KINGSTON – Jamaica Football Federation boss, Captain Horace Burrell, has made it clear that overseas players yet to accept the federation’s invitation to represent the nation will not be welcome should the team qualify for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Burrell, along with Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore and his assistant Alfredo Montesso, recently returned from a United Kingdom recruiting mission, which will see eight new players added to the national programme, in an attempt to bolster Jamaica’s chances of qualification ahead of next year’s CONCACAF final round.
The general consensus is, however, that the JFF failed to land several top targets on its wish list.
In addition to missing out on talented Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling, who is set to continue representing England, names like Queens Park Rangers’ Junior Hoilett and the Swansea pair of Nathan Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman from the English Premier League were among those being bandied about.
However, several of those players, while not outrightly refusing to join up with the Jamaica squad, have made it clear that they have no immediate intention of doing so.
According to Burrell, in the case of Dyer it was made clear, by his agent, that the player would not be available until July of next year, six games into the team’s final round of matches.
“What I can tell you is that those players who we have invited now and they have asked for more time, they are not going to be invited if we qualify for the World Cup,” Burrell said.
“It would not be fair to those who have worked so hard to help us to qualify; we will not remove those players for players who could not come at the time,” he added.
“It makes no sense inviting a player to come here if he has no real interest.”
Initially approached to join the national squad a few months ago, Leicester City’s Jermaine Beckford and Reading’s Jobi McAnuff, who already has one cap for Jamaica, along with Hoilett, all asked for more time to consider the decision.
Beckford and McAnuff were among the players who recently accepted the invitation to join the team, but on their most recent visit Hoilett again asked the JFF for more time.
Despite recently expressing an interest to play for the England national team, the 24-year-old is currently eligible to play for Jamaica and Canada at the international level.
Other players taking up the JFF on its offer were Germany-born Daniel Gordon, Garath McCleary (Reading), Lloyd Doyley (Watford), James Vaughan (Huddersfield), Marvin Bartley and Theo Robinson, a 23-year-old striker, who plays for Championship side Derby County.