Wed | Aug 23, 2017

We must go on

Published:Tuesday | June 6, 2017 | 6:17 PMAndre Lowe

The Jamaica Football Federation is expected to meet shortly to chart the way forward following the passing of its president Captain Horace Burrell, who died yesterday afternoon in the United States after a prolonged illness.

General Secretary of the organisation Raymond Grant, while underlining the impact of Burrell during his almost two decades in charge of the country's football programme, noted that the organisation had already put things in place to deal with his illness-caused absence, but advised that the board will be meeting soon to chart the way forward.

"Captain has been ailing for some time now. We have three vice-presidents within the federation and, during the period, the assignments in terms of the area of responsibilities were scheduled through the vice-presidents. We have the competitions aspects, the operations, technical and finances aspects so, depending on the portfolio responsibilities, they were given specific tasks so there was never an issue in terms of the continuation of the JFF and its programmes," Grant told The Gleaner yesterday evening.

"Captain has not been in the public domain for quite some time and the football was always continuing based on the structure that we have at the JFF," Grant added. "I expect that to remain in the immediate future and I mean in at least another week. Also I expect that there will be a calling of a board meeting to discuss the way forward. It's early and by tomorrow (today) things will start to take shape in terms of how we move forward."

The JFF is expected to call an emergency board meeting within the next couple of days at which point a simple majority of board members will determine an interim leader. An election date for a new president will then be expected to be identified within 30 days.

Public to be advised

on way forward

Grant did not go into details but noted: "The JFF will advise the public as to how we will proceed. The time will come very shortly when the board will have to sit down and make a decision as to how we will proceed until there is a congress and an election of a president."

Grant, who has served under Burrell for the past five years, noted that Jamaica has lost a passionate administrator, underscoring that Burrell's impact could certainly not be questioned.

"Captain Burrell is a household name in Jamaica and not only in terms of Jamaica's football but in Jamaica generally. Despite what persons may say about Captain and his personality, he does not take no for an answer, he doesn't dwell on problems, he focuses on solutions. The reality is that we have lost someone that is very passionate, someone who has taken Jamaican football to heights that no one has seen before and no one can erase that history."