Football's worst week ever? Gibraltar youngsters cap horror spell with 16-1 defeat

By Sports Desk November 19, 2019

Gibraltar Under-19s suffered a 16-1 defeat to 10-man Switzerland in qualifying for the European Under-19 Championship on Tuesday, rounding off a week in which they have conceded 43 goals.

Following on from a 14-0 loss to Austria and a 13-0 defeat at the hands of Ireland on November 14 and 16 respectively, Gibraltar will have been hoping for a change in fortune in the meeting with the Swiss.

But the youngsters suffered more of the same as Switzerland raced into a 5-0 lead by the 33rd minute - Brighton and Hove Albion's Lorent Tolaj helping himself to a hat-trick - in Strasswalchen, Austria.

A red card for Switzerland's Noel Wetz enabled Craig Galliano to convert the resulting penalty and give Gibraltar one thing to be pleased about, considering it was their first goal in 11 games, ending a run which stretched back to 2015.

Yet any hopes Galliano's goal would spark a miracle comeback were ended within a minute as Tolaj got his fourth before Felix Mambimbi's penalty paved the way for a further 11 Switzerland goals in the second half.

Tolaj scored three to take his total to seven, substitute Darian Males claimed a hat-trick and Orges Bunjaku also netted his third goal, with Ilan Sauter and Simon Sohm getting in on the act as Switzerland scored six goals in the final 13 minutes.

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    Reggae Boyz Captain Andre Blake has confirmed that the players have rejected the Jamaica Football Federation’s offer on terms and wages for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cup saying that they are willing to boycott all those competitions as they seek respect and fairness from their local football authorities.

    “The players are prepared to go all the way,” Blake told Sportsmax.TV today. “They treat us like slaves and we are done being slaves!”

    The players had made an initial request of US$7000 per player per match for the World Cup qualifiers set to begin in September. The JFF countered with an offer of US$2000 per match with bonuses of US$1000 for each win and US$500 for a draw. They claim they are unable to afford more.

    The players had until last Friday to sign their contracts but sources indicate that the JFF had extended the deadline by a “few days” to give them more time to mull what has been described as a “take it or leave it” offer.

    However, on the weekend, the players began to post ‘Take A Stand’ memes on their social media pages, a clear indication that they were not willing to accept the JFF’s offer.

    Blake confirmed that to Sportsmax.TV this afternoon.

    “The JFF submitted an offer, we countered that offer and they said they weren’t prepared to counter our offer,” Blake said. “We did have a new offer to put to the JFF and they made it clear, so after they did not counter-counter our offer, we reached out to let them know we were going to send in a new offer and they outright let us know that it was almost pointless to send the new offer because they will not entertain it.

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    Blake said the players have now decided to take a stand because they believe the abuse at the hands of the JFF has been going on for too long. “It’s been generation on top of generation, anybody who has played for Jamaica can attest to this,” he said.

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    “It’s more about respect and how the JFF approaches negotiations,” he said referring to the leaked voice note on recent negotiations where JFF officials were heard referring to the players in a disrespectful manner as they tried to negotiate terms for the two-match trip to Saudi Arabia in November 2020.

    “The way the JFF goes about business is unacceptable and the players are just at a point where we think we have had enough,” Blake said. “Some things need to change. The JFF can definitely operate in a more professional manner.

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     Calls to members of the JFF executive went unanswered.

     

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    Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font had spent months outlining their plans in public, with La Masia, the club's crippling debt and the tumult caused by the previous administration among the main focuses.

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    Laporta stopped short of insisting Messi will definitely stay put under his administration, which was probably wise given he only has a few months left on his contract. Fans would have surely seen through such a promise.

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    Of course, Messi attempted to force an exit last year, but his refusal to drag the issue through the courts meant Barca managed to keep hold of their prized asset.

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    Make La Masia a force again

    For years Barcelona's La Masia academy was the jewel of the club, the inspiration behind many hugely successful teams and the school that developed some of the finest players to play the game.

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    Sell high-earning fringe players

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    Cruyff is still thought to have significant influence and respect inside the club due to his family name, with the former Manchester United player recently affirming to Cadena Ser that he believes his father would have always backed Laporta in an election.

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