Pass mark for Michael Ricketts-led team
I have used the following categories to objectively assess Michael Ricketts’s performance during his tenure as president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in light of the wanton criticism of his stewardship from some quarters.
The categories scrutinised were:
• Integrity of the president
• Financial astuteness of the organisation
• Current ranking of the national men’s football team
• Current ranking of the women’s national football team
• Staff moral/turnover
• Ability of the organisation to attract sponsorship/trustworthiness
• Degree to which Fifa’s rules/statutes are observed
• Degree to which the assets of the federation are maintained
• Degree of participation in Fifa’s international youth football tournament
• Number of coaches certified
• Structure of local football and clubs
• Degree of youth football development
• Maintenance of the match-size artificial turf football field located at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence
I certainly would not hesitate to give a pass mark to the stewardship of the Ricketts-led team for most of the categories highlighted. The achievements which stood out were:
1) The posting of JFF’s audited financial statement for 2022 at the most recent congress
2) The improved ranking of the national men’s team
3) The women’s national team’s back-to-back qualification for the World Cup
4) The introduction of professional football to Jamaica
5) The high number of certified local coaches
6) The men’s national team qualification for the Gold Cup
7) The historic victory over Canada in Canada — some say it’s the greatest in Jamaica’s football history
8) The commissioning of the artificial turf football field at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence
Any critical thinker would applaud the Ricketts-led team after closely examining the above facts; therefore, I cannot understand why Raymond Anderson and his team saw it fit to challenge the incumbent president for office at this time.
Our rallying call should be to the political leadership of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean (Caricom) to treat the game of football as an industry, a vehicle for economic development. It should not have been a call for divisiveness among the cadre of football administrators in Jamaica which is being played out at the moment.
It is certainly not too late for opposing forces to abort this challenge of the JFF president and work hand in hand to build on the achievements under his leadership.
Let football be the winner in all our actions.
Dalgalish Henry Sr