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JFF always concern with downward movement - Grant

Published:Tuesday | February 17, 2015 | 2:00 AMMarc Stamp
Gladstone Taylor/Photographer JFF general secretary, Raymond Grant

General secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Raymond Grant, says that his organisation is seeking international matches for the Reggae Boyz.

Also, Grant says they are concerned about the nation's downward movement in the FIFA/Coca Cola men's world ranking. Jamaica slipped three places in the latest ranking, published last Thursday, to 79th in the world, the same as South American nations Venezuela and Paraguay.

In the Caribbean, Jamaica stands third behind Trinidad and Tobago (62), and Haiti (78), while in the CONCACAF region, the Reggae Boyz are ranked eighth.

The main reason for Jamaica's drop in the football world ranking is because of inactivity, as the team has not played since winning the Caribbean Cup title near year-end.

"Our downward movement has always been a concern of the JFF," Grant told The Gleaner yesterday.

He said they are now seeking international friendly games, which would present opportunities for the country to improve its ratings, depending on results.

next FIFA date

"I can confirm that the president (Captain Horace Burrell) is committed to us playing international games. The next FIFA date is March 23 to 31, and we are working on getting teams to play against.

"We are in discussions with several teams, but it is not wise to announce the teams before games are finalised," the JFF general secretary informed.

Looking ahead, Grant pointed out that the technical committee of the JFF recognised that there are places for local players on the senior team. Hence, they started training sessions with local-based players last Thursday at the football centre at the University of the West Indies.

The sessions serve as preparation for the Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments.

The sessions were being held under the direction of the national team assistant coach, Miguel Coley, as senior team head coach Winfried Sch‰fer was overseas on national duties. He was expected back yesterday.

The senior team will be engaged as a guest team in the Copa America tournament, June 11 to July 4, 2015 and the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, July 7-26.

Following these tournaments, the team will be involved in Round Three of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, from August 31 to September 8.

senior players called up

The senior players called up for training are: Al Nesbeth (Cavalier SC), Cory Burke (Rivoli United), Troy Moulton (Rivoli), Rafeik Thomas (Boys' Town), Derron Duncan (Tivoli Gardens), Kemmar Flemmings (Tivoli), Craig Foster (Reno), AndrÈ Clennon (Arnett), Kemar Lawrence (Harbour View), Brian Brown (Harbour View), Jermie Lynch (Harbour View), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Hughan Gray (Waterhouse), Tremaine Stewart (Waterhouse), Romario Campbell (Waterhouse), Kelso Cousins (Waterhouse), Ricardo Cousins (Humble Lion), Andrew Christie (Barbican), Dino Williams (Montego Bay United), Dwayne Gordon (Montego Bay), Keniel Kirlew (Montego Bay), and Fabian McCarthy (Montego Bay).