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Call-up on the cards for Bailey - Ricketts: No need for petition

Published:Tuesday | December 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Leverkusen's Leon Bailey

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Michael Ricketts, said there is no need for a petition to include Leon Bailey in Jamaica's national team, as the Bayer Leverkusen star will be invited to the next game.

However, Ricketts, could not guarantee the inclusion of Bailey's brother, Kyle Butler, and added that the director of football job will remain with Wendell Downswell.

A petition was launched yesterday by a football fan in Ocho Rios, asking the government to step in as mediators between the JFF and Craig Butler, the father of both players.

The petition asked, what is stopping Leon Bailey from playing for Jamaica? It said that Craig Butler wants both his sons to play for Jamaica and the JFF wants only one, and that Butler is seeking to be the director of football while the JFF says he should apply like everyone.

But Ricketts said yesterday that Butler was out of the running for director of football and while Kyle would be invited to training, Bailey will be invited to earn his first Reggae Boyz cap.

"I have not been following it (petition) but I have heard about it. But there needs to be no petition. It is for him (Bailey) to make himself available.

"The JFF will invite him when we play again. We invited him before, so there is no need for a petition once he and his club accept the invitation," Ricketts reasoned.

However, on Kyle Butler turning out for the national team, Ricketts said his full selection was not assured.

"I don't know about Kyle (Butler), but coach (Theodore Whitmore) has plans for Bailey. Kyle may be invited to a training camp but Bailey will be invited the next time Jamaica plays," he said.




But the position of director of football will remain with Downswell, Ricketts insisted.

"He (Butler) is not going to get that job ... There is a process. He should apply and be treated like everybody else. I just could not employ him to be football director. I told him to send his application with a resume ... and he has not responded," he said.

Meanwhile, Butler insists he can only work (with the JFF) in a position of 'leadership' and that he brings a lot more to the table than Downswell.

"If I was the director of football I will help this country. I spent two years in Belgium learning their systems of development. I have been to Ajax (Holland) and Trencin (Slovakia) a year and a half each, understanding how to develop players. Now I have a relationship with Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

"The government cannot force the JFF to do anything, but that does not mean they cannot mediate or say that is not right. But can anybody at the JFF, including the president, meet with the German FA and they actually arrange a meeting. Can anybody (at the JFF) walk into the Belgian FA and demand a game and get it. You need that for the JFF to go forward and for youths to get a chance.

"I know it will be the usual response (from the JFF). But I can only work in a leadership capacity, as director of football. What does Wendell Downswell bring to the future of our football other than what is already there," he concluded.

Yesterday's petition was signed by more than 400 persons.