Mon | Aug 3, 2020

JFF in Catalonia doubt - Coronavirus spread threatens Reggae Boyz friendly

Published:Tuesday | March 3, 2020 | 12:26 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Michael Ricketts, says his organisation is still awaiting word from the Ministry of Health and the world’s governing body for football FIFA, to determine if they will go ahead with their scheduled friendly international game against Catalonia, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As the virus continues to spread throughout the world, the tally in Spain had reached 119 up to yesterday. Of these, 10 were reported on Sunday, while yesterday there were two new cases in Catalonia, where the Reggae Boyz are scheduled to play the hosts on March 30.


Ricketts told The Gleaner that his organisation is taking this matter very seriously and therefore they have been working closely with the association’s doctor Dr Guyan Arscott and the Ministry of Health on the matter.

“We are absolutely monitoring the situation because up to this morning (yesterday), Dr Arscott and I had a long discussion on it. He has been in contact with the Ministry of Health and with FIFA on this matter,” said Ricketts.

“I am not privileged to comment on it too much, but I am waiting on Dr Arscott and the Ministry to give us direction as to what to do and where to go,” he said.

The JFF boss underlines that Dr Arscott will be working alongside the Ministry of Health to also decide on future travels to countries that have been affected by the coronavirus.

Forty cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in the United Kingdom where the Reggae Boyz are scheduled to transit through for their game against Catalonia.

“I also understand that there are maybe some cases in England and so we are just waiting to see what the ministry and what FIFA says to us and then we will take it from there,” said Ricketts.

“We are concerned about it, but I am not a medical person and so Dr Arscott is the person in charge of medical for all the JFF and he is in contact with the Ministry and they will determine the future travels of ourrespective teams abroad,” Ricketts noted.

The Reggae Boyz are also scheduled to play Bermuda in a friendly match on March 11 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.