Zone Blitz: Are you frustrated by the Leon Bailey saga?

By Lance Whittaker and George Davis October 09, 2018

Rumours have once again surfaced that Bundesliga star Leon Bailey could be in line to represent Jamaica's national team.  The same old dispute between the player's agent and Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) could once again prove a stumbling block.

Related items

  • Gold Cup bridesmaids, Reggae Boyz, get first crack at home game Gold Cup bridesmaids, Reggae Boyz, get first crack at home game

    The nation of Jamaica helps kick off the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup with a stellar match that features its national team square up against Honduras in Group C action at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

    The two are no strangers, as Monday’s encounter marks the 24thoverall meeting between the nations. This will be the fifth Gold Cup meeting, with each side holding two wins.

    After finishing second in 2015 and 2017, Jamaica will hope third time’s the charm and could not ask for a better start than to play in front of its home fans.

    Goalkeeper Andre Blake and defender Kemar Lawrence return to guide the sixth-youngest squad of the tournament.

    One of Jamaica’s promising additions comes in the form of 21-year-old Leon Bailey, who has scored 14 goals with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.

    Honduras will have plenty to say about its own title hopes as it looks to reclaim the consistency that took it to semifinal appearances at the 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013 editions.

    After failing to generate a team goal at the previous edition, Honduras will lean on the attacking trio of Alberth Elis, Romell Quioto and Anthony Lozano to make its mark at this year’s event.

  • Roma hit back at 'fanciful' Totti claims following club legend's exit Roma hit back at 'fanciful' Totti claims following club legend's exit

    Roma branded the accusations made by Francesco Totti in a parting shot at the club "fanciful and far from reality".

    Totti officially stepped down as a director of Roma on Monday, bringing an end to his 30-year stay in the Italian capital.

    Speaking at an explosive press conference to explain the reasons behind his exit, the former captain hit out at the Serie A side for not taking his views into consideration during his two-year stint in the position.

    "I never had the chance to express myself," Totti told reporters. "They never involved me. The first year that can happen but by the second [year] I understood what they wanted to do.

    "They knew of my desire to offer a lot to this squad but they never wanted it. They kept me out of everything. It's a day that I hoped never would have come."

    Roma released a statement on their official website to respond to Totti's claims, reiterating the 42-year-old chose to resign instead of taking up a new role as technical director - as revealed by American owner James Pallotta last week.

    "The club is extremely disappointed to learn that Francesco Totti has announced that he has decided to leave the club and not take up the position of technical director of Roma," the statement read. "We offered this role to him after Monchi's exit, for which we were awaiting his answer.

    "We believed that the role offered to Francesco is one of the most senior positions at the club and obviously requires total dedication and commitment, something that is expected of all senior managers within the club.

    "We were prepared to be patient with Francesco and help him achieve the transition from being a great footballer into a great manager. To demonstrate this commitment to Francesco, the role of technical director was offered to him - a role that we believed he could grow into and one in which we offered to support him in while he adapts.

    "While we understand how hard it must be for him to take this decision to leave AS Roma after 30 years, we believe that his perception of the facts and decisions made at the club are both fanciful and far from reality."

    A month on from Daniele De Rossi announcing his exit, Totti also suggested Romans have been forced out of the Stadio Olimpico since Pallotta took over in 2011.

    And the one-club man made clear he would consider a return should there be a change of ownership further down the line.

    The club statement continued: "Regarding the repeated references to a possible comeback with a new ownership, combined with information about interested parties collected by him around the world, we hope that this was not meant to be an inappropriate anticipation of a takeover attempt of the club, a scenario that would be very sensitive as Roma is a listed company. 

    "The club's investor group have absolutely no intention of putting Roma up for sale, now or in the future. We wish Francesco only good luck with what he decides to do next."

  • Brazil v Venezuela: Reinforcements ready as Selecao seek to step up Brazil v Venezuela: Reinforcements ready as Selecao seek to step up

    Barcelona midfielder Arthur and new Real Madrid man Eder Militao should be available for Brazil's second Copa America match against Venezuela in Bahia.

    Arthur, 22, has shaken off knee pain and could reportedly replace Fernandinho in Tite's starting XI, while defender Militao is back in training following a hip issue.

    Neither player featured as Brazil secured an ultimately comfortable 3-0 victory over Bolivia in the tournament opener.

    Philippe Coutinho's brace and a fine late strike from substitute Everton helped to pacify the home fans after a goalless first half prompted jeers.

    Tite subsequently encouraged his players to "understand" the criticism and captain Dani Alves accepted the challenge of meeting high expectations.

    "Every time we put on that shirt, we have to prove we can wear it," Alves said.

    "We represent a historical selection, respected throughout the world. We always have to carry that responsibility. We have to defend this story with great honour."

    Brazil should have the chance to click into top gear against Venezuela, a team they have beaten in six of seven Copa America meetings.

    Rafael Dudamel's men disappointed in a drab 0-0 draw against Peru, creating few scoring chances despite being able to call on Salomon Rondon, while Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez was an unused substitute. 

    Luis Mago's dismissal for two yellow cards in that match leaves Venezuela needing to find an alternative at left-back.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Brazil - David Neres

    Ajax's Neres will hope to have another opportunity to cement a starting berth with Brazil after falling to the fringes of the Bolivia match. More performances like the ones he delivered during the Champions League could beef up his price tag, with Premier League side Everton reportedly keen to unite him with compatriot Richarlison.

    Venezuela - Jhon Murillo

    Barely seen in his 84 minutes against Peru, Venezuela need more from winger Murillo in order to trouble Brazil. The 23-year-old Tondela attacker has the pedigree to make an impact: he has already scored international goals against Argentina and Mexico in 2019.

    KEY OPTA FACTS

    - Brazil have won 21 of their 24 meetings with Venezuela in all competitions, with two 0-0 draws and a 0-2 defeat in a friendly match in 2008.

    - Philippe Coutinho scored a brace and was the Brazil player with the most shots attempted (five), chances created (four) and tackles (seven) in their opening game against Bolivia.

    - Brazil have kept seven consecutive clean sheets in Copa America matches played on home soil (W5 D2); the last time they conceded a goal at home in the competition was against Venezuela in 1989 (Brazil won 3-1).

    - Venezuela have faced the hosts of a Copa America tournament 14 times, losing each of those 14 games by an aggregate score of 4-61.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.