‘We want to see the fans’
Reggae Boyz defenders Damion Lowe and Ethan Pinnock have said that they are extremely disappointed that fans were not allowed inside the National Stadium for Jamaica’s Concacaf World Cup qualifying match against Mexico on Thursday.
The Reggae Boyz have played the majority of their home games behind closed doors with the lone exception being their match against the United States on November 16 last year, where 5,000 vaccinated spectators were present.
The Boyz, who lost 2-1 to Mexico in Thursday’s game, played the entire second half of the match with 10 men, after Lowe was sent off on the stroke of half-time.
The tough-tackling defender received a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on a Mexican player which led to his demise.
“I have a lot of respect for the players because like today (Thursday), the guys battled hard and we showed that we are a good team and we are a family, but we need the support from the Government,” said Lowe.
“I think like today when we were down to 10 men, even if 100 fans were in the stadium, we would have brought it over the line because the guys would have been pumped up out there and so we just need the fans,” he said.
Pinnock, who had an excellent game against the Mexicans, said if fans were allowed inside the stadium, then the Reggae Boyz would have won the match.
“I am extremely disappointed because having the fans here, they give you that extra 10, 15 per cent to push on and win the game,” said Pinnock.
“To have that support here during the match is really a tremendous feeling and I think a lot of the players’ families really wanted to come over and support the team and so I think that’s a shame that there are no fans,” he said.
Despite going down to 10 men, it was Reggae Boyz who took the lead in the 50th minute courtesy of a goal from Daniel Johnson. The Mexicans, however, scored goals in the 81st and 83rd minutes to take the victory.
The Government has said that it had to take the decision n0t to allow fans inside the National Stadium because of the current COVID-19 outbreak. The positivity rate for the coronavirus was up to 46.3 per cent on Thursday.