the Reggae Girlz to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019, is the best person to lead the team into the qualifiers.

“We looked at all the dynamics involved, including the short period to prepare, and agreed that Lorne brings specific advantages to the position including familiarity with the regional football culture and knowledge of the players and is well placed to navigate the team through what will be a difficult qualifying exercise,” said Michael Ricketts, President of the JFF.

“The JFF will give all the necessary support to him and the team, and we are confident that they will make Jamaica proud in Mexico.”

Donaldson’s backroom staff will be named soon.

Donaldson resigned from the Reggae Girlz coaching staff in January 2020, citing a lack of integrity and professionalism at the JFF, and came mere weeks after head coach Hue Menzies resigned in December 2019.

The Concacaf W Championship will take place in Monterrey, Mexico, from July 4 to 18.

Jamaica is drawn into a tough Group A with hosts Mexico, FIFA’s number one ranked the United States and neighbours Haiti. Jamaica will meet hosts Mexico on July 4, the USA on July 7 and Haiti on July 11 in the preliminary round.

The teams in Group B are Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

The top two teams from the two groups will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the third-placed teams will qualify for the intercontinental playoffs.

In addition, the group winners will qualify for the 2024 Olympics and the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup while the second and third-placed teams will advance to the Concacaf Olympic playoff.

The United States are the two-time defending champions, having won the 2014 and 2018 tournaments.

 

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has admitted that it had only tested three of the four members of Jamaica’s Women U20 4x100m relay team on April 17, 2022, after they had established the now rejected world record set at the 2022 Carifta Games held at the National Stadium in Kingston

Meantime, Garth Gayle, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), in describing the development as saddening, has indicated that his administration is planning to appeal the World Athletics decision to not ratify the record.

“We are saddened by the situation that four young ladies would be denied the record. The matter is still at a sensitive stage and we would have done the necessary appeals. We are still hopeful that the record will be ratified at a later stage,” he said.

World Athletics has rejected the ratification of the world record because not all members of the team were subjected to doping control. In a lengthy statement Wednesday, (JADCO) sought to explain the circumstances under which they failed to test all four members of the relay team.

“The event was won by the Jamaican team which was comprised of four female athletes. They completed the race with a world record of 42.58. Doping Control was conducted immediately on three of the female athletes,” the JADCO statement said.

“Since one of the athletes was already tested on the 16th of April 2022, a urine sample was not collected from this athlete on the 17th of April 2022. It is customary and in JADCO’s Best Practice in-competition, that if an athlete is tested today in-competition, the said athlete would not be tested the following day in-competition.”

JADCO claims it was instructed to carry out a specific number of tests for each day of the three-day championships that were being held in Jamaica for the first time since 2011.

“The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) was contracted by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) to 18 urine samples throughout the period of the 49th staging of the CARIFTA Games. The Commission was advised to carry 6 urine tests per day with testing being done on any athlete who achieved a national/world record.

On April 16, 2022, six athletes were tested – three Jamaican female athletes, two male Jamaican athletes and one male athlete from the Bahamas.

On April 17, the day the world record was broken, JADCO tested nine athletes – six Jamaican female athletes, one Jamaican male athlete, one female athlete from the US Virgin Islands and one male athlete from the Bahamas.

Six more athletes were tested on April 18, 2022 – three Jamaican male athletes, one Jamaican female athlete, one male athlete from Curacao and one female athlete from the Bahamas.

Going forward, JADCO said they will ensure that all athletes breaking records would be tested.

“The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission has recognized that World Athletics has declined to accept the result of the record-breaking performance of Jamaica’s Women’s U20 4x100m relay team on April 17, 2022, since one of the athletes previously tested by JADCO on April 16, 2022, was not tested on the day the record was broken,” the JADCO statement said.

“Whilst our testing conforms with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) protocols, going forward JADCO will ensure the testing of record-breaking athletes despite the frequency of testing.”

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   JOA INVESTS IN THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF JAMAICA’S TRIATHLETES

 

Kingston, Jamaica…The Jamaica Triathlon Association (JTA) received a welcome boost recently when they were able to acquire eight new `bicycles with the help of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

Through a JOA grant of JMD$1 million the JTA was able to acquire the bicycles and other equipment as well as assist with the promotion of the inaugural Inter-Schools Triathlon/Aquathlon Championships to be held at the National Aquatic Centre at Independence Park in Kingston on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

The championships will include age groups from six to 21 years incorporating primary, secondary and tertiary students.

Christopher Samuda, President of the JOA, said the investment is a further signal of the Olympic association’s confidence in the goals set by the JTA’s administration. 

“Our investment in the sport triathlon is three fold - the athlete, the tool of the trade, which is the bicycle, and the coach, who provides the technical competence which transitions the talent to success,” President Samuda said.

“This is JOA's cycle of development, the returns of which have been fast tracked by the experience and commitment of the new administration led by President Karl Sharpe.

“This is a solid partnership between the JOA and the Jamaica Triathlon Association, which has developed traction and the athlete is the winner and the schools the beneficiaries. One million is yet another clear signal of our confidence in the sport and the value and currency of the administration.”

JOA CEO and General-Secretary Ryan Foster believes the assistance they are providing will also help the JTA build capacity in the longer term.

“The JOA welcomes this extremely important initiative by the Jamaica Triathlon Association. The JOA shares a similar vision with the JTA regarding expanding opportunities and growing the sport in schools,” Foster said.

“We are pleased with the renewed energy displayed by President (Carl) Sharpe and his team and saw it as a right strategic fit which aligns with our vision of looking at the next generation.

“The partnership will see The JOA contributing $JMD1 million towards this competition. The sponsorship will also see the JOA providing the much-needed competition equipment, especially for those schools that do not have the resources to do so. This equipment will provide capacity to the JTA for future events."

 The consensus is that the JOA support will go a long way in helping develop the sport as well as aid in the physical development of young athletes, a view expressed by the association’s president Carl Sharpe.

“They (the bicycles) will help us to unearth talent,” he said.

Sharpe explained that several aquathlon athletes interested in becoming triathletes but they lack the resources to purchase bicycles.

He also believes that because the triathlon is a cross-discipline event, athletes who engage in the sport are likely to achieve greater levels of physical development and as a result are more likely to avoid injuries.

These sentiments were echoed by JTA Director Donna Sharpe.

“These bikes are starter bikes with different measurements that fit athletes with varying heights. The bikes will be used on a loaner basis to get athletes to start riding,” she explained.

“These are some aquathletes who want to transition to triathlon but have no bikes to get started. So they will be used to assist athletes to learn to ride and or train.”

At the inaugural championships, the JTA coaches are hoping to identify talent for the national squad in preparation for the Carifta Triathlon Aquathlon Age Group Championships scheduled to be held September 24th to 25th in Bermuda.

                                        -30-

Jamaica’s Olympic gymnast Danusia Francis has announced her retirement from international competition while expressing gratitude for the love and support she received while representing the country.

Francis, 28, represented Jamaica at the Tokyo Olympics. She was due to compete in the women's individual all-around event but two days prior to the competition, she discovered she had torn her anterior cruciate ligament.

 She subsequently withdrew from the balance beam, the vault and the floor exercise but chose to continue to compete in the uneven bars with her knee bandaged, scoring the lowest of any competitor as the judges deducted 6.5 points for various infractions and gave her only a 0.5 difficulty score. However, her 9.033 execution score was the highest for any athlete on uneven bars.

Less than a year later, she decided that it was time to call it a day from the sport she loves.

“I am announcing my official retirement from gymnastics. I am so grateful and thankful for all the opportunities, I’ve had in this sport, to be a Jamaican Olympian is an absolute dream come true. I want to give a massive thank you to Jamaica Gymnastics and the JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) for believing in me, funding me and for the opportunity to represent on the biggest stage,” she said in a statement Sunday.

“I will treasure the memories forever.”

Notwithstanding her retirement, Francis, who also represented UCLA in NCAA gymnastics, said she plans to remain involved with the sport in her adopted country.

“I would love to always be a part of the sport in Jamaica, help it improve and grow,” she said. “Anytime I am in Jamaica, I am definitely coming to the gym, do some coaching and I will always be on the other side of the phone for advice, for whatever it might be and however I can help.

“So, thanks again to everybody and thanks again to the amazing Jamaican fans. You have supported me and shown me so much love and embraced me and for that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Francis said she plans to continue in the sport as a host and presenter.

President of the JGA Nicole Grant said Francis has done much for Jamaican gymnastics in a very short time.

It is truly an honour to have had Danusia Francis as part of the Jamaica gymnastics team. She has helped to grow the sport in so many ways. Competing for Jamaica at so many important gymnastics meets, putting us out there and showing the world that Jamaica does have the ability to be great in the sport," Grant said.

"Being the first female gymnast to qualify Jamaica for the Olympic test event in 2016 opened doors for us and she played her part in enabling our berth to the 2016 Olympics. She showed so much determination to keep going for Jamaica, especially after her disappointment with not being chosen for the Olympic test event in 2016 and the 2018 Commonwealth Games, her drive demonstrated her full commitment to Jamaica as she had choices. Her love for Jamaica shone brightly and that love was returned 100 times more.

"Her retirement from competitions, for us only means that she will have more time to help develop the sport locally through coaching and consultation. We wish her good luck and God's richest blessings on her future journey."

 

 

 

Jamaican track and field icons, Olympians Veronica Campbell-Brown and Donald Quarrie were honoured by Comets Club International, formerly the Montego Bay Comets Club at a gala in New York on Saturday, May 28.

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