Jamaica to host regional Under-17 football champs

September 2nd, 2010

THE Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) received a huge boost yesterday when the sport’s regional governing body, CONCACAF, revealed the country’s successful bid to host next February’s regional Under-17 Championships.

The Championships will facilitate the qualification of four teams from the region for the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be staged in Mexico from June 18-July 10.

Last night, JFF president Captain Horace Burrell expressed pleasure with CONCACAF’s decision and said he was expecting the tournament to push the development of football in the western parishes.

“A short while ago (yesterday) CONCACAF confirmed that Jamaica is selected as the host country for the CONCACAF Under-17 Football qualifiers which will take place between February 12 and 28 next year. I am extremely pleased with this decision as it will certainly help to give a fillip to western football development which, in recent times, has been facing numerous challenges,” he said.

In early August, CONCACAF’s general secretary Ted Howard toured and inspected the newly built Catherine Hall facility, the Jarrett Park ground and the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium. Burrell said that the regional federation will shortly announce the two venues which will be used during the tournament.

Burrell insisted that the JFF will be trying its utmost best to prepare youngsters for this tournament to ensure Jamaica’s first qualification for an Under-17 World Cup since 1999 in New Zealand.

“We intend to go all out in preparing our Under-17 players for this very important tournament and will be giving our youngsters much needed international exposure which I’m sure will put them in good stead to qualify,” he said.

“Hosting of this 12-nation tournament in Jamaica means a lot, not only to the football fraternity but certainly to the tourism industry. The hotel, transportation and hospitality industries will benefit from this. We expect inflow from hosting this tournament of between J$70-100 million,” he added.

Participating countries for the qualifiers will include the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago.

The JFF has also announced the experienced Wendell Downswell as head coach of the team, while Omar Edwards will be his assistant. Downswell is currently coach of Digicel Premier League outfit Reno, while Edwards is the assistant at Boys’ Town.

Source:Jamaica Observer

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