JFF ready to welcome ‘discarded’ Greenwood if he decides on Boyz plunge

In this file photo taken on April 29, 2021, Manchester United’s English striker Mason Greenwood celebrates after scoring their sixth goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final, first-leg football match against Roma at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England. (Photo: AFP)

WHILE many doors might be closing on him in Europe, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), through a top official, says it will welcome English striker Mason Greenwood in the national senior team set-up if he decides to play for Jamaica.

Greenwood, who qualifies for Jamaica via his parents, was last Thursday acquitted by a Crown Prosecution Service which said that three criminal charges would no longer be pursued after key witnesses had withdrawn cooperation and new material came to light.

The 21-year-old Greenwood had been suspended by his club Manchester United since the allegations surfaced in January 2022. He was charged with one count of attempted rape, a count of assault and repeatedly engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour. He had been set to face trial in November of this year.

However, despite his acquittal, there are reports in England that Greenwood, who has one international cap for the Three Lions, will not be considered for selection by the English Gareth Southgate in the future.

The JFF has made several attempts to try and convince Greenwood to play for the Reggae Boyz team, which he has reportedly turned down.

However, JFF General Secretary Dennis Chung said the federation will welcome Greenwood to the national team because he is a high-quality player.

"I don't think we will rule him out, but that is a decision that the coach will have to make. If the coach picks him then he [would] be welcomed by us," said Chung.

"He is an excellent player but all of that is up to the coach; and if the coach thinks that he should be picked, then it is up to the coach. He is only 21 and so he has a very bright future ahead of him and I think he will add value to any team that he is on," he said.

Chung says the acquittal puts a new spin on the player's situation.

"He has been acquitted by the court, and so if he has been acquitted by the court then that is saying that he is not guilty, and so I think that it would be up to the coaches to decide that [whether to select him]."

Meanwhile, Manchester United in statement said that the club will now conduct its own process before determining the next steps regarding Greenwood's future.

"We will not make any further comment until that process is complete," the statement said.

Greenwood has scored 22 goals in 83 matches for Manchester United since making his debut in 2018.

CHUNG...I don't think we will rule him out, but that is a decision that the coach will have to make (Photo: Observer file)
BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter robertb@jamaicaobserver.com

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