Wed | Dec 1, 2021

‘Tappa’ job safe, says Ricketts

Published:Friday | July 30, 2021 | 12:07 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
JFF President Michael Ricketts
JFF President Michael Ricketts

FOLLOWING THE Reggae Boyz’s disappointing quarter-final exit from the Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Associations of Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cup tournament, there has been calls for the dismissal of national senior men’s football team head coach, Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore.

In spite of the calls, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts declared that the former national midfielder’s job is safe and that he will be the one to lead the team into the World Cup qualifiers beginning in September.

“We would have invested a lot in this team, so we are disappointed we didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve, and that was to win the Gold Cup,” Ricketts stated during a media interview. “We had the players based in camp 11 days before the Gold Cup, so we went from camp straight into the Gold Cup and it cost the JFF a pretty penny.

“But we thought that the investment was worth it. We thought about it and we would have given the coaching staff everything they would have asked for,” he commented. “So on top of all that we would have been very disappointed. The buck really stops with the technical staff, but at the same time I really thought they did a really decent job.

“After assembling a really good set of players, the real problem was that we did not execute on match day,” he continued.

When asked if Whitmore should fear for his job, Ricketts declared: “Absolutely not. I can assure Coach Whitmore that the job is his.”

Ricketts was also quick to point out that going forward to the World Cup qualifiers, he will be working with the coach to correct some of the issues they had at the Gold Cup.

“I had a discussion with Coach Whitmore today (Wednesday) and we will have formal discussions this week and look at what the negatives were and how we can have them corrected. There are some positives we could take away from this tournament and we are very hopeful and optimistic that having dropped out of the Gold Cup our fortunes will change and we will make it to the World Cup in 2022,” Ricketts explained.

“It has to be best practice if we are to go to the World Cup,” he shared. “So we will look at the entire tournament and what transpired, and if we have to make adjustments we surely will.”

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com