Ja Rugby in debt after surgery

May 18, 2017
File Jamaica Crocs' Omar Dixon (left) being challenged by two German players during their opening Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens game on April 7.

NATIONAL rugby player Omar Dixon is recovering well from a recent eye injury that almost left him blind but the Jamaica Rugby Football Union (JRFU) yesterday told STAR Sports that the association is still having difficulties paying for the surgery.

Dixon was injured during the Jamaica Crocs' opening game against Germany in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament early last month. A high boot to the head not only left him concussed but also detached his retina and cracked his eye socket.

"His eyesight is not 100 per cent right now but he's coming back," JRFU chairman Jerry Benzwick said. "He's coming along nicely. He's healing and it takes time because it's a very delicate injury. There's a lot of healing that needs to happen."


Media attention


Benzwick said the association is still indebted to World Rugby, who foot the cost of Dixon's two operations. He added that while the public became interested in the situation because of the media attention it was given, donations did not match interest.

"What people were curious about was what was happening. They were more curious than to jump on and say, 'Hey can we help?' So we have to find a way of reaching out better to everybody so that people will start giving. People will give, you know, if they know that it's a worthy cause. We just have to be more aggressive in our begging."

Benzwick said that though there is a timeline for the debt to be paid, the JRFU is not too worried about sanctions by World Rugby with whom they enjoy a close working relationship.

"We have a nice understanding with the organisation which has covered it and they will work with us as best as possible, but we don't want this to be looming long. We want to resolve this as soon as possible so that we can continue with the business of growing rugby in Jamaica."

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