'Tappa was not pushed out'
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) general secretary, Raymond Grant, has denied claims by former Reggae Boyz head coach, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, that he was forced to resign by the federation.
Whitmore's tenure ended in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Tuesday night when the Boyz lost 2-0 in their latest World Cup Qualifier, their fourth straight defeat in six games.
Grant told The Gleaner on Wednesday night, shortly after the team returned home at the Norman Manley International Airport, that Whitmore was not forced out of his job by his federation.
"I was a part of the meeting, and basically, it was about the fate of the team and the position that the team is in, and Whitmore tendered his resignation and that was it," said Grant. "He wasn't pushed (out) and he wasn't asked to resign," Grant stated.
Whitmore's account is a little different, however, with the former Reggae Boyz midfielder claiming that he was in fact asked to resign by the JFF boss.
"He (Captain Burrell) asked me to (resign) … . We had a meeting late (Tuesday) night," Whitmore shared.
Whitmore became the third Jamaica coach to lose his job after the defeat in Honduras. René Simões suffered the same fate on his second stint in 2008 and another Brazilian, Clovis de Oliveira, in 2001.
Grant added that with four matches remaining for the Reggae Boyz, the federation believes that they are still had an outside of making it to next year's World Cup in Brazil.
"The federation remains committed to the task. We recognise that we are still in it," Grant said.
"We will double our efforts now and the players are committed, and over the next few weeks, we will put everything in place to ensure that we remain competitive … and, hopefully, we will get a berth into the World Cup," Grant pointed out.
Meanwhile, Reggae Boyz midfielder Jermaine Hue, who watched from the bench in the Honduras game, after two impressive performances against Mexico and the United States in the previous games, said despite the defeats, the Reggae Boyz have not given hope of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
"I am disappointed that we lost the game, but we are now looking forward to the next game because we have not thrown in the towel as yet," Hue said on Wednesday night.