MUCH has gone wrong during the Reggae Boyz qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Hopefully, there will be frank and objective analysis by all concerned after the qualifiers come to an end.
In a sense, this newspaper believes the positive drug test for midfielder Mr Jermaine Hue typified a poorly thought-out and dismally executed campaign.
News broke on Thursday that Mr Hue must now serve a nine-month suspension from football, as dictated by the disciplinary committee of world football's governing body FIFA.
As is now public knowledge, Mr Hue — an unused reserve player during the June 11 game between Jamaica and Honduras — tested positive for dexamethasone, a substance on WADA's 2013 prohibited list.
The substance entered Mr Hue's body — unknown to him that it was a prohibited substance — by way of treatment administered by then national team physician Dr Carlton Fraser. The latter has been suspended by FIFA for four years.
Obviously, the team doctor has much to answer for. However, it seems to us that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) must also take a good look at itself.
For, available evidence suggests that the team doctor was not as aware or as sensitised to the dangers as he should have been. If that's indeed the case, the JFF must examine its employment principles and procedures. JFF President Captain Horace Burrell and his administration must also review the structures which should be in place to ensure that support staff, at all levels, are in tune with rapidly changing times and what's required of them.
Not just the JFF, but it would seem to us all sporting bodies should heed this most unfortunate episode. It underlines the need for a modern professionalised approach to sport management and administration to replace the amateurism which has served over many years. Otherwise, this mishap could easily be repeated with unaware support staff again leading national representatives into ambush.
This newspaper must also join in protesting the punishment meted out to Mr Hue. It seems absolutely clear that he was an innocent party.
We have wondered before about the stipulation that athletes must take responsibility for whatever enters their bodies. In this case, what was Mr Hue supposed to do? Was he supposed to question the competence of the team doctor?
Chairman of the JFF Medical Committee Dr Guyan Arscott tells us that he considers the punishment "excessive". We beg to disagree. We believe the punishment meted out to Mr Hue is totally misplaced and amounts to a gross violation of natural justice.
If it is, that by punishing Mr Hue for something entirely out of his hands, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee was simply following rules, then we submit that the rules need to be changed. We believe that all relevant stakeholders in football, here and abroad, should be pressing for change.
That apart, we believe the JFF has a responsibility, at the very least, to publicly apologise to Mr Hue and to provide appropriate redress. Even more crucially, the JFF needs to have the necessary systems and structures in place to protect players from the scandalous inefficiency and/or incompetence manifested here.