JFF welcomes additional matches
Dalton Wint, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), said the association is delighted with FIFA’s decision to extend international match windows to allow for three matches, pointing to increase qualification and earning opportunities for the team and association.
FIFA said in a statement that the changes result from the number of matches that have been postponed or rescheduled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It will increase our chances of qualifying because we will have more games to do and it is one more extra game at home to engage our fans and to ensure that they give maximum support to the team,” said Wint.
The new changes will see all Concacaf teams playing three matches in September 2021, October 2021, January 2022, and March 2022 windows, instead of two.
These matches will decide Concacaf’s three spots to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while the fourth-placed team will enter a play-off in June 2022 for another spot.
These new dates will replace the Octagon match dates in June 2021 that were postponed at the beginning of Round One of World Cup qualifying in September due to the pandemic. The June 2021 window will be used to determine the final three teams that will join Jamaica, US, Costa Rica, Mexico and Honduras in the final round of qualification.
“Based on the fact that we are still in a pandemic, I am not sure about the increase in revenue, but if we get a chance to have patrons back in the stadium, then there will be an opportunity to make more money,” Wint admitted.
The administrator further underscored that with the increase of matches, the players will now have more games to expose their talents on the international stage.
“More games are always better because the more you play, then the more you will get better at what you are doing, and so I am sure that the players are going to be very happy about this,” he said, before sharing that the federation will be meeting shortly with its technical committee to discuss the way forward.
“This is something that we will have to sit down and discuss with our technical department, about the changes that have taken place in Concacaf, because it is very important that we do so as a federation,” Wint reasoned.