Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Boyz have Saudi Arabia doubts - Friendly international in jeopardy after match application delay

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment
Head coach Theodore Whitmore (foreground) during a Reggae Boyz training session earlier this year.

The proposed international friendly football match between Jamaica and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on October 7 may not go ahead as planned.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts, while responding to queries from The Gleaner, confirmed that there were complications, which arose regarding date of the request sent by the Saudi Arabians to FIFA for the match.

"What happened is that the promoter was supposed to have, of course based on regulations, gotten permission through the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, from FIFA," Ricketts said. "The application was submitted very late and because of that, there's an issue. But they are still trying to have it sorted out. So we are waiting, but there is, to be honest, a question sign."


Decision pending


However, Ricketts said that whether the game will still go ahead as planned will be made clear by this afternoon.

"We're just keeping our fingers crossed and hope that we can get things sorted out."

A worst-case scenario of the match being scrapped would leave the Reggae Boyz unoccupied on this FIFA international day, as it would also mean that it would be too late to request another team as a replacement for the Saudis. Nevertheless, Ricketts said that regardless of what happens, the JFF still plans on facing the Middle Eastern team.

"We are hoping that if it cannot happen on the seventh (of October), then maybe it could at a later date," Ricketts said. "But we're trying to fast track things right now, as we speak, and we're just waiting to see what will happen."

The JFF would also not want the game to be scrapped because money has already been spent on the logistics for the trip.

"Flights have been booked and everything is in place. It's going to be really unfortunate if it falls through," Ricketts lamented.