Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

 A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

“Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

 “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

“I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Michael Ricketts, has been ordered to pay $9m in a default judgment handed down by the Supreme Court.

The ruling, issued on Wednesday, found Ricketts to have acted with malice when he made comments, which amounted to a homophobic slur, against Sporting Central CEO Ainsley Lowe on local radio in 2016.

The JFF president did not contest the charging when the case was brought against him in May 2017 and has now found out the price tag on the judgment.  Ricketts has been ordered to pay general damages in the amount of $8m and aggregated damages of $1m.  In addition, Ricketts will have to issue a public apology via the same radio station the offense was made and issue an apology, approved by the claimant's attorneys, in a Jamaica Gleaner publication before January 22.

Ricketts' derogatory comment came after Lowe challenged him for the post of Clarendon FA president in 2016. Lowe claimed the election was run unconstitutionally and should have been declared null and void.

Interim Jamaica Reggae Boyz head coach Paul Hall has named a 23-man squad for the upcoming international friendly against Peru in Lima on January 20.

“The date of the game does not fall within the FIFA window so none of the Europe and Central America based players were called,” the JFF stated in a release today.

Hall is using this game as an opportunity to assess players that are unfamiliar to him and as such, has left out regular members of the squad like captain Andre Blake, Oneil Fisher and Alvas Powell.

All the players, including those not called on this occasion, have made themselves available and are committed to being ready for the three World Cup qualifying games from January 27 to February 2.

 The 23-man squad for those games will assemble in Jamaica on January 24th while the squad for the Peru game will assemble in Jamaica on January 13th.

The full squad is as follows: Dwayne Miller, Jeadine White, Amal Knight, Damion Lowe, Richard King, Jamoi Topey, Javain Brown, Kemar Lawrence, Je-Vaughn Watson, Kevon Lambert, Tevin Shaw, Ramone Howell, Devon Williams, Peter-Lee Vassell, Lamar Walker, Alex Marshall, Dwayne Atkinson, Deshane Beckford, Kaheem Parris, Devonte Campbell, Jourdain Fletcher, Cory Burke, Oquassa Chong.

 

 

Veteran coach Vin Blaine has been appointed interim head coach of Jamaica’s Women’s senior team.

Jamaica Reggae Girlz head coach, Hubert Busby, has been suspended indefinitely by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) while it conducts an inquiry into previous allegations of sexual misconduct.

The 52-year-old, who has been head of the country’s national team since 2020, has faced resurfaced allegations that he attempted to force himself on a player in 2010, during his time as coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps women’s team.

Busby has denied the allegations in a previous report, but the Whitecaps did part ways with the coach sometime after the accusations surfaced.  The team, however, made no mention of allegations of sexual misconduct being the reason he was fired.

Major League Soccer announced that it would conduct investigations into how that situation was handled.  The JFF for its part has asked its parent body FIFA to conduct a full investigation into the incident, which will determine the next steps to be taken. 

“We will await the evidence of the FIFA investigation.  We do not want to make permanent decisions until we have the facts.  At the same time, we have to ensure that our women and girls are protected by those who lead them,” JFF president Michael Ricketts said via a press release.

Busby coached the team in two practice matches against Costa Rica and was expected to lead a camp later this month.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) said it is to meet with Reggae Girlz Head Coach Hubert Busby Jr. next Tuesday to discuss allegations that he tried to solicit sex from a player while he was head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps Women’s team a decade ago.

Busby Jr has denied the allegations.

The 52-year-old Busby was appointed Reggae Girlz head coach in January 2020, taking over from Hugh Menzies, who resigned his position over financial disagreements with the JFF.

“The JFF is aware of allegations surrounding National Women’s Head Coach Hubert Busby. The executive of the JFF will convene next Tuesday to discuss the matter with Mr Busby,” the JFF said in a tersely worded statement on Thursday.

The allegations against the Canadian-born former player emerged in a story published by the Guardian newspaper in England in which it is claimed that he made unwanted sexual advances to Malloree Enoch, who at the time, was seeking a job in the administration of the Whitecaps in September 2010.

According to the Guardian, Busby suggested that she could play for the club instead of working in the front office and plied her with “sports equipment as gifts, take her to restaurants in one-on-one situations, and ask her to stay with him alone in his hotel room while working in his role as Whitecaps coach.”

Enoch told the Guardian that on one of those occasions she spent three nights in his hotel room but said she made no sexual advances toward her during that time.

In another incident, Enoch said: “He insisted I stay (in his hotel room) because now it was late and when I agreed it was far too late to drive back. When we got back to the hotel he again didn’t have a room reserved for me. I had to stay in his room. This particular night there were two beds and I laid in my own bed and he made his way to my bed and at some point was standing over the top of me.

“He was on all fours fully on the bed. He was definitely aroused. He tried to kiss and touch me. The light was not on but I don’t think he had his shirt on. I had to negotiate to get him off the bed. I told him I wasn’t interested.

 “I think there was a lot of emotion. I was definitely scared. I had this dream to be a soccer player and I was trying to pursue something I had wanted to do since I was five and now I was put in a really shitty position. He was using this power because he had something that I wanted. I was very uncomfortable. I was resistant to it and he tried to pursue it and pursue it and then he got pissed off and went over to his own bed and went to sleep.”

She said she did not report the matter to the club because she was embarrassed and did not want to compromise being able to play for the club.

She was eventually signed by the Whitecaps.

However, at the end of 2011, the Guardian reported, the Whitecap players sent an email to club officials detailing a list of complaints concerning inappropriate behaviour by Busby and the coaching staff.

The club hired an ombudsman to interview the players and in October that year, the club sent an email to the players stating that “it was in the best interest of the club to make a change in the coaching staff for our women’s team programme.”

The email also told the players that it would be inappropriate for the players to comment on the matter publicly.

 

 

 

Jerome Waite, the assistant coach to the Jamaica senior football team is to be assigned to another national team following a decision of the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Waite is to be replaced by Merron Gordon, a past assistant coach at the National Under 23 level and former Head Coach for the Senior women's team. Gordon will join the recently appointed Assistant Coach Paul Hall in this position. Both assistant coaches will join Head Coach Theodore Whitmore at the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.

There is no word on where Waite will end up.

The decision was taken to re-assign Waite at the quarterly board meeting held on Tuesday, June 29, after it approved a recommendation from the Technical and Development Committee (T&DC).

Coach Waite had previously served at the National Under 20 and Under 23 levels and a final decision on the re-assignment is to be recommended by the committee.

The JFF said the decision regarding Coach Waite's reassignment was a decision of the Board of Directors, the only legitimate body that can take that decision, and that Head Coach Whitmore was not involved in the decision.

A 23-member Reggae Girlz squad assemble in the United States tomorrow without inspirational captain Khadijah Shaw for two upcoming international friendly games as part of the 2021 Women's National Team Summer Series hosted by the US Soccer.

The local delegation from Jamaica will depart on Thursday, June 3 out of Montego Bay at 2:20 pm.

The squad will have a camp in Houston from June 4-7 after which it will relocate to the host hotel.

Jamaica will play number 38 ranked team Nigeria on June 10 and World champions the USA on June 13. Both games will be played at the BBVA stadium in Houston, Texas. The games will be the first for the Jamaican team since they participated in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers in February 2020 and they will do so without their prolific striker Shaw.

Jamaica's number-nine, the leading scorer for Bordeaux in the Division 1 Féminine, the highest division of women's football in France, has reportedly asked for time to recover from what was an intense season in which the team fought successfully for a Champions League spot.

Shaw was the joint-leading scorer, alongside PSG’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto, with 21 goals for Bordeaux, which finished third in the division.

Meanwhile, five new players have been named to the squad including Rebecca Spencer of Tottenham Hotspur, Drew Spence of Chelsea, and Shania Hayles of Aston Villa as well as Mikayla Dayes of the University of Maryland and Satara of FC Austin Elite.

They will join 14 veterans who represented Jamaica at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

According to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), once the teams arrive in Houston both for training camp as well as the tournament, they will operate under a highly controlled environment that will include testing on arrival for the camp and testing at the host hotel.

The staging of the official training and matches will fall under the comprehensive US Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with CONCACAF Return to Play Protocols. The JFF has also developed protocols for the training camp in keeping with these guidelines.

The full squad comprises Sydney Schnieder (Washington Spirit FC USA), Rebecca Spencer (Tottenham Hotspurs FC), Chantelle Swaby (Glasgow Rangers) Konya Plummer (Orlando Pride), Allyson Swaby (AS Roma), Deneisha Blackwood (Houston Dash), Havana Solaun (Carolina Courage), Chinyelu Asher (Washington Spirit FC), Olufolasade Adamamouken (University of Southern California), Drew Spence (Chelsea FC), Peyton McNamara (Ohio State University), Sashana Campbell (Petah Tikva), Tiernny Wiltshire (Maccabi Emek Hefer), Jody Brown (Florida State University), Shania Hayles (Aston Villa WFC), Gabrielle Gayle (South Alabama), Kayla McCoy (Training with Glasgow Rangers), Vyan Sampson (Charlton FC), Cheyna Matthews (Racing Louisville), Yazmeen Jamieson (Unattached) Tiffany Cameron (Ferencvaros), Mikayla Dayes (University Of Maryland), and Satara Murray (FC Austin Elite).

The pre-tournament camp which is mainly financed by the JFF has received support from the Bob Marley Foundation, the Reggae Girlz Foundation, Cool Runnings based in Houston, Arm Wave and Wisynco with its Wata brand.

 

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has been forced to pull out of its upcoming friendly international against Japan, as a breakdown in COVID-19 protocol communications will see the Caribbean team unable to field enough players.

The game was scheduled for Thursday, June 3rd but the majority of the team’s English-based contingent will not arrive in time for the fixture.  The issue stems from the fact the English-based players did PCR tests using the widely accepted dual method of the nostril and oral swabs, however, Japan only accepts the more complicated nasal PCR tests.

According to reports, the Japan Football Association (JSA) had not informed the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) of the specific requirement.  As a result, the six players were denied boarding in Amsterdam after they were found to not have the specific PCR coronavirus test results required for entry into Japan.

The England-based players have since returned home to do the necessary PCR test but, having rebooked, will not reach Japan until Wednesday. The members of the delegation who left Jamaica did the correct PCR test and were accepted on the flight from Houston to Japan, except for Tyreek McGee who did not board the flight to Japan for reasons yet to be conveyed.  The player, however, did have the required PCR test done. He is set to return home.

The remaining matches against Serbia, on the 7th, and the Japan Olympic team, on the 12th, will go ahead as planned.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has confirmed that several players invited to be part of the national squad for the team's upcoming matches against Japan and Serbia next month.

Initially, the JFF had named a 30-man for the pair of friendlies but has since revealed that a few of the players will be unavailable for the engagement due to various reasons. 

According to the release some players had injuries, visa and documentation issues, extended club commitments, and personal reasons. The football body, however, remained hopeful of having the full team assembled in time for the Gold Cup, which will take place in July.

The team will face Japan in Sapporo, on Thursday, June 3, followed by Serbia on June 7 in Kobe and the Japan Olympic team in Nagoya on Saturday, June 12.

 

Jamaica squad

  1. Dennis Taylor
  2. Jeadine White
  3. Dillon Barnes
  4. Liam Moore
  5. Javon East
  6. Curtis Tilt
  7. Kasey Palmer
  8. Oniel Fisher
  9. Amarii Bell
  10. Luca Levee
  11. Andre Gray
  12. Tyreek Magee
  13. Blair Turgott
  14. Adrian Mariappa
  15. Kevaughn Isaacs
  16. Kemal Malcolm
  17. Jahshaun Anglin
  18. Kevon Lambert
  19. Damion Lowe
  20. Wesley Harding
  21. Devon Williams
  22. Junior Flemmings

 

The Jamaica Football Federation has offered its congratulations to former Reggae Boy Wes Morgan, whose side Leicester City defeated a star-studded Chelsea 1-0 to win the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday.

Youri Tielemans’ long-range strike in the 63rd minute was enough to give the Foxes a 1-0 victory over their more celebrated rivals.

“We are extremely happy for Wes,” said JFF President Michael Ricketts. “He has been a great soldier for Leicester City and a willing servant for Jamaica. There is no better way to bow out of the professional game than with a prestigious trophy. We wish nothing but the very best for him in the future.”

Morgan hinted at retirement following Saturday’s victory that gave Leicester City their first-ever hold on the trophy.

“Nothing’s been announced yet, I need to discuss it with the club, but I don’t think I’ve got too many more miles on the clock, we’ll say that,” said Morgan who played the last eight minutes of the match after being out with a back injury since December.

 “I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the squad. The gaffer asked me if I could make it on the bench and I said if I’m needed for the last 10 minutes, I’ll be available. We were 1-0 up and the last thing I expected a week ago was to be playing again, but I came on and now I have won the FA Cup.”

The FA Cup is the second major trophy captain Morgan has won with Leicester City. He lifted the English Premier League with the club in 2016.

Morgan made 30 appearances for the Reggae Boyz between 2013 and 2016.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will play two international friendlies against Nigeria and the United States in June as the team begins preparations for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers that are scheduled to begin in November 2021.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has cautioned any players, officials or referees who take part in an illegally organised youth competition that they could face possible sanctions.

A fixture list for a competition, which features several youth academy teams, that was scheduled to take place from May 1 to June 13, has come to light in recent days.  The teams listed on the flyer included Phoenix Academy, Kickers Academy, Baptist Alliance Academy, Pembroke Elite, Irvin Youth Academy, Aptitude Academy, and LAX.

The competition venue listed was the Mona High school, which is the training base of Phoenix Academy.  The JFF, who is the only body capable of sanctioning official club competitions across the island, has made it clear it has given no permission for the event to be staged and demanded its immediate termination.

The JFF themselves have not received permission to resume competition on the island by the Jamaican government, based on the existing COVID-19 protocols.

“No permission has been granted for any tournament to go ahead, and all players, coaches and other individuals associated with any tournament do so illegally under the country’s disaster preparedness laws,” a release issued by the JFF read.

“The JFF is therefore mandating all concerned with any tournament, youth or adult, to cease and desist all activities. Anybody found to be involved in any new activity will face the full force of the laws of the federation and will be reported to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management for their attention.”

Michael Ricketts, President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) said he is deeply saddened after learning of the sudden death of former National player, Tremaine “Tan Tan” Stewart. 

Retied Jamaica international, Fitzroy Simpson, has called for the return of the spirit of togetherness for the Reggae Boyz, expressing the hope that the current squad can go on to match the exploits of his historic 1998 unit.

Up until recently, some members of the Jamaica national team and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) were embroiled in a bitter contractual dispute, which saw several members of the team unavailable for the Caribbean team’s clash against the United States last month.

With the dispute now settled, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers coming later this year, Simpson is urging both parties to come together.

“Unity is so important,” Simpson said in a recent interview with the Irish Mirror.

“The set-up now has to be unified and improvements made on the business side,” he added.

Simpson was one of several English-based players to join the Jamaica national team ahead of their historic qualification for the World Cup in France.  The former Manchester City and Portsmouth player started all three games at the tournament and has fond memories of not just playing at the final itself but also the build-up.

“It was breathtaking.  It was the greatest honour in my playing career to lead Jamaica to history,” Simpson said.

“I remember my mother, my brother, and my uncle in the stadium when we qualified.  I looked at them and couldn't believe what we had achieved because Jamaica wasn't recognised as a footballing nation.  The whole country really drove us on, the support was incredible.”

 

 

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