KANSAS CITY, Kansas — JFF president Captain Horace Burrell could hardly hide his disappointment that the Reggae Boyz had finally reached the end of the road in the quest for Brazil 2014.
Not that it wasn't expected based on the results leading up to Friday evening's match against the USA at Sporting Park. But still the reality of it was not easy to swallow for not only the football boss, but the players.
The USA won the game 2-0.
"I am very disappointed, but I guess we now have to do a post-mortem after a campaign like this... the general feeling out there is that we had the quality players who could do it, but again that's football," Burrell told Jamaican journalists at the Marriott hotel in Overland Park after the game.
Captain Burrell said he expects with the end of the USA match, the blame game will now kick off. But he said while mistakes have been made along the way, there was no need to keep looking behind.
"I think honestly we could have done better with the qualifying series... I believe that inexperience played a major role in the current situation that we are in, but this is not a time to blame anyone. Right now I am not prepared to look back, but to look forward... I am now prepared to select an administrative grouping that will be capable of assisting us in moving forward," said the CONCACAF vice-president.
"While it's the end of the road in this campaign, it's the continuation of our programme. I think we have a foundation from which to start building for the next campaign and also for the continuance of our programmes," Burrell said.
He revealed that as a first move, the JFF intends to tie the services of coach Winfried Schafer over the long term, as the German's four-month contract is scheduled to be up at the end of November.
"One of the first things I would like to do going forward is to sign coach Schafer and to start afresh. What I can tell you is that we will be working around the clock in the coming days to look at the back-up staff and also trying to keep coach Schafer... he has already expressed an interest and I know that there are other countries trying to get him and I only hope that he will not have a change of heart," Burrell noted.
With the World Cup campaign up in flames and lean times ahead, it is being wondered where the funds will come from to pay the German, should he and the JFF arrive at a deal.
"I have been talking with a number of sponsors who have expressed an interest and willingness to assist with the payment of coach Schafer's salary. At this time when the chips are down people will not willingly come forward, but we have to be strong and believe in what we are doing," Burrell said.
Looking to the Boyz's curtain performance against Honduras at the National Stadium on Tuesday, Burrell argue that contrary to what some people may think, he thinks the Boyz will come with a high-spirited performance, a victory even.
"We have to go into Tuesday's game positive, and I expect the players to perform at their best because they are professionals and certainly we should do well," he said.
Responding to the question of whether or not the JFF would consider dedicating the final home game to Jamaican fans at the National Stadium by making it free to attend, he said,
"I do not take decisions on my own, so I will have to consult with my executive committee and look at the upcoming game to see if there are any initiatives that the committee might have, and if after that meeting, an initiative evolves, then certainly we will put that in place, but as it is right now, I do not have any plans as it relates to any changes for the next game," Burrell ended.