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Ricketts' Challenge - JFF boss laments rejected Gold Cup bid

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment/ Sports News Coordinator
A panoramic view of The National Stadium, in Kingston. The Jamaica Football Federation had made an official bid to regional governing body Concacaf to host a Gold Cup 2019 game at the venue.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says that the standard of local facilities has prevented the country from hosting a Concacaf Gold Cup game.

Ricketts said that the federation had bid to host the opening game of next year's competition, but the regional governing body was not pleased with the condition of the National Stadium, where the match would have been played had the JFF been successful.

"We have challenges," Ricketts said. "I have been desperately trying to get a Gold Cup game here. We had asked Concacaf to have us open the tournament here, but we are having challenges with venues. So, I really don't know."

Ricketts is still hopeful of bringing one of the competition's games to Jamaica in a later edition of the tournament but admitted that such a possibility, as things stand, is low.

"They (Concacaf) will do an inspection of the stadium, but my gut feeling is that they are having some difficulties as it relates to our facilities," he explained. "The only thing that would prevent us now is if they are not satisfied with the facilities. It is going to be a huge challenge because when you look at the facilities we have, as against those in the United States, then we could very well come up short. But we still are trying and just hope we'll be able to meet the requirement."

Concacaf requires that venues for the Gold Cup have a minimum capacity of 15,000 seats, with a coinciding suite, broadcast and media facilities. Only three stagings of the competition have seen games played outside of the United States. These were in Mexico in 1993 and 2003, and Canada in 2015, when Jamaica finished second in the tournament, losing 3-1 to Mexico in the final.