Support us - Burrell
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
WITH ONLY a few days to go before Jamaica's highly anticipated friendly international against Canada inside the National Stadium, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, is calling for support from local football fans.
Identified as the starting point of the Reggae Boyz 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, the Canada friendly, which kicks off this Sunday at 7 p.m., will take on added significance in light of the Jamaica team's recent slip down the FIFA rankings. The Jamaicans were positioned at number 81 in the most recent FIFA ranking, representing a seven-place plummet down the table.
Said Burrell: "I am hoping that the public will come out and support us. We have made it clear that it (match) is the start of the 2014 campaign and I'm hoping that at the start of this campaign we will get the sort of support that I think the Reggae Boyz are deserving."
Burrell pointed out that his administration has taken a conscious decision to start their preparation for the next qualifying campaign earlier than in recent years as they eye a spot at the finals scheduled for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"We have decided not to leave matters to the last moment as has happened in the past and, therefore, we are starting with our prepara-tion four years out, even before the World Cup commences this year; I think it is a great idea," Burrell stated.
The top football administrator was quick to add that despite the increased costs associated with staging the football game, the JFF have done all they can to make the ticket prices as affordable as possible. In fact, the price for bleachers tickets has not been changed and Burrell is hoping that this will be reflected in the number of supporters who turn up.
"We have not increased the price for the bleachers and yet our overheads have all been increased," said Burrell. "The cost of the National Stadium has increased, the cost of security has been increased, the cost of our tickets; those costs have also been increased.
"Every single thing that goes into making a football game happen has been increased and therefore we really should have increased (bleachers ticket prices) but we have not.
"We have been charging $1,000 for bleachers tickets for a long time and I'm sure that the Jamaican football public is an educated one and I know that things are hard for all of us, but I'm sure they understand that unless they contribute, it will be difficult to bring teams here," Burrell explained.