Kyle deserves Reggae Boyz chance - Butler
Craig Butler, the father of outstanding Jamaican footballer Leon Bailey, believes his other son, Kyle Butler, more than deserves a call-up to the national senior team, and denied suggestions that he is trying to hold the national side at ransom through the Bayer Leverkusen star, Bailey.
After a petition was started on Tuesday seeking the government's intervention in the selection of the Phoenix Academy graduates, Butler, who noted that he had no affiliation with the petitioner, Teddylee Gray of Ocho Rios, said it was good to raise awareness around the situation and for people to see the quality of the player.
"A lot of people are saying that it is Craig Butler that is pushing the player (Kyle), but it is more Craig Butler saying they will not blight the future of a talented player that deserves to be called up based on his production and where he is as a young player," said Butler.
"Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts, in response to the petition, noted that it was Bailey who needed to make himself available for the national team, and that he will be called up for the next Reggae Boyz game, while stating that Kyle Butler might be invited to a training camp.
"You cannot have a young player at 19 years-old who has already played two years of professional football. One and a half of which he has been the top scorer for the under-21 for the champions of Belgium, and winning the Belgium Cup as an attacking midfielder," Butler argued. "There are videos showing what he has constantly done, yet the JFF are telling him that he is an ordinary player and are choosing high school kids over the player."
Butler said the person who put out the petition is independent of him and has nothing to do with their situation.
"So it will help Jamaica to see and put pressure on the JFF to start to do the right thing in the selection process," he added.
However, he insisted that he never tried to use Leon Bailey to bargain for a place for Kyle, as he believes the youngster is more than capable of holding down his place in the national team.
"They are saying that we demanded that Kyle be included in order for Leon to play and that is a lie. Kyle is humbly going about his business and trying to build his career and fighting his battles.
"So although the petition is written that Kyle Butler should be included, I am not demanding that Kyle be included. I am demanding that the system that create this problem be changed to become more transparent, so we can have a proper football culture and system in place," he said.