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Jamaica's Chance of Remaking it back to the world cup


Permalink 02:03:55 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Commentary

Jamaica's Chance of Remaking it back to the world cup

All the excitement of the world cup has certainly taken over much of the world, I mean even Americans who dont normally like the sport have jumped on the world cup wagon and started to express their appreciation of football (yes its football, not soccer). I guess it was bound to happen eventually, football is after all the one sport of the world. Next to athletics there is really no other sport that is more played everywhere around the world. Jamaica has always had somewhat of a football culture, a culture that peaked around 1998 when we managed to be the first english speaking caribbean island to qualify for the prestigious world cup. We have also produced alot of world class footballers including our current team captain Ricardo Gardner (currently playing for English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers), Ricardo Fuller (Stoke City former EPL team), Luton Shelton and countless other Major League Soccer stars. When you combine all of this together one has to question why it is that we have not been able to qualify for the world cup (or even reach the final CONCACAF qualifying round for that matter), since our triumph in '98, Jamaica has certainly fallen from glory.

Falling reggae boy**Taken from JFF website

I have been pondering the question for a while, the question being what is it that these other countries... - Brazil, Spain, Argentina, France, etc., - Have over Jamaica in terms of football why it is that they are constantly performing at the top level and play in almost every single world cup (or in Brazil's case every world cup). It certainly isn't passion... ok to an extent it isn't passion, I mean after all there are very few countries that have the passion of places like Brazil, and England in their love of football where it becomes basically a religion. I mean in these countries people riot, cry, and even commit suicide (see 1950 world cup where Brazil lost 2-1 to Uruguay) over their football... Chances are that will not happen in Jamaica. However we are more passionate than the alot of countries that are now football giants such as the USA, but still nothing.

I've also heard the argument that money is the problem, yet again I have to disagree with that. After all we did manage to qualify in '98 with a budget that is less than it is now (anybody remember the Bora Milotinovic saga... 1 million dollars a week?), and I'm pretty sure that we are spending a decent amount of money on our football, especially since we are building a football academy and have sponsorship at levels greater than even our successful teams such as our netball team. So its obvious its not a monetary problem. I will disagree that its a matter of coaching staff as well... to an extent. I say this because in the 2nd coming of Simoes to our coaching staff, there were some obvious mistakes made by the man and he clearly did not bring our strongest team to qualify, that goes without question. However our current coach Theodore Whitmore (also a past member of the '98 world cup team) has shown the creativity and knowledge necessary to bring forth excellent performances out of our national team, so its not a coaching issue either.

So what is it?

My simple answer is that Jamaica's footballers lack the necessary discipline and professionalism to return to our previous levels of success. This is something that needs to be changed not just at the national team level, but from as low as kindergarten and primary school level. Jamaicans typically look at football as a showing of skill and as a sport for fun, unlike our counterparts everywhere else that look at football as a profession, and a means to make a living. Even our local clubs perpetuate this idea where the majority of our footballers only play football as a by the way kind of sport. I think in order to build a Jamaican football team that can put forward consistent, world class performances we need to build up this discipline.

Another thing that needs to change is our love of skilled plays. This love of wicked moves and twisting up our opponent's legs is a love that will not necessarily make us better footballers overall, after all the teams that were once minnows to us (such as the US and Japan) can right now beat us handedly without so much as a single step-over, or pile. It is because of these simple problems that we have that I hope that programs such as our partnership with F.C. Valencia will help to build up our young footballers and make even better future footballers out of us so our talent will be more better applied. Can Jamaica make it back to the world cup? I say yes, but not without advancing the sport at all levels and advancing the mentality of the players as well.

We no longer need to allow the rest of the football world to advance to levels above where we currently are. We need to do like all of those countries have done and realize our problems and come to reasonable solutions to them.

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."


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