Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson's goal is unlikely to get the Reggae Boyz into the 2014 World Cup, but such a splendid performance by someone who had been locked out of the campaign has opened up a raging debate about the ability of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to properly manage the country's football programme.
Many Jamaicans do not even understand the mechanics of the game of football and know even less about formation and tactics to be employed in the theatre. They have ceded authority to the JFF president and his administrators to make the right choices of coaches and players and to work out those finer details.
However, as citizens of this great sport-loving nation, they know that the result is what matters. And Jamaicans will get behind their team when they are convinced that they are giving their all to the cause.
And this is why so many people felt that Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson could make a difference to the team. He was the top scorer in the local Premier League competition, and that spoke volumes about his ability. He had proven at the local level that he was a very productive player, but for some reason he was never selected to represent his country.
So, as the debate gathers momentum, people are questioning whether Jamaica lacks the talent or whether the football programme has simply been mismanaged. Even though former coach Theodore Whitmore was dumped after a string of failures, the critical eye remains on the JFF.
Burrell under scrutiny
Captain Horace Burrell, as president of the JFF, wields enormous influence over the process. Surely, the time has come for his judgement to be called into question. It was noticeable that most fans were absent from the National Stadium on Tuesday night. Unbelievably, it has been said that fans of the opposing Costa Rican team outnumbered the locals at that event.
Why was this so? The first reason is that frustrated fans disappointed by recent poor results - in which key members of the team consistently conceded cheap goals while they dithered and failed to convert chances that came their way - decided to save themselves from more torture and remain away.
We would like to suggest that cost was another factor that kept the fans at bay. Why would the JFF persist with the high-priced tickets, especially given the team's performance? Why not lower the price of the tickets and entice more people to come? Would it have made more economic sense to have persons attend at half-price than to have an empty stadium? These are all questions for Burrell and the JFF to consider.
Even though we seem to be at the end of the road, Winfried Schäfer is holding out slim hope after only his second game as coach. The German gave insight into where his head is when he reportedly told the media: "I want players who have heart for Jamaica." To his credit, he must have seen this element in Anderson, and this is why he brought him in even in the dying moments of the game.
In any post-mortem, at the end of this campaign, the JFF must be made to give an account of its stewardship. Jamaica needs a fresh mindset in its football programme.
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