Whitmore back as head coach of Reggae Boyz

Sunday, April 15, 2018

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Theodore Whitmore has withdrawn his resignation and has been restored as head coach of Jamaica's senior football team, following mediation by Minister of Sports Olivia Grange on Friday.

According to a brief release from Grange's ministry Friday evening, Whitmore had withdrawn his resignation letter, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) had offered him a new contract, and all issues between the parties were settled.

“I'm very pleased with what transpired at today's meeting between myself, the JFF and the minister,” Whitmore said.

“Recently I tendered my resignation and I must tell the public that I'm here to withdraw it based on what transpired from today's meeting, and I'm looking forward to get back to doing what I love and that is coaching, and to make sure that the nation's football is priority and we move forward with myself and the federation and the ministry to make it a success,” he offered.

The meeting, held at the offices of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, was attended by representatives of the ministry, JFF and Whitmore.

For the minister, she was pleased to have brokered a deal between the parties.

“I'm very happy that I was able to sit at the table with the president of the JFF and his team along with representatives from my ministry as well as coach Whitmore, and we have been able to resolve the issues that have been out there in the press and I am confident that going forward that coach Whitmore and the JFF will have a much stronger and better relationship. We discussed the contract and all parties have come to an agreement...,” was all she was willing to divulge.

On Friday, April 6, Whitmore emailed his resignation to JFF president Michael Ricketts after months of protracted discussions over an improved salary package, among other concerns.

A few days later Ricketts, along with chairman of the finance committee, Peter Reid; chairman of the technical committee, Everton Tomlinson; chairman of the competitions committee Gregory Daley, as well as Vice-President Bruce Gaynor and General Secretary Dalton Wint attended a meeting where they agreed to offer Whitmore an opportunity to withdraw his resignation in order for them to convene a meeting to discuss the matter.

Minister Grange immediately intervened and offered to act as mediator.

“We had a real fulsome discussion, and I called 'Tappa' while the meeting was in progress and I asked of him if this is what he really wants to do, and his response was it was done out of frustration,” Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer at the time.

Thus, the proverbial 'ball' was put back in Whitmore's court, laying the foundation for Friday's meeting.

“Yes, we have met with the minister and the truth is that we are delighted with what transpired,” Ricketts said.

“The minister, of course the coach, myself and representatives from the JFF and from the minister's office met, and we would have settled whatever issues there are.

“I think we are ready to move on in the interest of football and certainly in developing the sport nationally. It was important that we met this afternoon. I want to say thanks to the minister for her role as mediator, so to speak, and, like I've said, we have, through her intervention, managed to have virtually settled whatever issues there are and we are now ready to move on,” Ricketts added.

None of the parties elaborated on the new salary package or the issues which were raised in Whitmore's resignation letter, and it was not made clear if Whitmore will now travel with the team to the eastern Caribbean later this month when they face St Kitts and Nevis as well as Antigua and Barbuda.

The JFF had taken a decision to replace Whitmore with Jerome Waite and Donovan Duckie for those games.

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