Tue | Mar 26, 2019

Grange announces Caribbean/African cup

Published:Saturday | March 16, 2019 | 12:16 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange (centre), controls the ball on the new turf at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence. Looking on are  (from left) President, Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts; former national footballers, Loxlye Reid; Lenworth ‘Lenny’ Hyde; and Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore, who currently serves as the national head coach.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange (centre), controls the ball on the new turf at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence. Looking on are (from left) President, Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts; former national footballers, Loxlye Reid; Lenworth ‘Lenny’ Hyde; and Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore, who currently serves as the national head coach.

Minister of Sports Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange announced on Wednesday that an annual football tournament called the Caribbean/African Cup competition is in the making and is likely take place over the Emancipation/Independence celebrations or during Heritage week.Grange made the announcement at the opening of the University of the West Indies (UWI)/Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence and the newly-laid artificial turf at the facility.

She, however, noted that more details will be made available in the near future.

“We will be celebrating the international decade of people of African descent. President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) has been invited to be our special guest, and we are looking for other African heads to come for Emancipation Day or Heritage week,” she said.

“But also, we are discussing having a Caribbean/African Cup, and we have confirmed the participation of Namibia and Botswana. We haven’t finalised the date, as we have to get the blessing of the JFF. So we are moving quickly in pulling that together, and we can have a full disclosure as to what is planned, but this will become an annual event,” Grange stated.

JFF president Michael Ricketts gave the event his full endorsement.

“The announcement of the African/Caribbean connection is something we would endorse wholeheartedly as we are Africans by descent, and we want to ensure we have that relationship with our African brothers,” Ricketts commented.

In the meantime, Grange said that the new 28-room facility was not only a tribute, but the legacy of the late JFF president, Captain Horace Burrell.

“This is a tribute to Captain Burrell, and I am glad we have been able to recognised the dream,” Grange said.

Ricketts was also delighted at the completion of the project. It took nearly nine years to complete to dormitory building but only six months to finish the artificial surface.

“It’s a part of our mandate to make sure we have a positive impact on the sport of football and the federation has one item on its agenda and that is to develop football, and this is another step in that direction. The pitch looks good, and the dormitories are fully furnished, and I want to congratulate all parties who have impacted the project,” Ricketts said.