Ricketts responds to Sterling
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts said the move to abandon the senior Reggae Girlz training camp ahead of the CONCACAF final-round World Cup qualifiers, which takes place in the United States from October 4-17, was a decision taken by the coaching staff.
Ricketts was also quick to declare that national defender Lauren Silver, who blasted the federation for calling off the camp and called the decision "embarrassing", will not be reprimanded for her outburst.
"This decision [to abandon camp] was made by the coaches. You can't have a camp with five people. Miss Silver is one of five persons out of contract or not going to college, so Miss Silver is just one of five persons available for a camp," said Ricketts, pointing to the decision taken by head coach Hue Menzie and his assistants Lorne Donaldson and Andrew Price.
"This decision was made by head coach Hue Menzie and his two assistants. They said it would make no sense as everybody else would be in college or on contract apart from her (Silver) and four others. So she was a bit premature, and it was unfortunate that she made such comments," Ricketts told The Gleaner.
"The coaches Hue Menzie, Lorne Donaldson and Andrew Price decided that it would make no sense. The players would not be available because the schools are unwilling to release them for a camp. Plus, they just came from Jamaica, where they spent two weeks out of school and out of contract, so the schools are very hesitant for them to leave again," he explained
Ricketts stated that the federation has to rely on the coaches' advice on what and how to do things, and that was the case when reaching this decision.
"They told us it made no sense to have a camp because the most we could get is five or six (players), but we are planning to get to Texas about the 29th or the 30th (September), so we can have four or five days together before their first game. Other countries are having the same issue, because schools are reluctant to release the players," he continued.
Ricketts also refuted Silver's assumption that the decision to withdraw the camp was not financial, pointing out also that no disciplinary action will be taken against the player for her remarks.
"She would not have known it was a financial issue, but both Price and Menzie spoke with her this morning and that's it," he added.
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Silver took to social media on Thursday night to express her grouse at the lack of a camp.
"This is so embarrassing," Silver said on her official Instagram story. "For the JFF to say that we can't run a camp because there are college players in universities in America is a lie.
"If this was the US, this would not be happening. They would have camp, regardless of whether people are in school. I get that the majority of our girls are younger and they're in college so, okay, but this is for a World Cup qualifier, and on top of that, most college coaches understand that it's country before club, so they're gonna release their players to play. This is just a hoax that the JFF is covering up because they don't want to host a camp for us. They don't want to spend the money and honestly, they need to just be up front about it."