Burrell 'positive' of hosting CONCACAF U20 Championship
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Local football governing body, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), appears likely to remain as hosts of next month's Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Associations of Football (CONCACAF) Under-20 Championship at the National Stadium in Kingston, following a final inspection done on Monday night.
The JFF appeared to be in danger of losing the privilege of hosting the championship after the regional body had expressed displeasure following some inspection done months ago at the venue.
However, after an inspection done by Kevin Messam - a representative of CONCACAF - things look good for Jamaica.
Messam flew into the island on Monday at 7:20 p.m. and immediately went to the National Stadium, where he was met by Major Desmon Brown, general manager of Independence Park Limited (IP) and his technical team.
"The inspection was done and we're awaiting a report that will be submitted to the JFF and then to us (IPL)," Major Brown told The Gleaner yesterday morning.
"It looks favourable," he added, of Jamaica's chances to remain hosts of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, set to run January 9-24 in Kingston and Montego Bay.
"The light metre intensity was tested to see the level of lighting and it looks positive," Brown informed.
Meanwhile, president of the JFF, Captain Horace Burrell, was positive about the inspection done two nights ago.
"The inspection was done by Mr Messam of CONCACAF, and the IPL staff, led by Major Brown, was there and everything is intact for the staging of the championship next month," Captain Burrell told The Gleaner.
"Mr Messam arrived here last night (Monday) and went to the National Stadium right away. They turned on the light and the inspection lasted about an hour. So based on indications, we will be hosting the championship," the JFF boss added.
"We expect to get a report within the next 24 hours (by today). There seems to be much improvements and we are expecting a positive response from CONCACAF tomorrow. I'm optimistic about it," he said.
Meanwhile, Jamaica's Under-20 team that participated in the Copa Simon Bolivar tournament in Venezuela lost all three games in the South American country.
The team, coached by Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore and his assistant Lenworth 'Teacher' Hyde, suffered defeats to Paraguay (1-3), Peru (1-5) and hosts Venezuela (0-4) in the tournament used as a warmup for the CONCACAF Championship.
Twelve countries are down to compete in the January 9-24 tournament. Group A includes hosts Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Panama, the United States and Guatemala. Group B contains Haiti, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Honduras and El Salvador.
Matches are scheduled for the National Stadium and the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James. Both venues will host Group A matches. However, the Montego Bay Sports Complex will host all the action in Group B.
The tournament will crown the CONCACAF Under-20 champions and qualify four nations to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand in 2015.