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Burrell blasts corporate Jamaica

Published:Saturday | July 25, 2015 | 8:09 AM

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) boss Captain Horace Burrell is not pleased with corporate Jamaica for what he claims is its lack of financial support for the country's football programme.

Burrell argues that things should never have reached the point where the JFF has to relinquish all of the purse money from a major tournament because of an inability to properly compensate the players and staff. That is what will happen in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which concludes today with the Reggae Boyz facing Mexico.

Under an agreement with the players, the JFF has agreed to have the players and staff share the US$1 million first prize or the US$500,000 second prize.

"When the country basks in the glory, all of Jamaica's businesses benefit, so I think this is the time when corporate Jamaica must step up and give back something. The only entity that we get some cash from is the Government, through the Sports Development Foundation," Burrell told The Sunday Gleaner.

"We are the only federation at this level that currently has no corporate sponsor putting in any cash. We have a few sponsors who will put in some kind, but the real cash which is necessary to pay the airfare, the match fees, and the per diem - which is where the cash is really needed - there is not one outside of the Sports Development Foundation," added Burrell.

However, president of The Business of Sport, Carole Beckford, believes the JFF has to shape up to make local football more attractive to the private sector.

"Football's management has been spotty in the last 10 years," Beckford told The Sunday Gleaner.

"The consistency with which a top sporting organisation [like the JFF] needs to operate has to be focused on a few things: youth development, competitions, preparation of an elite team and an international calendar."

According to Beckford, while private-sector support is critical, sponsors would need to see a clear return on their investment.

While saluting the Reggae Boyz's performance at the Gold Cup, Beckford said this could be a fillip to get sponsors on board, but the JFF needs to acquire the services of a top marketer.