Tue | Jun 15, 2021

Tappa was key

Coach's role highlighted in settlement of dispute between JFF and players

Published:Sunday | April 11, 2021 | 12:07 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Whitmore
Whitmore

Reggae Boyz defender Damion Lowe credited head coach, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, for helping to bring an end to the impasse between the players and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) hierarchy in their contract negotiations.

"Over the past week, we have spoken with Coach Whitmore and decided that the best way forward is to go ahead with the latest contract terms offered by the JFF so that Jamaica can begin preparations and field the best possible team for the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers," Lowe said on his official Instagram account.

He continued that the negotiation process was valuable in that it opened channels of communication with the JFF, and added that the team will work hard to continue improving the nation's international stature and ranking.

"We are committed to ensuring that Jamaica continues to perform well and improve on our FIFA rankings, which now stands at 45," he commented.

According to our information, the agreement will see the players take home US$2,000 ($295,102) appearance fee for a World Cup qualifier, plus a US$2,000 bonus for a win, US$1,000 ($147,551) for a draw and US$100 ($14,755) per diem.

They will get a US$1,000 appearance fee for the Gold Cup and a bonus of US$1,000 for a win and US$500 ($73,775) for a draw, against teams below top-five ranking, and US$750 ($110,663) for top-five ranked teams.

For the Nations League, players will get US$500 for appearance and a US$500 bonus for a win. However, if the match is against a top-five ranked team, the players will earn US$1,000 for appearance fee.

The appearance fee for international friendlies will be US$1,000.

The players will also receive 20 per cent of any prize money from the FIFA World Cup, Concacaf Gold Cup or Nations League.

However, the players had always insisted that remuneration was not their only priority, as critical matters relating to administrative governance and player welfare were also important elements of the discussions.

The deal, which is expected to be signed officially some time this week, will ensure the players have the physio and equipment manager they demanded, as well as details of how the federation's corporate governance structure operates, with coordinated travel arrangements standard to teams playing at the international level also put in writing.

The JFF also agreed to equally share image rights with players on an individual basis, based on kits sold with their names.

The contract will be valid for two and a half years, to coincide with the end of Michael Ricketts' term as president, and will cover two Gold Cup tournaments, the present World Cup qualifier campaign, friendly matches and a Nation League tournament.

According to a joint release from the JFF and the players, both parties are pleased to come to a settlement.

"The agreement signals the level of effort and commitment by everyone involved to realign football administration and standards in keeping with emerging international benchmarks," the release read.

The agreement also put to rest the obvious tensions that had been building between both parties, and it delighted the two sides that they finally put the issue to bed.

"Now everyone can concentrate on the most important element, Jamaica’s football. I look forward to every single individual working passionately to improve themselves and the team as we try to qualify for Qatar 2022,” Ricketts commented in the release.

The Boyz next scheduled assignment is the group stage of the Gold Cup, which gets under way in July.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com