Suriname Stick The Boot Into Troubled Reggae Boyz

Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Confusion surrounds future of Jamaica interim head coach Paul Hall following dismal draw in Nations League

Paul Hall’s future with Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz is hanging by a thread after a WhatsApp voice message was made public following Saturday’s 1-1 draw in Suriname.

It has been rumoured that the London-based coach, who saw his side suffer a humiliating 6-0 drubbing to Catalonia last month, has resigned his position. However, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) have yet to confirm or deny this.

However, this WhatsApp voice message did reveal that it could be disillusioned players who have demanded that JFF general secretary Dalton Wint goes, with JFF president Michael Ricketts allegedly agreeing to this.

  

On the voice note an alleged unidentified player asked: “Mr President, we need fi hear it.”

A voice that sounded like the JFF president replied: “Wah you want hear?”

The alleged player added: So on behalf of the team, captain and vice-captain, we are asking Mr Wint to resign. That’s the only way we move forward. Can we get your word on that?”

The same voice that sounded like the JFF president responded: “I am saying I agree.”

Then the same alleged player said: “You agree as the president, okay?” The draw was a poor result for FIFA-ranked no.64 Jamaica who were expected to coast to victory.

Junior Flemming’s 39th-minute goal was cancelled out by an own goal from keeper Amal Knight with six minutes remaining at the Dr Ir Franklin Essed Stadion in Paramaribo.

There were returns to the starting line-up for US-based defender Kevon Lambert and Belgium-based midfielder Tyreek Magee, as Hall juggled his squad with five first-choice overseas-based players unavailable.

  

After gilt-edged chances at each end it was Flemmings who broke the deadlock against the run of play, turning Javain Brown’s low cross past keeper Warner Hahn from close range.

The Boyz absorbed the second-half onslaught until the closing stages, but then suffered. A telling corner saw a clash between the keeper and Kenroy Campbell result in the attempted clearance deflect off Knight’s hand, to painstakingly roll over the line for an equaliser.

To make matters worse Knight had only been thrown into the cauldron as a last-gasp replacement, after captain Andre Blake apparently picked up an injury during the warm-up.

Leon Bailey missed the opportunity to score a late winner, and must have been kicking himself after this League A group game. The midfield maestro was guilty throughout the tie of squandering goal-scoring chances.

The result meant that Hall had still only registered a single success since taking charge in December, with a comfortable win expected against the world-ranked no.141 side. Accordingly, reports emerged that the former Reggae Boy midfielder had resigned with immediate effect.

As well as the rumours of Hall’s resignation and the WhatsApp voice note, there was chaos and confusion over the Jamaica contingent returning to the Caribbean.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the Jamaican players were meant to share a charter flight with the Suriname national team back to Kingston after the match. However, it was alleged that the JFF failed to stump up with their share of the cost of the flight and left the players stranded.

The JFF confirmed that the Boyz left Suriname early today, and that the return match at Kingston’s National Stadium will indeed take place on Tuesday. The JFF’s media liaison officer Earle Bailey has advised that there will be a press release regarding the positions of Hall and Wint.

JAMAICA: Knight – Thomas (Campbell, 53), Brown, Lowe, King – Williams, Lambert, Bailey, Magee (Parris, 71) – Flemmings, Bygrave (Green 89). Subs: Blake, Chambers, Topey, Simpson, Chong.

  

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