Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Burrell is a decent, honest man - Simoes

Published:Saturday | May 13, 2017 | 5:00 AMRachid Parchment
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Rene Simoes has said that the negative public opinion of Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell is unfair because he has always known him to be a man of principles.

The former national technical director is currently on vacation in the island and said that throughout his time in the role, he has always defended him against public criticism and that will never change.

"The period I was here, I took fight with many many persons outside of the federation, and from the press because they talk about him," Simies says. "I'd say, 'No way! No way!' I'm there, I could see everything, and the respect of the programme - the financial, the administrative, everything, I was there. There is no way for anybody to take a penny from this programme. So the period I was here, he was really a decent man, an honest man, so what people say is not true."

Simoes, who worked in Jamaica from 1994-2000, then again in 2008, believes that it is unfortunate that what he describes as Burrell's loyalty to former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president Austin 'Jack' Warner led to trouble for him. Simies is referring to FIFA's six-month suspension of Burrell in 2011 with regard to a case involving former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam.

 

STORY OF SUSPENSION

 

"Captain was a guy to support Jack Warner 100 per cent. If he wasn't suspended, he could've been the president of CONCACAF today. The story I know is that he was suspended because he was loyal to Jack Warner and he couldn't go behind the back of the guy, but nothing happened to him (Warner), you know."

Simies compared the situation to issues back in his homeland of Brazil.

"Look at the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF), one is in jail, another one, if he goes to the United States, he goes to jail, and the third one is there in power and cannot leave Brazil, but Captain can leave (Jamaica) and go everywhere. For me, that means something. I'd be very disappointed if one day I heard anything about him misbehaving in this area because this is not what he showed me."

Simoes told The Gleaner that his visit to the island is in no way concerning him coming back in a coaching role as he now spends his time as a life coach, rather than on the sidelines of football fields.