‘Not so fast’
Interested parties would not want to see Greenwood in Jamaican colours
A REPORT that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) would welcome English striker Mason Greenwood should he decide to change allegiances has not been met with the kind of enthusiasm the organisation may have hoped. Former national assistant Bradley...
A REPORT that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) would welcome English striker Mason Greenwood should he decide to change allegiances has not been met with the kind of enthusiasm the organisation may have hoped.
Former national assistant Bradley Stewart and sports management expert Carole Beckford expressed opposition to any potential approaches for the player.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to move forward with criminal charges against Greenwood, who has been reportedly on the radar of Jamaica for some time. He was set to stand trial in November on charges of attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning bodily harm against a woman, who disclosed his alleged treatment of her in a series of posts on her social media page.
However, key witnesses withdrew cooperation and new material came to light which led the CPS to drop the charges.
Greenwood’s suspension from Manchester United remains intact despite the club’s acknowledgement of the dropped charges, saying an internal review would be conducted “before determining next steps”.
JFF general secretary Dennis Chung told media yesterday his organisation would not rule out Greenwood coming into the fold, saying it was a decision that head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson would have to make.
However, Stewart says despite the CPS not moving forward with the charges, the controversy that still surrounds him is one the federation would do well to avoid and believes that the assessment was ill-advised.
“The fact that they have dropped the thing does not mean that he didn’t do the things that he was accused of. The situation is one where the witness refused to cooperate and that doesn’t make the man innocent. It means that they would not have enough evidence in terms of people coming on board,” Stewart told The Gleaner.
“I think that what was said was inappropriate and poorly timed. Based on the investigation, his contract (at Manchester United) might be torn up. So I don’t see that if it is that we have any respect for our females that we should be carrying a player with this kind of halo over his head.”
While Greenwood has reportedly rejected several approaches from Jamaica in the past, reports in England suggest that he might no longer be considered for selection by Gareth Southgate. But Stewart says any renewed approaches, should he decide to represent Jamaica, would be sending not only a negative message to women supporters, but also putting the recruiting process under scrutiny.
“Are we saying to our females that anything can happen with them and they are expected to come and pay their money and come into the stadium to watch Jamaica play? Do we accept players based on their football ability rather than the other aspects, their characteristics, what we expect from them when they are here, how they behave in terms of the rules that are set up?” Stewart said.
Beckford believes any approaches for Greenwood would be an unwanted distraction and is adamant that the focus should be on the current core of players as they begin their road to the 2026 World Cup.
“I think that kind of thing would put distractions in the Jamaican context. We have enough issues on our own and adding Greenwood to that would not be in our best interest at the moment,” Beckford said.
“I think with time our new coach can assemble a unit that can qualify for the next World Cup.
“That would be a major distraction and I think we should work with what we have.”