Letter of the Day | Blow final whistle on Burrell
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am still trying to quantify what Captain Burrell has really contributed to the growth of the sport of football in Jamaica. I know we made it to the World Cup Finals in 1998, but what else? Since then, we have struggled in each World Cup campaign just to get out of our zone.
For me, one of the biggest drawbacks, which should have been given priority years ago, has been the football fields on which our local players have to play. Almost every time I watch a local football match, I cringe at the state of the fields on which our players are expected to produce top-class performances. They have little or no grass, and the surfaces are uneven.
How do the players trap, pass or move to the ball with any degree of confidence? To my mind, they are always going to have, in the back of their minds, the thought that the ball is going to be diverted by a clump of grass, a stone or an indentation.
How come, after all these years, with the Captain firmly in control, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has not been able to lobby and secure funds to assist the local top-flight clubs (at least) to improve the quality of their playing surfaces or, for that matter, develop even a dozen first-class fields across the island?
I got the impression that Captain Burrell and former FIFA President Sepp Blatter were close, very close, and one would have hoped that Mr Blatter could have been persuaded to make a special push to get funds to assist Jamaica to establish first-rate playing surfaces or to improve existing ones.
JFF'S ONE AND ONLY
I think Mr Blatter, if he were so minded, could have made the argument to his other FIFA cohorts that the region's football needed Jamaica to be competitive, and FIFA should have an interest in seeing the standard of football in Jamaica improve - starting with better playing services.
I would have thought that after all these years, Captain Burrell would have been able to boast that under his watch, at least a dozen top-class football fields with flat, even surfaces on which the ball rolls true, had been added. That would also give the surface at the National Stadium a chance to be made into a truly world-class field.
My personal view is that captain Burrell now believes, and has convinced many, that he is the ONLY person who can run the JFF and that there's no point in challenging him. And he has probably made certain that he will stay at the helm for as long as he wishes since his company sponsors so many of the parish competitions. Let's be honest. Who else are the parish associations going to vote for when it's election time?