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Uncertainty over CFU female U-20 tourney

Published:Friday | June 5, 2015 | 12:00 AMGordon Williams

The ripple effects from the corruption scandal swamping global football may already be hitting Jamaica, as uncertainty surrounds the national female Under-20 team's participation in a regional qualifying tournament this month.

According to Hue Menzies, technical director of Jamaica's women's football, there's been difficulty getting information about the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) first round of Under-20 qualifiers, scheduled for June 19-23 in St Lucia. Jamaica's women are drawn in a group with the hosts and Grenada. Menzies said the communication flow between tournament organisers and Jamaica has dried up.

In an email dated June 2 and sent to people involved with the team, including players, Menzies noted: "The FIFA and CONCACAF situations have put a hold on football". On June 3, in an interview from his base in the United States, he added: "We haven't heard anything from the CFU. They haven't confirmed anything yet. Everything is paused with the CFU."

Menzies didn't directly blame the current scandal involving world football's governing body FIFA, which has led to the arrest of several top officials, including CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, for the information shutdown. However, he didn't rule out the possible effect.


"You can't get hold of anybody and they may be focusing on the dynamics of what's going on (with FIFA)," Menzies explained. "But we're trying to do a competition. We were trying to get a hold of people involved with the competition.

"... When you have uncertainty, it affects what you do," he added. "When you don't hear anything it is difficult."

Jamaica's Under-20s appear to have other problems as well. A training camp, originally scheduled for June 3-9 in Florida was postponed. According to Menzies, the camp clashed with dates for players' examinations, including CSEC and CAPE.

"After we selected the team, and the management started contacting the players, we found out that they had exams," he explained.

The decision to postpone the Florida camp disrupted plans of players already in the United States (US).

"On June 2, we received an email saying the camp is cancelled," Jamaica-born, Florida-based coach Valney Brown, who said he is the guardian for one of the players, explained on June 3. "I was already in the process of securing her release from school to attend the camp. I now have to tell them everything is cancelled."

Brown said he has been contacted by other US-based players who appear unsure about their next move with the national team.

Menzies said he will travel to Jamaica on June 5 to conduct a mini-camp on June 6 and 7 to "look at local-based players."