The Star (Jamaica)

Girlz’s prep halted JFF promises resolution to Vin Blaine saga this week

- DANIEL WHEELER Staff Reporter

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.”

 ?? FILE GLADSTONE TAYLOR ?? Reggae Girlz head coach Vin Blaine
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz
FILE GLADSTONE TAYLOR Reggae Girlz head coach Vin Blaine Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz
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