Sun | Jul 25, 2021

‘He’ll be there’

JFF expects Michail Antonio at Gold Cup after his listing in provisional squad

Published:Sunday | June 20, 2021 | 12:08 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter
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Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) General Secretary Dalton Wint says he is confident West Ham United striker Michail Antonio will be ready to play if selected for the Concacaf Gold Cup. Antonio was named to a provisional list of players from which...

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) General Secretary Dalton Wint says he is confident West Ham United striker Michail Antonio will be ready to play if selected for the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Antonio was named to a provisional list of players from which head coach Theodore Whitmore will select his final 23-man roster for the tournament. The full list for all participating teams was released by Concacaf yesterday.

Rangers FC’s Kemar Roofe has also been named, having indicated in March that he is obtaining a Jamaican passport. Ethan Pinnock, Jamal Lowe, Liam Moore and Andre Gray, who made their international debuts this year, were also named.

Antonio agreed to play for Jamaica in March, but Wint says the JFF is still in need of important information from him, but he expects that it will be obtained by next week.

Significant work

“Michail has done some significant work on his documents,” Wint told The Sunday Gleaner. “We are awaiting just some minor information that needs to be provided and then those documents will be sent over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Concacaf says that the final rosters are expected to be confirmed before the start of the preliminary round on July 2. Changes will only be made after the deadline in the event of unforeseeable circumstances or injury up until 24 hours before the first match of the group stage.

Whitmore told The Sunday Gleaner on Monday that having a large pool of players to choose from will not be matter unless the eligibility issues are promptly resolved.

“It’s very interesting but only having names won’t cut it,” he said. “We want to get their documentation, firstly. Football isn’t only on the field so for these 60 players being talked about, things have to be put in place so that they can concentrate and play on the field.”

Wint said that the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) has provided support in its efforts to fast-track the process and is optimistic that Antonio and other players will be secured for selection.

“If [Antonio’s] information is correct, I think we will be able to get it done,” Wint said. “We have been getting great support from PICA and we are very optimistic that we have these players available, but the final decision rests with the coach.”

Jamaica starts the Gold Cup with a match against Suriname in Group C on Monday, July 12. The Reggae Boyz have played in back-to-back Gold Cup finals in 2015 and 2017 and reached the semi-finals in 2019.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com