Schäfer exit near, Brown tipped to take over
WITH VETERAN Jamaican coach Carl Brown in the wings, underfire Winfried Schäfer seems closer to the door, with general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Raymond Grant confirming to The Gleaner that discussions around a separation are currently underway with the German and his legal representative.
Schäfer is being represented by Queen’s Counsel K.D. Knight, and though no information was provided regarding the value of the customary severance package, it is widely believed that Schäfer’s contract with the JFF saw him taking home US$5,000 on a monthly basis.
“What I can confirm is that the Jamaica Football Federation is in discussion with Mr Schäfer and his legal representative, QC K.D. Knight, as it relates to a separation,” Grant told The Gleaner yesterday.
Grant pointed to the failed World Cup qualifying campaign, which saw the Reggae Boyz finishing last in their fourteam group at the semi-final stage, in an embarrassing show that saw the team winning just once, while scoring the least (two goals) and conceding the most (10) in their six games.
“After a failed campaign or programme, it is the responsibility of the JFF to review everything and see where we fell short, where we could have been better, what we need to do going forward, and things of this nature,” added Grant.
“The board of directors met yesterday (Wednesday) and discussed the situation and determined that it was best to move in another direction,” said Grant.
The administrator added that he does not
expect the negotiations with Schäfer to drag on for much longer.
“The spirit of the discussions have been good. There has been a clear understanding between both sides and based on this, we expect that the finalisation of the agreement should be near,” said Grant.
Schäfer’s tenure on Jamaica’s bench did have a few bright moments – particularly the team’s capture of the Caribbean Cup in 2014 and its run to the final of the Gold Cup in 2015, where they 3-1 Mexico.
Schäfer, lost to who has also coached African powerhouse Cameroon, took over from Theodore Whitmore in the middle of 2013 towards the back end of a failed 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. Meanwhile, Brown, who is said to be considering the prospect, is no stranger to the Jamaican head coaching job having led the national senior programme in three separate stints from 1990-1994, 2001-2004 and in 2006.
BRIGHT MOMENTS Winfried Schäfer