Welcome, Sepp… Blatter arrives for whirlwind 24-hour visit

September 27th, 2010

Hours after touching down for his third visit to Jamaica, president of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) Joseph Sepp Blatter, was at Jamaica House handing out awards to 10 stalwarts of Jamaica’s football development at a lavish ceremony, hosted in his honour by Sports Minister Olivia Grange.

It was the first major assignment of his whirlwind 24-hour stop on the island.Blatter, the most powerful man in world football, will this morning join a group of other dignitaries on the campus of the University of the West Indies, Mona, where ground will be broken for construction of Phase Two of the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) Technical Centre. The highly anticipated facility is being constructed through funds disbursed under FIFA’s Goal Project.

Phase Two will be completed at a cost of US$400,000 and will feature additional playing fields, office space, dormitories, physiotherapy facilities, gyms and parking lots.

Jff board address

The FIFA boss was also scheduled to address the JFF Board of Directors at 4 p.m. yesterday, but today’s ground-breaking exercise will be seen by many as another solid step towards the ambitions of the Captain Horace Burrell-led JFF administration to finally set up a football academy for Jamaican and regional talent.

Those awarded at last night’s function were former prime minister and current chairman of the Premier League Clubs’ Association, Edward Seaga; former prime minister PJ Patterson; former St Catherine FA president for 42 years, Lincoln ‘Happy’ Sutherland; former national footballer and coach, Allan ‘Skill’ Cole; coach of Seba United, Weston King; football administrator and coach John Green; former president of KSAFA and former vice-president of the JFF, David ‘Billy’ Marston; former general secretary of KSAFA and the JFF, Russell Bell; former Trelawny FC president, Neville Glanville; and JFF administrator and Santos coach, Carlton Dennis.

President of the Confederation of the North, Central American and Caribbean Football Federations (CONCACAF) Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, who also arrived in the island yesterday and who is now a government minister in Trinidad and Tobago, was also present to hand out several awards.


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