Sluggish ticket sales thwart Boyz, Kenya game
A proposed friendly international between Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz and Kenya slated for Connecticut on Saturday has been cancelled.
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in a statement issued yesterday said the promoter of the event cited sluggish ticket sales for the 40,000-capacity Rentschler field located in the state capital of Hartford.
"The promoter of the match, Swen Labels International, has advised that the match is being cancelled because of poor ticket sales," said a two-paragraph release from the JFF.
It is said sufficient tickets have not been sold to cover stadium and other expenses and based on the pace of sales and response from the buying public, there is little hope of a timely turnaround in fortunes.
Meanwhile, in an Associated Press (AP) report, Samuel Sampson, a spokesman for Singapore-based promoter Ricky Swen and his company, Swen Labels International, says only 120 tickets were sold for the match.
It's the second time this summer Swen has cancelled a friendly at the stadium. A planned July 28 match between Liberia and Jamaica was called off after Swen failed to secure agreements from both teams and the US Soccer Federation, the AP report added.
Kenya, it was said, were brought in as a replacement and the match rescheduled.
Sampson says his group is still talking to both teams to see if they can reschedule the match for another date.
The match — which was to be played outside of the official FIFA calendar — was deemed to be significant in Jamaica's overall technical programme and would have provided a mostly local-based team the opportunity to strut their stuff in an "overseas environment".
Over a week a go, JFF boss Captain Horace Burrell underlined the importance of the match, claiming it would have also given the coaching staff another opportunity to assess emerging talent.
"Every international game is important as it keeps the wheels of the technical programme turning. This match, in particular, will give our local players a chance to showcase their skills, plus the coaching staff will have an opportunity to look at them in an overseas environment," Burrell said then.
The game was to closely follow last Wednesday's friendly against EL Salvador at the RKF Stadium in Washington, where the Reggae Boyz came out 2-0 winners, paced by a well-taken brace from Luton Shelton.