Bailey, JFF back together?

December 06, 2022
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung
Leon Bailey
Leon Bailey

National winger Leon Bailey and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) seem to have mended fences, after a week of disagreement, when Bailey made strong statements accusing the island's football governing body of hindering his career in the developmental stages.

A release by the JFF on Saturday stated that Bailey, who plays his football with English Premier League outfit Aston Villa, had a meeting with the Reggae Boyz team manager, Roy Simpson, and head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson and reaffirmed his commitments to the national programme.

The release insisted that the JFF's "administration and the board do not interfere with coaching responsibilities", implying that should disciplinary action be needed against Bailey for the comment, it would have to be done by Hallgrimsson.

Bailey alleged last week in a local podcast, dubbed 'Toxic Talk', that he had faced obstacles from the JFF, which led to his delay in making his international debut. He cited not being able to get a visa needed to travel to Europe as one of the hindrances of the JFF.

JFF's technical committee chairperson, Rudolph Speid, disputed the claim in a STAR Sports interview last Tuesday, after Bailey had also stated in the podcast that his difficulties with the JFF stemmed from his relationship with his adopted father, Craig Butler.

In the release, JFF General Secretary Dennis Chung said that while the circumstances surrounding the interview were not ideal, it will benefit the federation in the long run that players reaffirm their commitment to the Reggae Boyz as they look towards the 2026 World Cup cycle and an important campaign next year.

"As the report is now in, I will speak with Leon, who is someone I have known for many years, and I consider him a good person and I am very proud of his achievements.

"The events over the last few days have been unfortunate, but the JFF believes that this only makes us stronger as a team. The JFF wants to express our commitment to not only Leon, but all our players and staff, and we will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the success of the Jamaica football programmes," Chung said.

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