Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Online petition wants gov't intervention in Butler/JFF stand-off

Published:Tuesday | December 19, 2017 | 3:48 PM
Leverkusen's Jamaican attacker Leon Bailey celebrating the 3-3 equalising goal during the German Bundesliga match against Hannover 96 in Hannover, Germany, on December 17.

An online petition has been launched seeking the intervention of the  Jamaican government's in the ongoing standoff between the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the father and agent of Bundesliga hotshot Leon Bailey over his international future.

Bailey, 20, is today one of the hottest properties in European football after his transfer to German club Bayer Leverkusen from Belgian side Genk in last year's Winter transfer market for a fee of €20 million.

He has so far scored six goals and provided four assists in his 14 league appearances this season with an additional goal coming in a  substitute appearance in the DFB Pokal Cup.

Bailey has, however, yet to make an appearance for Jamaica at the senior international level. His only appearance in national colours came in 2015 in a friendly international for Jamaica's Under-23 against Cayman Islands. Bailey actually scored a free kick in that game.

However, his father and manager Craig Butler has refused to make Bailey available for the national senior programme, citing dissatisfaction with several issues relating to Jamaica's football development.

Butler has also in the past requested a position in the JFF.

The petition is directed to Butler, Jamaica's prime minister Andrew Holness, Sports Minister Olivia Grange as well as JFF president Michael Ricketts and has so far gained close to 500 signatures since it was launched over a week ago.

It calls on the powers at be to step in and ensure that a resolution is met to pave the way for Bailey and Kyle Butler (Craig's other son, who currently plays in Malta) to represent Jamaica at the senior level.

"Many of us sporting fans rather  no government intervention with regard to sports. Some circumstances are so extreme that only government intervention is the only solution," the petition reads.