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LETTER OF THE DAY - Burrell's shelf life expired

Published:Friday | June 14, 2013 | 12:00 AM


It was with great consternation that I read the STAR back-page headline on June 13, 2013 titled 'Not good enough', in reference to the sacking of Reggae Boyz coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore.

While accountability is good, it has to be applied to all aspects of our football, but especially in key positions such as leadership. While Jamaica will be eternally grateful to Captain Horace Burrell for the seminal role he played in Jamaica's qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, if the same rule were to be used to measure the esteemed president's tenure at the Jamaica Football Federation, would he measure up?

Three (maybe four by the end of 2013) failed World Cup qualification cycles cannot be by chance. With all the failed qualification cycles, there is a common connecting thread: Captain Horace Burrell.

We need look no further than the Japanese national football team to highlight the shortcomings of the direction of Jamaica's football 'programme'. Fifteen years ago, the Reggae Boyz, spearheaded by midfield maestro Whitmore, defeated Japan 2-1 in their final group-stage match, bringing the nation unbridled joy. We still wait to reach those lofty heights again. Since then, Jamaica's football has been in a state of inertia while Japan have qualified for every subsequent FIFA World Cup tournament. This clearly shows that Japan's football has a programme, while Jamaica's just has a team.

If a fiasco such as the one Jamaica is experiencing were to affect, say, France, there would have been an en bloc purge of all personnel, from coaching to administration. Many fans will remember the wholesale clean-out and rebranding thereafter, to cauterise the rot in their football. The malaise was detected and taken care of. Do the administrators of Jamaican football have the same amount of testicular fortitude?

It would be foolhardy of Mr Burrell to absolve himself of his responsibility in this, and all the previous fiascos in Jamaica's football. The astute businessman that Capt Burrell is, he should know when to fold operations, because clearly he and his administration have lost the plot. Four coaches have changed under his tenure and things have remained the same.

He should also be well aware that, when stale bread sits on a shelf too long, it is very bad for business! Mr Burrell should by now accept that the sun has set on his usefulness to Jamaican football, as he has long passed his sell-by date.


The 12th Man