Restored Whitmore axed from Reggae Boyz set-up

Saturday, April 21, 2018

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Despite being restored as head coach of Jamaica's senior football team, Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore will be left idle at home as the Reggae Boyz jet off to play two international friendlies against St Kitts and Nevis and Antigua on April 26 and 29, respectively.

Whitmore had tendered his resignation on Friday, April 6 out of frustration with the protracted delays for involved parties to agree on the terms of the contract, but withdrew same a week later after Minister of Sport Olivia Grange convened a meeting for the parties at her ministry.

However, during that one week period when Whitmore's tenure was up in the air, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Mike Ricketts had replaced Whitmore with Assistant Coach Jerome Waite and Donovan Duckie to lead the Reggae Boyz' two-game tour of the Eastern Caribbean.

But at the end of last Friday's meeting, a brief and ultimately inadequate press release from the Ministry of Sport simply stated that Whitmore had been restored as head coach, that the JFF had offered him a new contract, and that the parties had resolved the issues out in the press.

A week on and it seems another issue has arisen, as Whitmore was not listed to travel with the team which is slated to leave early next week.

“All that decision took place before Tappa had withdrawn his resignation. The arrangements had been done before,” Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“We could not have catered for Whitmore because we didn't know that he was going to withdraw his resignation, so we couldn't sit and wait during the arrangements,” he explained.

“The relationship with Tappa is fine. Everything is good. It's just that all the arrangements were made when he had resigned,” Ricketts reiterated.

The Reggae Boyz — comprising purely locally based players — are set to face St Kitts & Nevis on Thursday, April 26, and Antigua and Barbuda three days later. It is understood that some players will depart on Monday, while those involved in the Red Stripe Premier League final on Monday night will depart the island on Tuesday and might not get to St Kitts until Wednesday night.

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