Burrell says Boyz’ success will boost FIFA ranking, bargaining power

A beaming Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Captain Horace Burrell, clutching a glass of celebratory liquid late Tuesday night outside the hospitality tent at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, is envisioning a bright future for the national senior men’s programme.

Qualification to the CONCACAF Gold Cup next year and the prestigious Copa America Centennial Cup in 2106, both in the United States, as well as Copa American next year to be hosted by Chile, are in the bag, but Burrell wants more.

“What happened tonight (Tuesday) would have given us the fillip with respect to getting better international games, and I know that there were some teams waiting on this result to pencil in Jamaica on their list of teams to play in friendly internationals,” he said.

The next FIFA period, Burrell noted, was in March next year and already he was looking ahead. “I am almost assured that we will be playing a huge game in March,” he said.

Burrell said the Caribbean Cup puts the JFF in a stronger position to bargain for games, rather than having to settle for peanuts.

“We will now be able to refuse games (as) we can call the shots,” the former army man said. “When you are not doing well you have no clout and no bargaining power and we now have that,” he boasted.

On the back of two wins and several losses since Winfried Schaefer took over as head coach, Jamaica dropped like a stone in the FIFA rankings to the present 113th, but Burrell is looking for an equal movement in the opposite direction after beating teams ranked much higher, including Trinidad at 49 and Antigua in the low 70s.

“One of the things I am looking forward to seeing is a huge upward movement in the FIFA rankings, and with a little luck, we could be the best mover of the year having come back from such a low rankings and won this tournament,” said Burrell, who is also a CONCACAF vice-president.

“Based on how the ratings operate, when you play competitive games the points count more and one can expect a big move upwards,” he explained.


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