Jamaica’s three-match tour to Japan has been reduced following a mix-up over COVID-19 tests.
The Reggae Boyz, who were due to tackle Japan tomorrow (3 June) and Serbia four days later, are now only scheduled to face Serbia on Saturday (June 5) and the Japan Olympic U23 side on 12 June.
The Japan Olympic team have been drafted in as Jamaica’s substitute to play Japan behind closed doors at Sapporo on 4 June.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) announced the cancellation of the international friendly, citing the fact that some of Jamaica’s squad were unable to travel to Japan.
Many Europe-based players were prevented from boarding their scheduled flight at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport last Sunday, as their negative test certificates were rejected by their airline.
Those refused to board the plane had been tested using nasal and mouth swabs. But Japan, which is suffering a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, has strict requirements and only permits in-bound passengers to submit results from tests conducted using either nasal swabs or saliva.
There had been no problem with the North American- and island-based Jamaica contingent departing from Dallas in the United States. They were all able to fly to Tokyo as they had undertaken the correct PCR test under guidelines issued by the JFA.
The Japanese government and the JFA had special treatment for players participating in international fixtures, which meant that the usual two-week quarantine period required for arrivals in Japan was not required. That is subject to a negative test for COVID-19 before their flights and further tests for three days once landed
Jamaica’s squad would therefore have had to land in Japan by Monday night in order to be further tested on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
It is understood that the JFA had considered arranging a charter flight to get the rest of the Jamaica squad in Japan. But because of the government’s regulations this idea was shelved and the JFA had no alternative but to call off their match against the Boyz.
Jamaica, who were beaten 1-0 in their previous visit to Japan seven years ago, will send their Europe-based players to London for further COVID-19 tests and – all being well – they will board a flight to Tokyo to face the Japan Olympic side at the Toyota Stadium in Aichi Prefecture.
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