Sat | Oct 31, 2020

JFF still focused on World Cup Qualifiers

Published:Saturday | April 4, 2020 | 12:09 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Jamaica’s Ricardo Morris in action against Guyana during the Concacaf Nation’s League at the Montego Bay Sports Complex Monday, November 18, 2019.
Jamaica’s Ricardo Morris in action against Guyana during the Concacaf Nation’s League at the Montego Bay Sports Complex Monday, November 18, 2019.

The uncertainty of the international football calendar because of the outbreak of the coronavirus has not blurred the Jamaica Football Federation’s vision of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says that the body has devised a plan to work around the inconvenience of social distancing in hopes of keeping the Reggae Boyz ready for the first World Cup qualifier in late August.

Ricketts told The Gleaner that the Boyz must stay ready to play at their best for the August date as Concacaf has not informed the administration that the date of the qualifier will be pushed back because of the virus.

With this in mind, Ricketts said that coach Theodore Whitmore and his technical staff put together workouts to keep the team fit.

“Our technical team has been having constant meetings. The last one was last week Thursday, and they have been looking at ways and means, keeping players fit,” Ricketts said. “So the physical trainers, - Jason Henry and Lamar Morgan – along with coach Theodore Whitmore, have worked out a programme for the locally based players in order to keep them ready. We are just hoping that when Concacaf give us the green light, we will be in a position to hit the track running.

“There are great levels of uncertainty, and nobody knows what will happen. It all depends on how best the virus is brought under control. We have not heard from Concacaf as it relates to the World Cup qualifiers, which are scheduled for late August, but we want to ensure that we are ready if we are called upon.”

The Reggae Boyz are ranked 48 on the latest FIFA World ranking, with Costa Rica 46, USA 22, and Mexico 11 being the other Concacaf teams in front of them. If they remain in the region’s top six, they will start qualifiers from the final round of six teams, also known as the ‘Hex’.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com