Ricketts says he’s prepared to walk away from JFF top job | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

The under-pressure president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts, says he never intended to be JFF president for life and is prepared to walk away from the job “if and when that time comes”.

Ricketts made the comment Tuesday morning while speaking on Nationwide Radio.

He was responding to questions about calls for his own resignation after his embattled general secretary Dalton Wint was forced to resign on Monday following an ultimatum served by the Reggae Boyz who indicated an unwillingness to play if Wint was not replaced.

The demand for Wint’s head followed Saturday’s Concacaf Nations League match between the Jamaica and Suriname which ended 1-1. Following the game, the Boyz were left stranded in Suriname overnight after it became clear that flight arrangements back to Kingston had broken down.

The Boyz failed to hitch a ride on the charter flight booked by the Suriname national team for their return leg match with the Jamaicans at the National Stadium Tuesday evening, because the administration failed to come up with its portion of the cost to book the flight. As a result, the team did not arrive in Kingston until 7:15 Monday morning. Left embarrassed, the Boyz threatened not to take the field if Wint did not resign, citing incompetence on his part among other things.

But, while he accepted Wint’s resignation and while hinting that he is prepared to walk, Ricketts sought to shed light on what has been bedeviling his administration.

“I know that I’ve given my best. I know that this JFF would have done a lot of things that previous JFF administrations have not done,” said Ricketts.

He then explained that each time there has been a fallout like the current one, it can be tied to travel. “Nobody seems to understand the challenges we face in travelling,” he stated.

The JFF boss explained further that the problem has been exacerbated over the past two years as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said has wreaked havoc as travellers attempted to move around the world.

“We have players from all over the globe (and) I have had to sleep in airports. I have gone to FIFA Congress and when I got to the airport the flight was cancelled, I had to sleep at the airport,” said Ricketts. He said he was forced to make arrangements for the following day to travel home to Jamaica.

“So it is not unique to us, these are challenges that have been brought on by COVID”.

Meanwhile, Ricketts also addressed reports that Reggae Boyz head coach Paul Hall had also tendered his resignation.

“Paul tendered his resignation in solidarity with the players…I’ve had a number of discussions with Paul, maybe three or four times and Paul is saying that he is in support of the players so let us see what will happen when we are able to resolve the conflict with the players, what Paul’s stance will be”.

In the meantime, Ricketts said that while Wint was dedicated to the job, “I don’t think he would have learnt as quickly I would have liked but he was strident, he was loyal, he was committed to what he was doing”.

He admitted that there very well could have been some shortcomings, which Wint would not have addressed with the level of urgency that he would have liked.

And Ricketts also addressed the issue of players serving ultimatums on administrators while noting that the players had cited incompetence on the part of the general secretary and he even stated that there may have been a strained relationship “maybe justified, maybe not justified”.

The Reggae Girlz who are preparing for crucial World Cup Qualifiers beginning July 4, also served an ultimatum on the JFF, which resulted in last month’s resignation of head coach Vin Blaine after the administration had confirmed him in the job.

“It is indeed unfortunate that players (are) making demands on staff and virtually giving mandates that staff members must go,” said Ricketts while noting that Wint decided to walk in the interest of the sport, the players and the country.

Ricketts apologised to the players and the country for what he described as “some of these unfortunate events”.