Laurie Foster | Rein him in or show him the exit door!
The tug-o-war between Team Leon Bailey and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has taken yet another twist. It has now escalated to being an area of deep concern.
What is at the forefront of the conversation, is that the Bundesliga standout seems to believe that his gifts as a footballer have placed him in a position of control. A natural extension of this is detected in
his current attempts to manipulate the selection system to suit his own selfish wants. He is now saying that if he is required to play for Jamaica, his adopted brother, Kyle Butler, should be invited as well.
Coming from an interview with this newspaper, in which he expressed an often-rehearsed love for his country, he accused the JFF of wanting to put Kyle on trial, but he feels that a professional player like Kyle should not go through the scrutiny of a trial when players at a lower level are not required to do so. Since when has this been a call for a selectee?
It echoes a sentiment frequently cited by the elder Butler, Craig, and demonstrates arrant disregard and utter disrespect for the role of the governing body. The Butler group needs to be told that, in a manner which allows for no equivocation. One never hoped that it would have come to this point, but here we are, and there should be the requisite action in response.
If this arrogant and unyielding position from the Butlers is allowed to hold, the JFF could be setting itself up for embarrassment in the future. Who knows what could be the next demand? There has been many a talk of Bailey being eligible to play for another country. One wonders if the group would dare mentioning that stick-up clause in any other forums. As far as Foster's Fairplay is concerned, it should not be countenanced.
There is yet another claim by Bailey with which Foster's Fairplay takes exception. He has, in essence, separated himself from the Jamaican players in his interview. This, by saying, "One person by himself cannot do it. I will need support from good players, and I know good players because I grew up playing with good players, and I now play with good players."
It is as though Bailey is willing the nation to believe that the current team is comprised of players who are of a lesser calibre than he is. How can he hope to improve the overall performance of the Jamaican team when he makes these comparisons in the public space? He needs to be reined in or shown the exit door.
Although Bailey did not represent Jamaica against Bonaire in the League of Nations game last Sunday, the arguments he has put forward would seem to suggest that he has left the door open for him to suit up for the Suriname encounter next month. This, of course, is contingent on his conditions being met.
To maintain credibility as the leaders of the nation's football, president Michael Ricketts and his people should not postpone what needs to be done. This Bailey impasse and the exchange of irrelevant matters have been allowed to fester for much too long. It is time for the administration to act and to do so decisively Bailey and company are proving to be a disruptive force. The ball is in your court, Mr President.
Place your re-election plans on temporary hold and make that move.
For feedback, email: laurieFoster2012@gmail.com.