THE EDITOR, Sir:
In reference to the story 'Reggae Boyz bash JFF' (Gleaner, September 13, 2013), it seems it is now time for the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to devise a system to create a squad to represent Jamaica, applicable to all who are qualified as per FIFA rules.
The JFF should receive submissions from the local clubs, players, public and all those who qualify and are willing to offer themselves for inclusion in the squad.
One can understand the feeling of rejection the local players experienced because of the last-minute preference for overseas players to 'run the last leg' after the sweat and toil up to that stage. The dubious perception is that being born overseas and playing in foreign clubs will always trump locals, regardless of talent.
proposals 1. The JFF, through all the available means, should give notice to all players worldwide, at a required level, to register with the JFF for possible inclusion in its squad.
The deadlines for such registrations could be synchronised with the international player transfer rules. This is to prevent the so-called 'wagonist player' joining the band when the donkey work has already been done!
2. There should be some tangible and demonstrated commitment by all overseas players to the squad and they should be able to train and fulfil FIFA date matches when required, subject to FIFA rules and barring injury or agreement between the JFF and the player's club.
3. They must seal their commitment to Jamaica on registration by playing a FIFA match ASAP, as the JFF dictates, which thereafter will prevent them from vacillation about which country to represent. Overseas-born players need local exposure to gel and form a squad with a minimum of the problems that Vin Blaine spoke of recently.
4. The JFF ought to project the view that playing for Jamaica is an honour and commitment like any local-born player, and not just an 'easy means' to play on the international circuit and possibly at the biggest stage of all - the World Cup.
Let's start to build for World Cup 2018!