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The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), had managed to convince the Reggae Girlz team to sign the contracts and head for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France currently going on this month. It is now the turn of the Reggae Boyz to protest on similar lines. The Jamaican men’s football team is now expressing to the JFF that they are not happy with the remuneration and other terms and conditions specified in the players’ contracts, sent to them just before the start of the crucial Concacaf Gold Cup to be held in Kingston, Jamaica. Unfortunately, the JFF seems to be unyielding and its top brass is in France in connection with the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Team Spokesperson is Standing His Ground
The way the players have reacted to the terms being offered by JFF has been conveyed through a spokesperson for the players, Kemar Lawrence, who is not new to the game and had been a player himself. He says the Reggae Boyz are currently in Washington DC, where they are expected to play a friendly match against Team USA and then head home for a preparatory camp in Kingston. It appears the difference between the Federation and the players start right from this point. The contract specifies that the players will stay in their homes during this camp, which is completely unacceptable, according to the spokesperson.
The JFF is stated to have sent a contract with the terms including the remuneration to be paid to the players. The players claim that the figures offered by JFF are too low and have sent a counter proposal with what they think is the right compensation for them. Now, the JFF, instead of calling for negotiations or coming up with another figure from their end, has simply replied, saying that the players’ demands cannot be met. This has only served to further upset the players since the least they expected from their Federation was an assurance to hear their grievances and not to shut the door as it has been done now.
The worst-case scenario is one where the players refuse to take to the field and the Federation could then have a serious issue on its hands. Unfortunately, the JFF President, Michael Ricketts, and General Secretary, Dalton Wint, are both away in France and no one else in the Federation may have the authority to deal with the issues, let alone make decisions.
The players may be satisfied with some kind of assurance that their genuine concerns will be sincerely addressed. This may have to come directly from the President of JFF, to have some effect in diffusing the stand-off.