Buoyant Boyz! - Jamaica back into top 50 in FIFA World Ranking
Jamaica’s senior men’s football team moved back into the top 50 international teams in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking released yesterday.
The Reggae Boyz’s 6-0 and 4-0 wins over Antigua and Barbuda, and Guyana, respectively, in the Concacaf Nations League earlier this month, moved them up the rankings by five places. They are also the fourth-ranked team in Concacaf and the top-ranked Caribbean Football Union team.
Head coach Theodore Whitmore says that the rise is in keeping with the objectives that the players, technical staff, and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) set at the beginning of the Nations League.
“Our wish is for it to continue to get better, and I will be lobbying with the federation to ensure that what is necessary to make this happen is indeed put in place because we do not want to get complacent,” he said. “I appeal to the fans to show their recognition of this positive direction by turning out for our next game against Aruba on October 12, the players need to know that they have the country’s support.”
JFF president, Michael Ricketts, mindful that a maintained top-six ranking in Concacaf will see Jamaica placed in the ‘Hexagonal’ round of World Cup qualifying, commends Whitmore, his technical staff, and the players but has asked for continued focus to maintain the ranking.
With the Reggae Boyz facing Aruba next month, there were suggestions that they were threatening a strike, like their female counterparts, for money owed to them for their participation in the Concacaf Gold Cup last summer, but Ricketts denied this.
“We met with them in Montego Bay, and there is absolutely no semblance of that. I can categorically tell you that that is not true,” Ricketts told RJR Sports after the JFF’s annual general meeting on Sunday. “We have met with the leaders of the group, and they, too, have been made aware that they are to be paid from the Concacaf funds that we have not yet got. But we will be paying them very shortly.”
Jamaica meet Aruba in the Nations League at the National Stadium on Saturday, October 12, at 5 p.m.
Top six Concacaf teams as at September 2019:
World Ranking Team
12 Mexico21 USA
43 Costa Rica
72 El Salvador