Sat | Aug 24, 2019

Ricketts supports Final 8

Published:Monday | May 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment/ Sports News Coordinator
Jamaica’s Alvas Powell (left) controls the ball against Mexico’s Erick Gutierrez during the first half of their CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final football match in Pasadena, California, on July 23, 2017.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts said that he is in favour of FIFA's proposal of an international competition that takes place every two years.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said last week that he would like create a tournament called the Final 8 that would, in essence, be a 'mini World Cup' that features eight international teams. It would be in addition to the World Cup, and not a replacement, although the Confederations Cup would be scrapped.

Ricketts said that this would present more opportunities for the national senior men's team to compete at the highest level.

"I certainly wouldn't have a problem with any competition that would involve more international games," he said. "Certainly, it would give us as a smaller nation a chance to participate at the highest level, and with some of the top footballing countries around the world. It would make our product a lot more marketable. "

Ricketts was, however, sceptical about how this would be achieved, with an already busy international and club calendar.




"The only challenge is how you would get this qualification done in such a short time," Ricketts said. "That certainly, in my mind, would be a challenge, but once you can get over that hurdle, it has my support. It's how you manage your schedule and your structure."

The JFF's financial constraints have been the topic of public discussion for many years, and Ricketts was asked if such a proposal of more games would mean more spending for the federation. However, he said that such a venture would actually aid the body's finances.

"Once you're playing at a higher level, sponsors are going to be attracted to the product," he said. "Only games that aren't profitable would cause you more financial constraints. But some of these games could very well earn you some money."

While FIFA has not said how it would structure how teams from all confederations would qualify for the Final 8, it has suggested that teams would qualify from the League of Nations competition set to start both in CONCACAF and UEFA.

FIFA said that the competition could be worth US$25 billion (over J$3 trillion) over 12  years.