'Foreign Tings Betta' mentality
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Private-sector players often talk about buying Jamaican. One of the most outspoken and respected members of the private sector, who talks about and promotes the 'Buy Jamaican' motto every chance he gets, is Aubyn Hill. However, despite the calls from him and other private-sector players to adopt this patriotic and economically beneficial practice, the 'Foreign Tings Betta' (FTB) mentality still reigns supreme in Jamaica. World Cup fever has overtaken Jamaica, so it's an appropriate time to talk about this FTB concept. Jamaica has, thus far, at various times, 'imported' and contracted a slew of foreign coaches/technical directors to manage/train/guide Jamaica's national football team, the Reggae Boyz. Yet, so many qualified, gifted and hard-working Jamaican coaches - who have a strong track record of success at the Premier League and/or high-school level - get sidelined in favour of a foreign coach/technical director, including Geoffrey Maxwell, Neville 'Bertis' Bell, Admiral Bailey, etc.
There has been talk that private-sector sponsors will not come on board, at least not in big numbers and with big cheques, if a local technical director/coach is chosen by the JFF to lead/manage the Reggae Boyz. Why is this so? Why does the 'FTB' mentality still hold such a prized position in the mentality of private-sector players, many of whom want Jamaicans to buy Jamaican? Last, thus far, only one foreign coach, Rene Simoes, has been successful in leading Jamaica to a World Cup. It's time for the JFF and the private sector to issue the 'FTB' mentality a 'red card' and substitute it with an 'A Jamaican coach can lead the Reggae Boyz to the World Cup' mentality!
Patrick A. Gallimore