Western Grandstand- Good move Mr Speid, about time


May 14, 2016

Rudolph Speid, in a recent interview broadcast on local radio, spoke out against the mismanagement of Jamaica's football, especially the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) bad decision to divest some of its core responsibilities to the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ).

I wish to commend Speid for speaking publicly. In doing so, he has separated himself from some of the other stakeholders in local football, who are so intimidated by JFF boss, Captain Horace Burrell, that they would not even participate in a discussion on his stewardship, more so criticise him publicly.

Speid, in his capacity as technical director of Cavalier SC, is up-close-and-personal with issues affecting the Red Stripe Premier League and fully aware that the administration has been operating like a lame duck.


As a man who loves football, but is not looking for any personal benefit from his association with the game, Speid has no need to fear any significant backlash by speaking out. Hopefully, by doing so, he might inspire some of his colleagues who are obviously living in denial, to realise that by saying nothing, they are rubber stamping the destruction of Jamaica's football.

While I cannot deny there was a time when Captain Burrell was very good for Jamaica's football, based on his current lacklustre style, one gets the impression he is suffering from fatigue or has simply lost the motivation to establish a commanding presence at the helm.

Whereas major stakeholders at big clubs in Kingston might disagree, I believe our football is stagnant and crying out for renewal. In general, the local game has lost its spark and, like the game, many key administrators have seemingly grown tired and listless.

I know some of the parish administrators might be wary of losing their Captain's Bakery sponsorship and, therefore, will not speak. However, I believe if they really love the game and want what is best for Jamaica, they need to step out like St Ann FA boss, Danny Beckford, Montego Bay United's Orville Powell and now Speid, start calling a spade a spade.

While this does not necessarily mean calling for Burrell's removal, they need to demand that the problems plaguing Jamaica's football get some urgent attention. If, in doing so, they find that the captain no longer has the zeal to get the job done, then they should ask him to step aside and make way for new leadership.

It is against this background that I would like to use this opportunity to call on a number of respectable personalities in the sport to step out of the shadows and start speaking out.

We need to be hearing from men such as Kingston & St Andrew Football Association boss, Stewart Stephenson, is a tried-and-proven stalwart of the game.

It is an absolute disgrace that an organisation such as the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA), with limited funding, is able to successfully run schoolboy football, cricket and Boys' and Girls' Championships, while the JFF, with all its FIFA grants and governmental support, can't run a proper national premier league.

It has been almost 20 years since Jamaica qualified for the 1998 World Cup in France. Since then, our only claim to fame remains the 2-0 win against Japan in that tournament.

We really need to start doing big things again. What happened in France is old glory, which belongs in history books.

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