The Star (Jamaica)
Girlz’s prep halted JFF promises resolution to Vin Blaine saga this week
Jamaica Football Federation ( JFF) president Michael Ricketts said they have paused all World Cup qualifying final-round preparations for the national senior women’s team until the coaching situation with Vin Blaine is resolved.
Preparations for the Reggae Girlz’s World Cup qualifying final-round tournament in Mexico in July have been derailed as reports surfaced that the players sent an 18-point letter to the JFF requesting the removal of Blaine five months into his tenure. The letter pointed to issues with coaching, communication, and organisation.
Blaine had indicated his intention to have at least two international friendlies and a training camp for the team before the start of the final round, with positive feedback from the federation.
“It is reasonable to say that those [plans] are on hold for a little bit until we can have some resolution as it relates to the coaching situation,” Ricketts told STAR Sports. “But we have to move urgently. Hopefully, by this week we will be in a position to make some formal announcement.”
Blaine pointed to “outside influences” who wanted him out of his position after his appointment in December following the suspension of Hubert Busby Jr, who is under investigation by FIFA for allegations of sexual misconduct in a previous coaching role. Blaine had previously indicated that he would make his decision on his future in a few weeks and that it could strain the player-coach relationship with the team aiming for back-to-back World Cup appearances.
The June international window (20-28) is the only available slot to have international games before the start of the final round on July 4.
With the uncertainty of Blaine’s future, former national senior women’s head coach Charles Edwards says that they cannot afford any delays in their preparations should Blaine not return to the programme.
“We don’t have three, four weeks,” Edwards said. “Whoever is going to be coming in new, needs to be in touch with the girls and need to start formulating what’s going on. This is not a round to take the chances that we took in the previous round. The JFF needs to get acting quickly.”