The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) election is set to face another delay, as the country’s governing football body has been served a notice of appeal filed on behalf of Patricia Garel as President of Beach Soccer Jamaica.

This follows a recent Supreme Court ruling that denied an application for the continuation of the temporary injunction, which initially barred the elections from proceeding on January 14.

That application was denied on the basis that the applicants, Garel and Beach Soccer Jamaica, did not establish that they are an affiliate or member of the JFF. As a result, the court ruled that there was no serious issue to be tried by the court.

However, instead of heading to an Elective Congress, the parties are headed back to court as Garel, whose initially application in the Supreme Court sought an order to compel the JFF to allow Beach Soccer to participate in the election of officers as the entity representing beach football in Jamaica, has appealed against the recent ruling.

Still, the JFF in a release says it remains confident in securing a favorable decision on the appeal.

“The JFF is on course to set a new date for Elective Congress, in order to ensure that the members are not disenfranchised,” the JFF statement noted.

With this latest move said to be in violation of the JFF Constitution and the FIFA Statutes, incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, expressed his discontent with the court action.

Ricketts stated that he is “opposed to the action, especially as it goes against the provisions of the JFF Constitution and the FIFA Statutes and is a deliberate attempt to deny the legitimate members a right to exercise their vote for the development of football in Jamaica and for Jamaicans.”

Meanwhile, vice-president Raymond Anderson, who is challenging Ricketts for the post, declined to comment on the matter.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is now in the process of setting a new election date, after the Supreme Court denied an application for the continuation of the temporary injunction, which initially barred the proceedings.

It is understood that the application was denied on the basis that the applicants, Patricia Garel and Beach Soccer Jamaica, did not establish that they are an affiliate or member of the JFF. As a result, the court ruled that there is no serious issue to be tried by the court.

"This has been the position of the JFF, and we are pleased that the way is now cleared for us to set the new election date, which will be determined by the Board," the JFF said in a statement on Friday.

The initial January 14 election date set by the JFF was thrown out the window when Garel filed the application in the Supreme Court seeking an order to compel the JFF to allow Beach Soccer to participate in the election of officers as the entity representing beach football in Jamaica.

Garel, in the application which was filed this week, contends that in 2022 the respondent, JFF, promulgated a new constitution and article 12 stipulates that Beach Soccer Jamaica is one of the affiliates under pillar 3 of the constitution.

By virtue of that promulgation under article 12, Beach Soccer became a member of the JFF and was so treated.

Subsequent to the promulgation of the constitution, Garel said recognition was given to Beach Soccer when the respondent invited Beach Soccer to send three representatives to the congress on September 24 last year, which is reflected in the minutes of the JFF.

The injunction was granted but expired today.

Incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, is being challenged by vice-president Raymond Anderson for the presidency.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Presidential Election has been delayed by at least 28 days.

The elections were scheduled for Sunday, January 14 at Rusea’s High School in Hanover.

The postponement is due to an injunction granted by the Supreme Court following an appeal made on behalf of Beach Soccer Jamaica, the Jamaica Football Referees Association and Intercol Jamaica to become registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ).

The COJ registration would allow those parties ratification to become delegates ahead of the election.

Incumbent Michael Ricketts is being challenged by JFF First-Vice President Raymond Anderson. Ricketts has been in office as President since September 2017.

 

Too often, we wait until our pioneers are gone before we shower them with the praise they deserve.

The Jamaica Football Federation ensured this wouldn’t be the case on Monday when they held a ceremony honoring four stalwarts of football in Jamaica at the federation’s headquarters.

The first set of honorees included Geoffrey Maxwell, Leander Marshall, Everton “Bob West” McLeary and Allan “Skill” Cole.

According to Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts, this initiative was long overdue and is one that he plans to do annually.

“We really want to use this opportunity to express my personal views and those of the JFF. We would have previously planned similar exercises which really did not work out as we would’ve liked and we took a decision that we would select four or five persons annually,” he said.

“Here we are today showing our love and appreciation for the commitment, love, loyalty and the level of entertainment that these players and administrators have given to the sport,” he added.

Ricketts explained that this initiative is a part of the JFF’s efforts to re-connect with past players.

“The JFF is intent on ensuring that we re-establish a relationship with our past players and persons who would have given support to football over the years,” he said.

“Those were the days when service to sport, and especially football, was straight volunteerism,” he added.

Geoffrey Maxwell represented Jamaica as a defender before transitioning into coaching.

He guided Excelsior High to one Manning Cup title and two Walker Cup titles in the 1980s and also coached Waterhouse to the National League trophy in 1998.

Schoolboy football apart, Maxwell coached at the club level with Santos, Waterhouse, Harbour View, Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens, St George's SC, the JDF, and Maverley/Hughenden, among others.

Leander Marshall served as president of the Portmore Football League for over 30 years.

Everton “Bob West” McLeary was a respected administrator to the JFF 30 years ago and sponsored a football competition holding his name. This was part of the KSAFA ecosystem.

Prior to his post at the JFF, he served as a Journalist and a Policeman. He was seriously injured after being knocked down by a vehicle when he was on his motorcycle on Mountain View Avenue in 1994.

Unfortunately, as a result of this accident and the head injuries he sustained, he wasn’t the same. McLeary helped to improve the quality of administration and getting things in place even when resources were not there. McLeary is currently at a nursing home in Manchester.

Allan “Skill” Cole is widely regarded as Jamaica’s greatest ever footballer.

At the peak of his powers, Cole was a midfield maestro local fans compared to Pele. He remains the Jamaica's youngest senior football international, donning national colors against a Brazilian team when he was only 15 years old.

In addition to his local exploits, Cole represented the Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL and Nautico in Brazil.

“First I want to thank the federation for honoring us,” Cole said on behalf of the honorees.

“I cherish these things because I remember in the early days when we were playing football and we didn’t get any form of honor. You see schoolboys today getting citations, plaques and all these things when they score goals, we didn’t get those things. The game has evolved and that is very good” he added.

Cole, who has had his fair share of health issues, made the point that people must be honored more while they are living.

“Honor us before we die. Don’t wait until we die before you honor us. It’s sad and it happens all over the country. Let a man live in his glory,” he said.

 

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts, said he is saddened that both Cedella Marley, as well as the Bob and Rita Marley Foundation have opted to cut ties with the country's women's programme.

After Marley resigned from her role as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s women’s football programme, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundation followed suit and announced its discontinuation of funding support to the JFF and the national women’s programme.

A statement signed by the Foundation’s General Counsel Lecia-Gaye Taylor and released on Thursday, said the decision was not made lightly given their “long and meaningful” partnership with the JFF over the years.

While Marley pointed to the current state of affairs involving the senior Reggae Girlz World Cup representatives and the JFF as reasons behind her departure, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundation said its move was to reassess its priorities.

“We have been privileged to witness the growth and development of women’s football in Jamaica, and we are proud of the achievements and progress that have been made during our collaboration.

“However, as circumstances change and our foundations evolves, we must reassess our priorities and the impact of our funding on various causes and organizations. In light of our revised focus and funding priorities, we have come to the conclusion that we can no longer continue our financial support of the JFF programme,” the statement read.

Like Marley, the Foundation expressed its commitment to the empowerment of girls and the development of women’s football in Jamaica and, as such, will continue its support under the Football is Freedom initiative.

Both Marley and the Foundation, have been instrumental benefactors to the country’s governing football body over the years and their absence have started to raise questions about how the JFF will fill that huge gap in its JFF’s coffers, a fact Ricketts is very much aware of.

“I am saddened by the unfortunate decision of Miss Marley to cut ties with the women's programme at this time. This is even more so as we are of the view that we had made significant progress in the discussions and are just awaiting the World Cup players to come back to us and advise of their availability. We must thank Miss Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation for all the support that they have given over time. We want to assure her that the gains that have been made will be concretised as we move into the future,” Ricketts said in a release.

“We are happy that she [Marley] will continue to lend support to local women's football through the "Football is Freedom" initiative and are eager to offer any support that might be requested. The JFF no doubt will always welcome the contribution of Miss Marley as we continue to develop women's football and provide a path for the young girls in Jamaica,” he ended.

 

 

Cedella Marley has resigned from her role as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s women's football team effective immediately.

Marley, who was highly regarded by the players as the Reggae Girlz’ ‘fairy godmother,’ made the announcement via a release on Thursday.

Marley, in the statement, pointed to the current state of affairs involving the senior Reggae Girlz World Cup representatives and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) as reasons behind her departure, a decision which comes after 10 years partnering with the country's governing football body, to raise funds for the Reggae Girlz as they qualified for consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019 and 2023.

"I must express my disappointment and growing concern with the turn things have taken in recent months. After the World Cup, I was under the impression that we all were committed to working together to build on that success. However, the ever-widening rift between the JFF and the team is very alarming. Numerous overtures to each of you to voice my concern and try to assist with a resolution, continue to be met with noncommittal, generic response," a part of her statement read.

She said she believes the federation is “neither receptive nor interested" in her "current manner of support.”

Marley explained that after sharing a mutual vision with Captain Horace Burrell, she joined the team with an understanding that she would bring “help and support.” She further expressed that since coming to that understanding, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations alongside a host of partners have invested some US $2.7 million into the growth and development of the country's women’s football team since 2014.

“We have worked diligently with the federation to build a solid women’s programme. The results of this work speak for themselves as the Reggae Girlz have gone on to literally make history – not once, not twice but repeatedly,” she noted.

Despite her resignation, Marley declared that she would continue to support the Reggae Girlz’ journey via the Football is Freedom initiative.

Meanwhile, JFF Vice-president Raymond Anderson, who will challenge incumbent Michael Ricketts for the presidency next week, believes Marley's resignation speaks clearly to the inability of the current leadership to be trusted. 

"This resignation casts a long shadow of mistrust over the current JFF administration. It is now clear that there has been a deliberate effort to discredit our two-time World Cup-qualifying Reggae Girlz. This squad, a beacon of hope and pride for our nation, has been let down. In just three months, the JFF has managed to undo what took Cedella Marley and everyone involved a decade to build," a release from Anderson's Real Solid Action (RSA) team stated.

"I utterly condemn the manner in which the Reggae Girlz and Ambassador Marley have been treated. The lack of communication, unfulfilled promises, and disregard shown are inexcusable. To see such disregard for the team, the handling of coach Lorne Donaldson, and the dismantling of their structure after ascending to the Round of 16 in the World Cup, is not only a betrayal of trust but a tragic misstep," it added.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has broken his silence about recent developments and allegations laid against his administration by vice-president and challenger Raymond Anderson and his Real Solid Action (RSA) team.
 
With the January 14 elections now less than a month away, Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, expressed concern about the mudslinging involved in the elections campaign, chief among them, the allegations of fraud against his administration where the handling of stakeholders in Pillar three is concerned, and more recently, an uproar during the JFF Congress in Montego Bay.
 
"I have up until now refrained from offering any public comments regarding the election, as we are guided by a constitution, and I have always emphasised the need for both sides to maintain respect for each other, as we all need to live together after the election. There have been several comments made in the public, which are disturbing, to say the least," Ricketts said in a release on Tuesday.
 
The comments to which Ricketts refer involves the situation in which Anderson and some delegates were Anderson, along with 11 delegates, who were travelling in a bus, were asked to provide their names before entering the schoolyard. They were held outside the college gates for approximately 15 minutes.

Anderson characterised the situation as employing intimidatory tactics, but Ricketts rubbished the allegations.

"At a recent extraordinary congress, the matter escalated with some delgates arriving at the gate and refusing to provide their names to the security, which was done by everyone else, a standard practice within the FIFA organisations. As president, I not only waited on their team for almost an hour after the meeting was scheduled to start, but allowed them to enter even with their refusal to provide their names," the president explained.
 
"Also, at a recent board meeting, a member from each side was involved in a regular verbal exchange. This was surprisingly reported to the police by the other side as a threat.
The latest episode was an attempt to publicly embarrass my candidate, with a public effort to arrest without even a warning. If it is the incident that I know of, it does not warrant this type of action," he added.
 
Finally, in expressing his disappointment, Ricketts is hopeful that good sense will prevail for the remainder of the respective campaigns.
 
"I am extremely disappointed that some elements have allowed the election process to play out in this manner, which is aimed at embarrassing persons. Once again, I ask all involved to let good sense prevail in the interest of football," the release ended.

Anderson’s RSA slate includes Keith Wellington, Jacqueline Cummings-Martin, Donald Beckford and Orville Powell, as vice-presidents, while Carole Beckford and Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron would serve as ordinary directors.

Meanwhile, Ricketts’s slate has Gregory Daley, Elaine Walker-Brown, Raymond Grant and Baron Watson as vice-presidents, with Rudolph Speid and Bruce Gaynor as ordinary directors.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential hopeful Raymond Anderson reaffirmed a commitment to lead with integrity, transparency and efficiency, as he believes his Real Solid Action (RSA) team boast the capacity to fulfill the objectives they have pledged to pursue, if elected on January 14.

In fact, Anderson, during the launch of his 27-page manifesto on Thursday, outlined a wide-range of plans to not only improve, but also to move the country’s football product forward.

To achieve this, he pointed out that his team will rely on eight key points –rebranding football, establishing a youth development programme, restoring financial stability, developing women’s football, regaining stakeholder trust, investing in fields and infrastructure, establishing local senior elite squads and facilitating qualifications –as their guiding light.

Anderson, a current vice-president said the decision to challenge incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, stems from the fact that he hasn’t been able to effect real change from the back seat, where decision-making is concerned.

"My association with the Jamaica Football Federation spans well in excess of three decades. This period includes the last six years with the current administration. The question therefore arises as to why am I challenging for the leadership of the Jamaica Football Federation at this time?

“My answer is simple: my association with the JFF has provided me with a comprehensive view of the challenges with which the JFF has been grappling. However, I have not been able to act on what I know is needed. I need to be in a position to make the decisions to make the difference required,” Anderson said during the launch at the Courtleigh Hotel.

Anderson revealed that chief among the challenges the JFF has faced over the last six years, is the fact that they have been operating under a restricted funding mandate from world governing body FIFA.

“Please recognise that this restriction is due primarily to poor reporting and accountability over the period. This has imposed enormous constraints on the JFF to pursue meaningful developmental objectives. In fact, the federation has been unable to meet some of its basic obligations which has resulted in unseemly public disputes with some of our key stakeholders, most notably, the players,” Anderson stated.

On that note, the former St Mary FA president argued that a lack of trust has been a feature of the current administration and, as such appealed to the 56 delegates across the three pillars to assist his RSA team to regain stakeholder trust, and more importantly, engage corporate Jamaica’s return to football.

“This current administration enjoys very little trust among its various stakeholders. Trust is essential to the efficient running of any venture. The JFF is no exception to this rule. Trust lost is often hard to restore.  Rebuilding trust is almost akin to putting Humpty Dumpty back together after the fall. We therefore have no alternative but to replace this regime,” Anderson declared.

He continued: “We neither have the time nor the resources to do otherwise. This administration needs to go, not because it is comprised of evildoers, but simply because Jamaican football cannot continue in its current state. Trust impinges on everything we do. Corporate sponsors will not support our programmes if they don’t trust us. That is why the administration has failed to garner any substantial support from corporate Jamaica.

“The public will not stand behind our teams unconditionally in the absence of trust, and our players will not be able to perform to their very best levels when they have no confidence in the administration. Under the current administration, we have qualified twice for the Women’s World Cup, but we have done so by overcoming unnecessary obstacles which were brought about by inefficiency, incompetence and lack of trust in the administration. This continues even up to today, four months after the last World Cup.”

Anderson’s RSA slate includes Keith Wellington, Jacqueline Cummings-Martin, Donald Beckford and Orville Powell, as vice-presidents, while Carole Beckford and Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron would serve as ordinary directors.

Meanwhile, Ricketts’s slate has Gregory Daley, Elaine Walker-Brown, Raymond Grant and Baron Watson as vice-presidents, with Rudolph Speid and Bruce Gaynor as ordinary directors.

“There is much to be done, but we are up to the task. There will have to be a considerable amount of cleaning and rebuilding, but we promise to retain those policies which have worked for football, and which we believe will be in the best interest for us to sustain. I extend an arm of friendship to you all, mindful of the possibilities which exist for the beautiful game and Jamaica land we love. I urge voters to join my team in the journey to achieving that dream,” Anderson ended.

The Real Solid Action campaign team, led by Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Presidential candidate, Raymond Anderson, has provided evidence of what they describe as “massive electoral fraud” by the incumbent JFF administration led by President Michael Ricketts.

Last week, Anderson’s team expressed profound outrage and dismay at the recent uncovering of actions taken by the Michael Ricketts-led administration to disenfranchise constitutionally recognized voter organizations. 

Anderson's team said it has in its possession irrefutable evidence showing the JFF's repeated attempts to prevent legitimate voter organizations from exercising their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for January 14.

These tactics, the RSA team believes are a blatant disregard for democratic principles and are aimed at silencing voices that are crucial to the fair and transparent functioning of the electoral process.

They presented said evidence to members of the media and, thus, to the public during a press briefing at the Liguanea Club in Kingston on Monday. 

To better understand the questions at hand, we must first gain a better understanding of exactly how the voting structure for the JFF elections is made up. 

“There are 56 votes spread across what we refer to as three pillars,” according to RSA team member and current JFF director Denzil Wilks. 

“Pillar one comprises all the football parish associations and each parish has two votes so that’s 26 votes there.” 

“Pillar two comprises the top four clubs in the Men’s Premier League, the top four clubs in the Women’s Premier League, the top four clubs in what is referred to as the men’s tier two and equally in the women’s tier two. We are aware that in the current circumstances, because there has not been any tier two in the women’s area, there is a special arrangement as far as voting is concerned where the top four in tier one will vote on behalf of what should be tier two.” 

“Pillar three comprises the Referees Association, Jamaica Football Coaches Association, ISSA, Inter-col, Beach Soccer Jamaica, Past Players Association and the PFJL.” 

With that said, RSA’s major concerns have to do with the disenfranchising of two of these members-the Jamaica Football Coaches Association headed by Vin Blaine and Beach Soccer Jamaica headed by Pat Garel. 

The RSA argues that the current JFF administration masterminded the formation of two shell companies, namely the Jamaica Coaches Association led by Rudolph Speid, and the Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited which listed current JFF vice president Bruce Gaynor, team manager for the Senior Reggae Boyz O-mar Stennett and current JFF director Patrick Malcolm as directors. 

These companies were formed to supplement votes for the current administration at the January 14 elections. Both companies were granted admission to the JFF.

The evidence provided against the Jamaica Coaches Association was a letter from the Companies Office of Jamaica stating “the name Jamaica Coaches Association Limited does not appear on our list of registered companies.” 

“When we looked at the coaches and we sat and planned, the only group we had in mind was the Vin Blaine-led group that was formed in 2009. There was no other group,” Anderson, who also the current vice president of the JFF, said. 

The board was essentially tricked into thinking that the Speid-led Jamaica Coaches Association Limited was a registered company as Anderson explained further. 

“When we as a board made that decision, the General Secretary Dennis Chung told us that all the boxes by the Speid-led association were checked and that the association led by Blaine had some outstanding boxes. If you look at it, the boxes that were not ticked for the Blaine-led group did not apply to coaches. It was an inside job. They went ahead and tried to register the company and it could not be registered so they just ticked that box and brought it to the board. Based on that, the board referred it to congress with all those boxes ticked. So, the decision congress made on the coaches’ association is not true. It is a lie!” 

A similar situation took place regarding Beach Soccer Jamaica and Beach Football Jamaica Limited.

Beach Soccer Jamaica, run by Pat Garel, is the internationally recognized body controlling the sport in the country by the global governing body, Beach Soccer Worldwide, whereas Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited is not internationally recognized.

The latter was, however, chosen by the JFF to cast a vote at the upcoming election instead of the actual body overseeing the sport in Jamaica.

“On September 15th, we (Beach Soccer Jamaica) were invited to what would be a congress on the 24th of September to ratify the affiliates based on the mandates of the new constitution. Prior to that time, when we were having any kind of Beach Soccer event, all that was necessary was to send a letter to the JFF and ask them for a sanction letter,” Garel said.

“The congress took place and we were told that we need to be compliant in being a registered company which we did on September 18, then we sent in our membership application on the 19th of September as instructed by the JFF so we thought that we would have gotten an acknowledgment letter which would have been the proper process,” she added.

Garel said that they followed up regarding their application on September 22 with JFF General Secretary Dennis Chung and even thought that they couldn’t go to the congress on the 24th without it being ratified.

“The congress took place and they said don’t worry about it. We need more supporting documents-a short profile of your directors- and we duly obliged and sent those. We kept calling and we kept writing then he (Chung) sent to say that they are giving some of the pillar three people, who are not as compliant as we have been, time to get their documents in,” she said.

According to Garel, they wrote again on October 30th and the message from the General Secretary was the same as before.

“On November 7, we heard through the media that there was consideration for another Beach entity and so we enquired and we were told that on October 18, a Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited was registered,” she said.

“We got back in touch with Mr. Chung and he said they’re not understanding what’s going on. He told us to just send any other additional information we have regarding our qualification and I said ‘what else would that be?’ He said anything from the international body so we got a letter from the international body inviting both the JFF and Beach Soccer Jamaica to the World Cup in Dubai next February so we sent that letter only to understand, through the media again, that they decided on Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited,” Garel added.

In fact, one of the listed directors of Beach Football Jamaica Limited, O-mar Stennett, denied any involvement with the company, stating that the furthest his involvement with the sport goes is being added to a WhatsApp group titled Beach Football Jamaica.

The other listed directors of the company- Bruce Gaynor and Patrick Malcolm- wouldn’t even be able to vote at the elections due to the JFF’s constitution. There was even evidence of Stennett's signature being forged on an official document signed by Gaynor.

To conclude, the RSA is appealing to the JFF’s electoral committee, including JOA President Christopher Samuda, Leighton McKnight, Acting Principal of Jamaica College Wayne Robinson and Steve Distant, will overturn the JFF’s decision and grant voting privileges to the legitimate, constitutionally recognized pillar three members, Jamaica Football Coaches Association and Beach Soccer Jamaica.

The Real Solid Action (RSA) campaign team, led by candidate Raymond Anderson, has expressed profound outrage and dismay at the recent uncovering of actions taken by the Michael Ricketts-led Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration to disenfranchise constitutionally recognized voter organizations.
 
Anderson's team said it has in its possession irrefutable evidence showing the JFF's repeated attempts to prevent legitimate voter organizations from exercising their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for January 14. These tactics, the RSA team believes are a blatant disregard for democratic principles and are aimed at silencing voices that are crucial to the fair and transparent functioning of the electoral process.
 
"Among those wrongfully and shamelessly targeted are the Vin Blaine-led, Jamaica Football Coaches Association and Beach Soccer Jamaica, led by Pat Garel.  These organizations play a pivotal role in the development and governance of football in Jamaica and must not be silenced.  We also find it absolutely deplorable, unconstitutional and shameful that the federation's leadership deliberately failed to inform these groups of their rights and obligations under the new constitution and has decided to share the document with these entities only as recently as October 2023," an RSA release said.
 
"Further investigations by Team RSA have unearthed attempts by the incumbent president, Michael Ricketts, and his administration to register newly formed "shell" companies. These entities, formed by disingenuous directors and federation staff members, are intended to replace the disenfranchised organizations, further skewing the electoral process in favor of the current JFF leadership. Contact has been made with the Electoral Committee regarding these developments, and we expect and have confidence that this body will act in keeping with its mandate and thoroughly examine the evidence presented as a matter of urgency and with fairness," it added. 
 
On that note, the RSA team declared its plans to host a press conference on Monday, as it called for action and asserted that the alleged misconduct must end immediately. The conference scheduled for 11:00am at the Liguanea Club will be used to present evidence and further details on the disenfranchisement efforts, as well as the RSA's action plan to restore fairness and integrity to the electoral process.
 
"We stand united in our commitment to ensuring a fair and just electoral process within the Jamaica Football Federation. The RSA campaign calls for immediate corrective measures and stands ready to lead the way towards a more transparent and accountable governance of football in Jamaica," the release ended.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is singing praises for the Reggae Boyz following their remarkable comeback win against Canada in Toronto on Tuesday night. The Reggae Boyz staged a historic turnaround, with two second-half goals from Shamar Nicholson and Bobby Reid's penalty kick securing a 3-2 victory over Canada and propelling Jamaica to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League.

In a thrilling encounter that ended 4-4 on aggregate, Jamaica advanced on the away-goal rule, sparking celebrations among football enthusiasts and earning the team high praise from President Michael Ricketts.

"Jamaica's football fans were put on the edge of their seats throughout the game," expressed President Ricketts. "We are so proud of the effort and determination demonstrated by the team. They fought so hard with their backs against the wall, a true example of the character that the country needs to tackle any adversity we may encounter."

The historic win not only secured Jamaica's place in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League but also earned them a spot in the prestigious Copa America, setting the stage for more high-stakes encounters. President Ricketts sees this as a pivotal opportunity for the team's growth and cohesion ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers next year.

"Now they get a chance to play more big games in the semifinals of the Nations League and the Copa America, which will, in turn, help to pull them together for the World Cup Qualifiers next year," added President Ricketts.

This victory marks Jamaica's first entry into the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League, showcasing the team's rising prominence in regional football. Additionally, it is the third time Jamaica will participate in the distinguished Copa America, underlining their growing influence on the international stage.

The win over Canada holds special significance, as it not only secured Jamaica's first-ever victory over Canada in Canada but also marked the first time Jamaica registered three goals against a North American team on North American soil. The historic triumph is a testament to the Reggae Boyz's resilience and skill, earning them a special place in the annals of Jamaican football history.

 

 

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts, has attempted to shed some light on the latest challenge facing the JFF in relation to the sanctioning of a number of the 56 delegates that will vote for the body’s next president on January 14, 2024, to determine the way forward for football in the country.

The 56 delegates will come from three pillars and, according to Ricketts, the JFF held an emergency congress on Sunday to sanction the Pillar-Three delegates.

Ricketts explained that there are six entities associated with Pillar Three but of that six, only three were able to meet the requirements.

He put this down to misinterpretation of the federation’s new constitution.

“The new constitution and its articles seem to be causing a lot of issues because people are not interpreting the contents of the articles,” he told SportsMax.tv on Monday, explaining that this was also an issue at Sunday’s meeting.  “What happens now is that there are certain criteria based on the articles that entities must meet for them to qualify for voting at the congress. They were listed! Of all the applicants, three would’ve met all the requirements.”

The president says the JFF received applications from two different coaches associations, a former players association and the beach-football association.

One of the coaches associations, headed by former senior women’s coach Vin Blaine, was not considered as it has been defunct for some time.

“The coaches', where one Mr. Vin Blaine, who is not even domiciled in Jamaica, says that he heads a coaches association with four listed persons. One of those persons does not live here and one of those gentlemen said that he is not a part of the association which has gone defunct for years. They have not been operative,” Ricketts told SportsMax.tv on Monday.

The other association, comprising current active head coaches, met all the requirements and was approved.

“The other one is current and includes practicing coaches now like Merron Gordon, Andrew Peart, Rudolph Speid and Xavier Gilbert among others. They met all the requirements,” Ricketts added.

He went on to say that the former footballers' association also met the requirements and were approved but the Beach Football Association did not because of “serious misrepresentation” as Ricketts put it.

 “The directors for the Beach Football Association were not named, the members were. The directors are those that are listed at the Company’s Office. There were members who were asked to serve. There is a huge debate right now because of one particular gentleman. A member of KSAFA got up in the congress yesterday and said that gentleman has vehemently denied ever being a part of the directorship,” Ricketts explained.

“However, the gentleman sent an email to the JFF this morning (Monday) saying that he is, in fact, a member. So, as it is now, there was serious misrepresentation because the gentleman sent an email saying he is, in fact, a member of the board of directors for beach football. What has happened is because that was raised, I suggested that we defer sanctioning the Beach Football Association until we get clarification so the other two-the coaches association and the past players association-were accepted,” he added.

The remaining stakeholders who have not applied will have until some time in December to try and meet the requirements.

“There are others who we would’ve reached out to and have asked them to apply. So, there are now applications from ISSA, PFJL among others. The referees have some further documents to be submitted. In an effort to ensure that we get all the stakeholders on board, we have extended the period to sometime in December so that those entities who have not met the requirements have a chance to get themselves up in line with the requirements and to apply so we will again have to have another congress maybe just before the voting congress,” he said.

In conclusion, Ricketts lamented the publicizing of the ongoing situation and accused detractors of trying everything to discredit the current JFF Board of Directors.

 “We are publicizing the whole thing and, believe me, we’re making so many issues, making mountains out of molehills, all in the interest of politics," the JFF president said.

"It is just sad how people will do everything to discredit this board. We are not perfect and we make mistakes but, my God man, don’t just try and destroy something you are a part of. We try to be strong and try to be guided by the articles of the constitution and we’re just hoping that after the election, things will be normal and that we just move forward in an effort to grow the sport of football which ought to be our aim and ambition."

The Michael Ricketts-led Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration has once again found itself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, as their integrity has again been called into question by stakeholders.

This, as Beach Soccer Jamaica demanded an explanation for why its application for membership was turned down, while another recently formed entity “that has never operated or been involved in beach football in Jamaica, has been accepted as a member by the Board of the JFF.”

Beach Soccer in a letter addressed to general secretary Dennis Chung said it complied with all the JFF’s request to submit various documents and at no time based on all email responses where there any indication from the country’s governing football body that there were outstanding documentation.

In fact, Beach Soccer in its statement pointed out that they were “never officially provided with the Constitution or any other document that detailed the required submissions,” and, as such are disappointed with the outcome.

“It is with great dismay and shock that we learned in the news media that another recently formed entity that has never operated or been involved in beach football in Jamaica, has been accepted as a member by the Board of the JFF. It is disheartening that this new entity was equally incorporated after the June 30, 2023, deadline for being in existence as stipulated in Article 83(ix) of the JFF constitution.

“We demand an explanation of why our documents were not accepted by the Board of the JFF or why we were considered non-compliant when prior to this decision, we were never advised that we had not met any of the requirements. We note that included in the leadership of the alternative Beach Football Association, which was accepted, are two current members of the JFF Executive,” Beach Soccer’s statement said.“This is a serious breach of your obligation to us as a stakeholder in the JFF, which has unfairly resulted in our organization being disenfranchised for the upcoming election congress, and is an affront to good governance, and appears discriminatory.

“Your actions have left us with no alternative than to report this serious dereliction of duty to the CFU, the CONCACAF, and FIFA for their intervention and as such we have copied them herein,” it added.

Meanwhile, Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron, chairman of the Real Solid Action (RSA) –the team behind Raymond Anderson, who will challenge Ricketts for the JFF presidency on January 14 –conveyed their discontent with how the JFF has handled the stakeholder agreement for Pillar Three for the upcoming elections.

The elections are constitutionally due this year but the decision to move it to early next year, was made to give other stakeholders, particularly those in Pillar Three to apply for acceptance. Only the Past Players’ Association, the Beach Football of Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Coaches Association have been accepted from Pillar Three.

The deadline for application closes on December 20, and that will allow other stakeholders in that section to apply.

The Jamaica Football Referees Association, ISSA, PFJL and Intercol are the other stakeholders in Pillar Three.

The JFF constitution was changed to allow 56 delegates to vote, up from 13 in previous elections.

“Pillar Three was introduced specifically to recognize the supporting and most important segment of our football landscape to ensure that the representation at the highest level reflects the view of the majority of the stakeholders participating in football.  

“We are of the firm belief that the process to engage the stakeholders was not treated with the requisite due process and importance to ensure they were properly registered,” Cameron’s release said.

“The JFF has been aware of what is required to engage all 56 voting members, but its failure to communicate same has been met with a possibility of them being disenfranchised. We believe there has also been a major breach of the code of ethics which has just been adopted by the JFF again underlying the challenges of the organization,” it noted, while requesting that the issues be resolved as quickly as possible. 

 

Members of Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz FIFA Women’s World Cup squad remain resolute in their latest standoff with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), as they point out that withdrawing from the upcoming Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying fixtures was a last resort to “end the cycle of mistreatment” they have endured under the Michael Ricketts-led administration.

The Girlz in a widely circulated statement released via social media on Saturday, said the decision to bypass the October international window for games against Panama and Guatemala, was difficult but necessary, given the circumstances under which they were asked to report for duty.

Those circumstances to which the Girlz refer, include the fact that interim Head coach Xavier Gilbert was appointed late Thursday, a mere four days before the team is expected to arrive in Panama for the October 25 fixture.

Gilbert has since assembled a makeshift squad for that game as well as the October 29 meeting with Guatemala at the National Stadium.

“While this has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make, we feel it is necessary to make such a drastic stance to put an end to the constant mistreatment we receive from the Jamaica Football Federation,” the statement said.

“As always, it is an honour and a privilege to represent Jamaica. It is our job to perform to the best of our ability and put all our efforts into representing our country, making our fans (and) loved ones at home and in the diaspora proud. Due to the current circumstances the Jamaica Football Federation has put us in, we would not be able to do our job,” they added.

Aside from the alleged short notice, the Girlz again called out the JFF for its “unprofessionalism” and disorganization in the way they communicate and, by extension, manage the country’s football affairs.

This, as contrary to reports that the JFF have paid World Cup money in full between Thursday and Friday, the Girlz reveal that they are yet to receive “full and correct payments” for their historic Round of 16 run at the global showpiece, coupled with “numerous outstanding bonuses” for last year’s qualification.

“We received information about our coaching staff, medical staff and equipment staff in an untimely manner and through unprofessional communication. We got confirmation our head coach three days prior to our report date through social media, despite our efforts to have direct communication with the JFF,” they shared.

“We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again. For these reasons, we take our stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment,” the Girlz noted.

The Girlz statement came as a direct response to a JFF release on Friday which stated that they have suspend any selection of the players in question until these issues are resolved.

“The JFF is uncomfortable with the response of the players and the non-attendance of the player representatives to a scheduled meeting. The JFF is eager to clear up all the concerns that team members may have in accordance with the contracts. If there is a grievance or concern, this must be placed squarely on the table to be addressed and documented to the JFF,” the country’s governing football body’s release stated.

Having been appointed to lead Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz for their upcoming Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying fixtures against Panama and Guatemala, Head coach Xavier Gilbert admits it will be a difficult task, but says he is committed to ensuring the team gives of its best.

Gilbert’s appointment, which was announced late Thursday, follows the controversial non-renewal of Lorne Donaldson’s contract, as the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) hierarchy parted ways with the well-rated coach for his tendency to be outspoken.

Prior to Gilbert’s selection, the JFF had reportedly interviewed three potential candidates –two females, who were not named, and Englishman Jonathan Morgan –for the post.

However, SportsMax.TV understands that the JFF is unable to meet the salary request of the main female candidate, who is said to have led a team at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while Morgan, the next best choice, was ruled out after reports surfaced that he is under investigation by Sheffield United over his alleged conduct and behaviour.

As such, Gilbert, who was initially being retained as an assistant, has now been asked to take up the mantle. But, while willing to serve, he is under no illusion that his employment will be without challenges.

“It is going to be difficult, but the expectation is to try and get a result out of the two games to put the country in a good position to qualify for the Gold Cup,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV shortly after the announcement.

“We just have to be smart about our play and give it our best shot. It is very short to get the players in and the turnaround time is also quick for the games. So, it is going to be a lot more mental preparation than even physical, and we have to go over some tactical preparation as well,” he added.

Though the veteran coach’s appointment is for familiarity purposes, given the success he had with the Girlz under Donaldson’s leadership, uncertainty surrounds whether or not he will have a squad for the upcoming games, as well as the quality of that squad.

This as, contrary to the JFF’s release that a “squad of players has been selected” for the two games against Panama and Guatemala, SportsMax.TV has been reliably informed that all 23 members of the successful World Cup squad, are unavailable due to college and other commitments, while Cheyna Matthews has retired.

The Girlz under Donaldson’s leadership had an historic run to the round of 16 at the World Cup, after goalless results with France and Brazil, and victory over Panama in the group stage.

Uncertainty also surrounds whether or not Gilbert will have a full complement of staff to work with, as the timing of the announcement may rule out Laura Thomas and Ak Lakhani, both of whom were also assistants to Donaldson.

Efforts to contact JFF president Michael Ricketts and general secretary Dennis Chung to provide clarity proved futile, as their phones went unanswered.

The 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz are scheduled to visit Panama on October 25, before returning home to face Guatemala on October 29.

They will then host Panama on November 29 and close away to Guatemala on December 3.

Page 1 of 4
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.