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Tension in Saudi Arabia - Ravel Morrison lashes out at JFF while Reggae Boyz threaten match boycott

Published:Monday | November 9, 2020 | 12:11 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

Former Manchester United and West Ham player Ravel Morrison is displeased at what he and his agent, Daniel Wilson deem poor treatment from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) ahead of his expected debut against hosts Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The Gleaner understands that Wilson, Morrison’s agent, told Reggae Boyz team manager Roy Simpson in an email that the JFF had been disrespectful towards his client.

Wilson says Morrison was assured that he would travel business class to Saudi Arabia only to find that instead, he had been booked in economy class.

“Very disappointed to send this email to the Federation as a fellow Jamaican,” Wilson wrote. “Ravel has taken his seat on the plane, and it’s not business class as stated. It’s economy. It’s disrespectful to Ravel as he and myself have been told one thing, and it’s a lie.

“This is not how we travel as professional athletes, especially in the current times of COVID-19, and it’s disrespectful as you have given us information that the seat has been upgraded, which it wasn’t.”

Wilson said that if this is how the JFF intends to operate, Morrison would not return to play for Jamaica.

“I’m making myself clear at the start,” he said. “If this is how the federation acts, he won’t be returning to play for Jamaica.”

He requested that the JFF upgrade the player’s tickets for his return flight and that confirmation be sent to him.

“See that his return flight is upgraded, and I want the confirmation sent to me as now, I listen to no words from the JFF,” he said. “This is not how the start of him playing for Jamaica should be, on a negative.”

The Gleaner understands that JFF President Michael Ricketts, Vice-President Bruce Gaynor, and General Secretary Dalton Wint all travelled business class to Saudi Arabia.

A source close to the JFF told The Gleaner that there is also tension between players and the administration as the JFF is yet to respond to the players’ payment proposal, and the players are threatening not to take the field in Saudi Arabia if their demands are not met.

When contacted, Wint said he was unavailable for comment while calls to Simpson and Ricketts went unanswered.