Sadly, our local football is a big joke


April 02, 2016
file Jamaica's Je-Vaughn Watson (left) heads the ball into the back of the net, while Costa Rica's Giancarlo Gonzales (second right) tries to intercept during the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier inside the National Stadium on Good Friday. The game ended 1-1.
file Donovan Alveranga (right) of Cavalier and Rivoli United's Cory Burke in action during a Red Stripe Premier League football matchy at the Stadium East field in September last year.

Western Bureau:

Regardless of what ultimately unfolds in the remainder of the Reggae Boyz 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, I will still find it very difficult to endorse the current national programme because, as far as I am concerned, it has far too many flaws to inspire confidence and respect.

My first area of significant concern has to do with coach Winfried Sch%0fer and his laughable role as head coach of the team as while he is based here in Jamaica, the players he is supposed to be coaching are based in England and America and he only sees them a few days before each game.

Unless I am badly mistaken, the existing scenario makes Sch%0fer more of a selector than a coach, since his primary role seems more geared towards selecting the players than dealing with their technical and tactical preparation, as well as bonding and mentoring.

The fact that none of the local-based players, who occasionally get called up to the squad, have been seeing any action of note would seem to suggest that, even if Sch%0fer is working with some of these players, he does not consider them good enough to be placed in the starting line-up.

While Sch%0fer does not appear to be giving value for money, I could not blame him because he is clearly not responsible for the structural weaknesses in Jamaica's football. In fact, I rather suspect that he has come to recognise that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has no real plans and is merely going through the motions.

With a Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) football competition, which is farcical at best, our domestic football programme is nothing but a big joke and is a colossal failure in terms of unleashing high-quality players for the national programme. For me, it is not the least bit surprising that none of our local-based players have been able to command a place on the team.

A few years ago, I mistakenly thought the JFF was finally seeing the light when its president, Captain Horace Burrell, announced that a professional franchise system would be developed to replace the RSPL as the nation's stellar football competition. However, from all indications, that idea has been abandoned without even hitting the drawing board properly.


In fact, as things are, it does look as if the RSPL, which only features teams from a mere five or six parishes, will continue to be our lame excuse for a national competition. I believe the leadership of the various parishes without RSPL representation should be ashamed of themselves, knowing that they sit by idly while allowing an inept JFF to have them as mere spectators in terms of development.

Had it not been for the patriotism and, or the desire to play international football, the England-born players who have chosen to come and represent Jamaica, we would probably be one of the Cinderellas of the CONCACAF region today, based on our inability to manage our local football properly.

As a man who loves football and also loves Jamaica, I am always hoping and praying that whenever our predominantly 'imported' team goes out to battle, they will give us something to be pleased about. To their credit, while they don't always win, I am at least seeing enough passion to suggest they are giving their all.

Personally, I am hoping that in the not-too-distant future we will have more Jamaicans, who are unhappy with the state of local football, coming out and speaking out about the lack of leadership which is undermining our football. As a proud nation, we should not be accepting the current mediocrity.

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