Home sweet away - Bailey refuses to commit future to Jamaica
Jamaica-born Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has refused to pledge his international future to Jamaica, noting that he is focusing in club football at the moment.
In a report carried by well-known German publication Bild and picked up by the official Bundesliga website, the 20-year-old Kingston-born attacker said it was still uncertain which country he will represent in the future.
Bailey represented Jamaica once at U-23 level when he scored a free kick in a game against the Cayman Islands in 2015, but is yet to make his senior team debut after a well-documented disagreement between his father and manager Craig Butler and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).
New JFF President Michael Ricketts, following a meeting with Butler, said he was confident a resolution was near and that the star winger would be invited for unconfirmed Reggae Boyz assigments, which he expects to secure for next month's FIFA window, which runs from March 19-27. Butler, however, poured cold water on the suggested progress, noting that a lot was left to be ironed out between all parties before an invitation would be accepted.
Meanwhile, Bailey, who has taken the Bundesliga by storm this season - scoring eight goals and adding five assists in 14 starts, hinted that his international future could be away from Jamaica.
"It's been like that for years, but my opinion hasn't changed and people have to accept that. Which country I play for is still open," Bailey was quoted.
It should be noted that despite spending two years at Genk in the Belgian league before arriving at Leverkusen last January, Bailey could only qualify for Belgian citizenship if he marries a Belgium citizen due to the fact that this country requires five years of uninterrupted habitation for naturalisation. Germany requires eight years residency.
Nevertheless, the winger is in no rush to make a decision on his international future and made it clear that he loves his country of birth.
"Jamaica is a wonderful country where it's always summer and the people are happy, but I'm only interested in club football for now."