Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Is it time for Burrell to go?

Published:Thursday | September 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM


As I sit here watching the final match of the Reggae Boyz' campaign for Russia 2018, I find myself looking beyond the empty seats within the National Stadium into a future replete with the promise of 2022. This future, though rich in the substance of hope, no doubt evokes a kind of deja vu among Jamaicans, as we see yet another World Cup Campaign wither and die before our very eyes.

Football watchers and aficionados will tell you that we have been at this intersection before. While it would be unreasonable to expect our island nation to qualify for every one of football's showpiece event, it is not unreasonable to expect a better showing from all those who sit at the big table, be it players or administrators. It goes without saying that the quality of football played in the region has improved by leaps and bounds since 1998. This is so because the administration of The Beautiful Game has taken a turn for the better in most of the region, where our competitors reside, and as such, we cannot rest on laurels or harp on nostalgia.

If 2022 is to take a different course from 2018 or 2014, then plans and programmes must once and for all be devised and enacted so as to ensure that our quality of football improves. We must seek to build nurseries for youth football; bridges that link schoolboy football to national teams and leagues, and of course, infrastructure which evokes dignity and professionalism.

Captain Burrell has had a long and winding stay at the helm of the Jamaica Football Federation, but with another episode of failure, perhaps the first step in improving the quality of the administration is to ask whether or not he is still relevant.

Noel Matherson