JFF Word Cup qualifiers will need more than 13 supporters

Letters to the Editor

JFF Word Cup qualifiers will need more than 13 supporters

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Last year, Michael Ricketts, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) said on television that both he, personally, and the JFF believed that the voting system in which only 13 people can vote for the president was flawed. He also promised at the time that the JFF would have had discussions with Concacaf's legal department before the end of 2019 to bring some resolution to the issue. He was speaking then in the context of elections that he had scheduled for September 15, 2019.

Back then the public sought clarification from Ricketts but, instead of addressing the issue, he and the JFF forced his September 15, 2019 selection based on 11 nominations from the 13 parish association presidents as members of the JFF board of directors.

Afterwards, in accordance with the rules, the 13 incumbent parish association presidents were rewarded with re-election as board members, mostly unopposed.

We can only hope now that that decision gave Jamaica the best chance to raise the funding needed to prepare for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifications. Luckily, those same board members held responsibility for the JFF's management for more than two years prior to the 2019 elections and this would have given them a head start in preparations.

Every qualification campaign requires resources and all Fifa/Concacaf members receive the same amount of Fifa funding (including the six in the Hexagonal). This means that the JFF must raise funds beyond the FIFA disbursements to be competitive with the other teams in the Hexagonal, and our resources must be used more effectively by the Administration because of the disparity.

Planning is essential to success, and before we know it the 2023 reselection of the JFF president and board of directors will be upon us. Incidentally, the 2026 World Cup at home in Concacaf, with six teams from the region, is not that far off either. But, more urgently, the Hexagonal will begin later this year and we expect Jamaica to be included. Hopefully, we will soon learn how the JFF Administration is preparing the campaign with respect to funding, sponsorship, promotions, technical support, etc, because this will determine the level of investment from football supporters (attendance, viewership, listenership, etc). The sooner the better for that information.

The World Cup qualification campaign will need strong leadership and more than 13 supporters to be successful. So I am putting in my request early for lovers of the game and the JFF Administration to step up and do their part for Jamaica again.

Godspeed, JFF, and thanks in advance.

Football Supporter

Florida, USA

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