Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Three Jamaican netballers have been signed by teams playing in the 2021 season of the Vitality Super Netball League in the United Kingdom.

Malysha Kelly, Rebekah Robinson and Gezelle Allison were signed on Friday by the Seven Stars, Celtic Dragons, and Wasps, respectively.

Kelly returns to professional netball after a protracted spell out recovering from a ruptured ACL while training in the ANZ Premiership. She brings a wealth of experience having already competed out in Suncorp Super Netball.

"I'm so excited to have her as someone brand new," Head Coach Melissa Bessell said. "She's been training hard and I can't wait to see what she can do back on the Superleague stage."

Allison, meanwhile, said she is eager to grasp the opportunity.

“I am happy. I am grateful for this opportunity,” she told Sportsmax.TV Friday, shortly after her signing was announced.

“Signing a professional contract will only build me as a player. It will also help me excel and build my confidence.”

Head coach Mel Mansfield is eager to see what the player brings to the Wasps.

"The 6ft, dual basketball and netball player brings Jamaican flair, power, strength and shooting accuracy," Mansfield said.

"We are thrilled to welcome her to the black and gold of Wasps. She brings something fresh, new and exciting to our attacking line-up.”

West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick has urged the players to raise their game for the series against New Zealand set to run from November 27 to December 15.

Alia Atkinson and Guilherme Guido have been named co-captains for London Roar’s second round of competition set to begin on Friday.

Atkinson was impressive on debut for the International Swimming League franchise winning the 50m breaststroke on October 18. She was also a member of the Roar’s winning 4x100m medley relay team.

The affable Jamaican swimming star was humbled by the appointment.

“Such a privilege! So excited for Match #2,” she said on Instagram.

Atkinson is having her first season with the London Roar after competing for Team Iron last season. She was among 17 new additions to the London Roar roster prior to the start the current season.

Her co-captain is a  Brazilian backstroke swimmer who specializes in the sprint events and who has won gold medals at the World Short Course Championships and the Pan Am Games.

Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake suffered an injury during the Philadelphia Union’s 2-1 victory over Chicago Fire FC Wednesday night.

Eight Jamaican high-school student-athletes had more than 400,000 reasons to smile on Wednesday when they were named recipients of scholarships for the remainder of their high school years by the Pocket Rocket Foundation run by four-time 100m world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

The 2020 scholarship awardees were sixth-form students York Shane (St. Jago), track and field and volleyball; Jahiem Wedderburn (Kingston College), lacrosse and football; Samantha Morrison (St. Andrew High School), track and field, swimming; fifth-form student Adrian Nethersole (St. Elizabeth Technical), track and field; as well as fourth-form students Jasauna Dennis (St. Elizabeth Technical), track and field; Habiba Harris (St. Elizabeth Technical), track and field; Oshane Blackwood (St. Elizabeth Technical), track and field; and Solesha Young (Convent of Mercy), track and field, table tennis, badminton, hockey, netball.

According to the foundation, second to fifth-form recipients, received J$50,000 each while the sixth-formers each got J$60,000.00. The total value of the scholarships this year amounts to J$430,000.

These eight will join the 12 current student-athletes on scholarship, which means that the foundation is supporting 20 scholarship recipients for the duration of their high school education. To date, a total of 50 scholarships have been awarded through the foundation.

This year’s recipients were selected from 58 applications that included applicants from territories outside Jamaica including Turks & Caicos, Cuba, USA, Canada & South Africa). However, the scholarships are only available to Jamaican high school student athletes.

 Reggae Boyz forward Maalique Foster remains in hospital tonight after he was shot and injured in Southborough, Portmore, St Catherine Tuesday night during an incident in which two men were killed.

The 23-year-old forward was among a group of friends when gunmen opened fire. Foster was hit in the neck and was taken to hospital.

Horace Reid, the Director of Caribbean Football at CONCACAF, who was been in contact with Foster said the player underwent scans this afternoon but he will not be released from hospital until doctors have reviewed the results of the scans and determine that it is safe for him to be discharged.

Foster was on loan in Israel at Ironi Kiryat Shmona from Costa Rican club Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. However, his contract reportedly expired in July. He contract was not renewed but he was mulling exploring the Israeli league for the 2021 season.

Between 2015 and 2018, he made 70 appearances for Portmore United. He scored 14 goals for the St Catherine-based Premier League club.

He made his international debut for Jamaica in January 2018, in a friendly match against South Korea in Antalya, Turkey.

 

Attorneys representing the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association today filed a termination order before the Court of Arbitration for Sport effectively ending their appeal of the suspension imposed on the association by FIFA last month.

The termination order is in keeping with the resolutions arrived at on Sunday by the delegates of the association who voted en masse to end their seven-month dispute with the world governing body over a March 18 decision to appoint a normalization committee to manage the affairs of the debt-ridden association until the next Annual General Meeting scheduled for some time within the next three years.

The delegates also voted to end all legal action against FIFA, which resulted in the termination order being filed today.

The TTFA is hoping their actions along with others will see FIFA lifting their suspension before December 18. This will allow Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the draw for the 2020 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The TTFA was represented by Dr Emir Crowne, Mr Matthew Gayle, Ms Crystal Paul and Mr Jason Jones.

 

Ravel Morrison heads a list of four newcomers that have been named in a 24-man Reggae Boyz squad that will be prepared for two matches against Saudi Arabia on November 14 and 17 in Riyad.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) released the names of the selected players today.

Morrison, a midfielder, finally gets his maiden cap for the Jamaican squad after years of uncertainty over his availability. Team manager Roy Simpson said the player indicated Morrison was the one who reached out to the JFF saying he was now ready to represent Jamaica.

“He indicated to us that he had sorted out his situation. He is consistently playing now and is ready for his international debut.

Gregory Leigh, the nephew of Dr Warren Blake, President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), also gets his maiden call up for Jamaica. Simpson explained that Leigh, who plays for Aberdeen in the Scottish League, visited Jamaica on holiday and fell in love with the country. The JFF engaged him and the consensus was that he had a lot to offer at the left back position for Jamaica.

Forward Norman Campbell of FK Grafic was first invited to the national squad in February this year but the former Harbour View FC player unable to accept the invitation because he was travelling to Europe for a club trial. Simpson said the time is now right for him to become involved with the team.

Preston North End mid-fielder Daniel Johnson, Simpson said, had always expressed an interest in representing the Reggae Boyz.

According to the JFF, the local-based players will be tested for the Covid-19 virus on November 4 and will be sequestered along with some staff members at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence until they depart on November 6. 

The full squad is: Amal Knight (San Diego Loyal), Dennis Taylor (Humble Lion), Dwayne Miller (Syrianska FC), Kemar Lawrence (Anderlecht), Gregory Leigh (Aberdeen), Oniel Fisher (DC United), Alvas Powell (Inter Miami FC), Adrian Mariappa (Watford), Damion Lowe (Phoenix Rising), Michael Hector (Fulham), Daniel Johnson (Preston North End), Kevon Lambert (Phoenix Rising), Jahshaun Anglin (Harbour View FC), Ricardo Morris (Portmore United), Leon Bailey (Bayern Leverkusen), Kaheem Parris (Krka), Ravel Morrison (ADO Den Haag), Junior Flemmings (Phoenix Rising), Kemal Malcolm (Arnett Gardens FC), Lamar Walker (Portmore United), Bobby Reid (Fulham), Shamar Nicholson (R. Charleroi SC), Javon East (Santos de Guapiles) and Norman Campbell (FK Grafic).

On the heels of news that Andre Russell has withdrawn from the 2020 Lankan Premier League it has emerged that the all-rounder did not request a No Objection Certificate from Cricket West Indies that would allow him to play in the Sri Lankan T20 league.

Chris Gayle said it was nice to be able to win the battle between himself and mystery spinner Sunil Narine in the Kings XI Punjab’s emphatic victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah on Monday.

Man-of-the-Match Gayle, 41, scored a 29-ball 51 in a second-wicket stand of 100 from just 60 balls with Mandeep Singh, who top scored with an unbeaten 66 as KXIP ran out eight-wicket victors.

Gayle took 17 runs off Narine’s bowling ithat included two of his five sixes that were creamed over wide long off the Trinidadian in the 11th and 13th over, respectively. The Universe Boss just failed to remain unbeaten getting out from a slower ball from Lockie Ferguson in the 19th over with KXIP just three runs short of their target.

Narine, meanwhile, went wicketless while conceding 27 from his four overs.

Gayle said it was great to get one up against one of the best T20 bowlers in the world.

“Sunil has got me out so many times. He is the best spinner in the world. So when you get a wicket like this, when it is not turning much, you got to cash in,” Gayle said even as he praised the match-winning knock from Mandeep, who is mourning the loss of his father.

“Mandeep is going through a lot. Last game we said we want to win it for him. So beautiful to watch him in the middle pointing out to his father watching from above. And dad, my dad, I love you. Today, the coach asked the senior players, we need to step up in crucial games, I am glad we were able to put my hand up. And the youngsters in the team are telling me, 'Don't retire.'"

Gayle’s form has been on the upswing since he made his season debut for KXIP after missing out on playing during the first half of the season, partly due to a case of food poisoning that resulted in him being briefly hospitalized.

"Been training off the field when not playing. Doing my runs. Gym. Feeling good,” said Gayle, who is also optimistic about his team finishing the season well after their fifth win on the trot.

“Have a good feeling about myself and the team. Just capitalizing on it, but still a long way to go."

 

Richard Ferguson, Chairman of Sunday’s Extraordinary General Meeting of the delegates of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association has written to Robert Hadad of the FIFA-appointed Normalization Committee stating that they will comply with its obligation as a member of FIFA and that they will cease all legal action against the sport’s governing body.

The move effectively brings to an end the seven-month long dispute between the association and FIFA, who in March 2020, dissolved the TTFA’s administration four months after it was duly elected in November 2019.

FIFA cited weak financial controls and systems that plagued the heavily indebted association. However, the matter led to a month's long dispute that went before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice and eventually before the Trinidad and Tobago Appeals Court, who ruled in favour of FIFA late last week.

Today’s letter follows on the heels of resolutions that were overwhelmingly accepted during Sunday’s EGM and from which former TTFA President William Wallace and members of his executive withdrew.

It states that the TTFA has decided to “comply with its obligation as a member of FIFA, recognizing the legitimacy of the FIFA- appointed Normalization Committee” and to bring its own statutes in line with the FIFA statutes.

They have also resolved to fully cooperate with the Normalization Committee in the fulfillment of its mandate as stated in FIFA's letter of March 17th, 2020 and critically, that all court matters existing between the TTFA and FIFA shall be immediately brought to a stop."

Ferguson also stated that the “TTFA must advise that its members have agreed to abide with the conditions of the Normalisation Committee and will co-operate fully to ensure that the mandate of the Committee is realized.”

He also apologized to Hadad and members of the Normalization Committee, FIFA, CONCACAF and CFU “for any embarrassment and inconvenience caused by TTFA representatives over the last year.”

“I also hope that a strong positive relationship can be re-established as we move forward for the betterment of football in Trinidad and Tobago.”

 

Olympian Donald Quarrie believes the current administration of the Jamaica Administrative Athletic Association (JAAA) has been stagnant for too long and there is an urgent need for change if Jamaica’s track and field is to avoid falling behind the rest of the world.

Quarrie, 69, is campaigning to become the next president of the association when votes are cast at the JAAA Annual General Meeting in late November. Incumbent president Dr. Warren Blake has said that he will not seek re-election and General Secretary Garth Gayle is said to be favoured to replace him.

That has not gone down well with Quarrie, who believes it is time for change.

“It’s the same people who are going to be in. The same deck of cards, only shuffled a different way,” the six-time Commonwealth champion said, indicating that the current torpidity is proving to be detrimental to Jamaican athletics.

An indication of the stagnation, Quarrie said, was the JAAA’s inability to capitalize on the success eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt, when he was at the peak of his powers.

“It’s not even about taking advantage, we didn’t know how,” Quarrie declared on Saturday during an interview on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide Radio in Kingston.

“We didn’t have the personnel to do it.”

Quarrie revealed that there was a plan was in place to capitalize on the remarkable success Jamaica was experiencing just over a decade ago when athletes like Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Yohan Blake, were the best in the world in what was arguably the most dominant period of the country’s track and field history.

However, that plan died along with then president Howard Aris.

“I was on the board up to 2011 after Howard passed. At that period there was a move to do so but Howard passed. After that, everything stood still and we never reached out to get the experts who could market the association, experts who could guide us,” the 1976 Olympic champion said.

“Instead, we were holding to something that had great value but we couldn’t see it and we didn’t capitalize on it. That is why we are in the position we are now.”

Quarrie said his love and dedication to Jamaica’s athletics is what has motivated him to try and make a difference.

 

 

While he was disappointed that the Mumbai Indians suffered a shock loss to the Rajasthan Royals, Captain Kieron Pollard could not help but feel especially aggrieved for one of his teammates, Hardik Pandya.

Batting first, Mumbai were struggling at 101 for 4 after 13 overs after Pollard was bowled by Shreyas Gopal for 6. At 7.76 an over, Mumbai were looking at a score of between 155 and 170. However, Pandya smashed 60 that included two fours and seven sixes while facing just 21 balls to propel Mumbai to a competitive 195 for 5.

What they didn’t bank on was Ben Stokes smearing Mumbai’s bowlers all over the park, scoring an unbeaten 107 from 60 balls and Sanju Sampson’s 54 from 31 balls to see the Royals race to 196 for 2 with all of 10 balls to spare.

Pollard, filling in for a second game for Rohit Sharma, who is out with an injured hamstring paid tribute to Stokes but felt for Pandya, whose heroic efforts were in vain.

“I thought Hardik brought us straight back into the game, but well played to Stokes and well played to Samson,” said Pollard who now has one loss and a win as the stand-in captain.

He believed the conditions helped the Royals more than they did Mumbai.

“The wicket ended up being a good wicket with a little bit of dew. It played into their strengths. But having said that, well played to the opposition,” said Pollard, who was not particularly concerned that the loss would impact Mumbai’s ambitions of being among the top-two teams at the end of the regular season.

“It really doesn't do much to the campaign, we still have three games to do. We just have to come out with good cricket. Our bowlers tried but it wasn't meant to be today,” he said.

“[Hardik] keeps showing time and time again, doesn't matter the position of the team. Tough luck an innings like that he ends up on the losing side.”

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

 

1.Barca losing- the new normal?

 Real Madrid were emphatic 3-1 winners in the first El Clasico of the season and last of the decade.  A combination of factors accounted for Barcelona’s humiliating loss: dependence on single players, coach Ronald Koeman’s team selection coated in off field issues seeping onto the field.

  It is no secret that Barca has depended on Messi to lift the team. When Messi is having a good season, Barca does well. He is the club's top goal scorer, top assist provider and, among his 34 trophies with the Catalan club, he boasts four Champions Leagues, 10 La Liga and six Copa del Rey wins. The statistics speak for themselves.

Messi has now gone six consecutive games in El Clasico without scoring and it is a cause of concern. In the last 20 minutes of Saturday’s match, the 33-year-old disappeared. This disappearance can be attributed to his age as well as the mismanagement of the player. Messi should have played less minutes in the Champions league match earlier in the week and been allowed to play the full match against Real Madrid. Despite his previous superhuman performances, the Argentine is human, and it is natural for him to feel tired too.

The team has been transitioning with the new coach and integration of younger players. The club is aware Messi has a few years left in him and is now shifting the dependence, attention, and pressure on the youngster Ansu Fati. The 17-year-old became the youngest scorer in El Clasico history after scoring the equalizing goal against Real Madrid on Saturday.

 

  It is now up to Barca, if they mould Fati properly and do not become too dependent on him which can do more damage than good.  The Spanish player has notched four goals in the league and one in the Champions League, making him the club's top scorer so far. He took up the number 9 position in the Clasico and was his side's most dangerous asset against Real Madrid.

     After Saturday’s loss fingers are being pointed at Coach Ronald Koeman. Did he get his substitutions wrong? Was Barca too attacking? Is Antoine Griezmann being underutilized?  The reaction when Real Madrid scored the second goal was too slow. There were no tactical changes and the first substitution-  a triple substitution- came in the 81st minute.

Fati made way for Griezmann, Pedri for Francisco Trincao and Sergio Busquets for Ousmane Dembele. Five minutes later, Jordi Alba, who was clearly tired after returning from an injury which had kept him out for three weeks, was replaced by Martin Braithwaite.

 

  Barca is now 12th place in the points table but have played two games fewer than most of the other teams. To add insult to injury, the team confirmed on Sunday that the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho is set to miss Wednesday’s Juventus clash in the Champions League due to a hamstring injury he suffered on Saturday. It is unclear how long he will be out. He has played  five La Liga matches and one Champions League scoring one goal in each competition. 

 

What is clear is Barcelona’s play has not improved from last season, a campaign which ended without a trophy.

 

  1. Shai Hope’s comeback starts with self-responsibility!

 

          Barbadian Shai Hope’s exclusion from the Windies Test squad set to tour New Zealand from November 27th has attracted criticism. However, there comes a time where one must accept that one cannot keep doing the same things and expect different results.  As CWI Chief selector Roger Harper said, sometimes by continuing to select a player you do more harm to them than good. It was time for the 26-year-old to step away and come back stronger. 

Without a doubt, Hope has been one of the outstanding batsmen in One Day Internationals, but in Test cricket, he has struggled. Since December 2017, his Test average is 19.48 and since February 2019, 14.45.

In the recent series defeat to England he averaged below 18. 

I cannot help but note that Shai Hope’s problem is not in the technical aspect of the game.  This is evident in his ODI performances as in his 78 matches he has an average of 52.20 with a high score if 170. Among these ODI performances he has nine hundreds and 17 fifties.

His bounce back in Test cricket has to begin with him taking responsibility for what has been affecting his Test form. When a batsman is in the middle, he must be able to think for himself. Despite everything taught by a coach, application is up to the player. It is now left up to the Barbadian to go back to the basics of his game and execute them to the best of his ability.

The West Indies selectors’ decision to omit Shai Hope from the tour to New Zealand is not detrimental to the player. He must now take full responsibility for the revival of his own game.

Delegates of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) voted by an overwhelming majority this morning to inform the Robert Hadad-led Normalization Committee to advise FIFA that they will accept the committee managing the affairs of the association until they can have an Annual General Meeting in the next two to three years.

They also voted to cease all legal actions against FIFA and to reject William Wallace and his executive that had been in dispute with football’s world’s governing body since March and which has led to Trinidad being suspended from international football.

Thirty-three delegates voted in favour of the actions to be taken while two abstained during the virtual extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the fraternity’s 47-member delegation.

FIFA appointed a normalization committee in March after dissolving the William-Wallace-led TTFA's administration that was duly elected in November 2019. 

On Saturday, Wallace and his ousted executive announced their withdrawal from today's EGM after declaring that said EGM was properly constituted.

“Over the last seven months since March, we were fortunate to be allowed rare candid views of the TTFA as it is really seen from several other vantage points—including the international and the regional and, latterly, the judicial and the political,” Wallace said in a statement.

“That combination of different points of view, especially the political, has made it clear to my vice-presidents and me that our views and the views of some fraction of the membership remain at variance at this time.

“We are acutely aware that tomorrow is promised to no one of us and that it is the membership’s right to decide on the tomorrow they desire for the TTFA. We shall not stand in your way.”

 

 

 

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