first_imgThere were two very contrasting football results over the past weekend. Two matches were played at the National Stadium, one on Friday November 13 and the other the following Saturday. Both matches drew impressive crowd numbers and the results were a textbook study of contrasts. The match on Friday was a World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) encounter, the first of the second stage of the competition. The team selected had previously done very well in international competition, doing well against some of the top teams in the world, then moving on to the Gold Cup in North America, where we finished as the runners-up to Mexico. Of significance during those glory days of satisfactory results were reports of discontent among the players and the hierarchy of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), and in particular its smooth-talking President for life, Captain Horace Burrell. We did get reports of meetings just before important games of some players threatening to strike if promised payments and conditions were not met. Practices were abandoned, sponsorship agreements either postponed or reluctantly attended and an air of discontent could not be hidden from visual reports of the team on tour. However, after showing the Jamaican fans, and indeed the world, that at long last Jamaica’s football demanded respect, what seems to be the real motive of the players emerged. They do not perform for the love of representing their country. They perform for (a) the monetary reward and (b) to show their skills on an international stage, thus improving their chances of improved football contracts. Thus we had them abandoning the team in important matches for ‘personal reasons’, which ranged from ‘being with family’ to ‘going for a visa interview’. Thus Jamaica lost matches, tumbled down the international rankings, and came to being minutes away from failing to move to the present stage of WCQ. Assembled in Jamaica for a crucial home match against tough rivals Panama, the same old attitude and thought process reigned supreme. Then instead of levelling with an anxious public about the truth behind a delayed practice at ‘The Office’, our arrogant leader of Jamaica’s football behaves as if a reporter’s questions re the protracted meeting at the training venue, where shouts were heard coming from the meeting room, constituted an “annoyance”. The result was a display of the worst football seen at ‘The Office’ by a Jamaican team in years. Incompetence and plain “don’t care” seemed to be the order of the day. Thus: Panama 2 Jamaica 0. So it is on to Haiti, with again one of our key players not on the trip for ‘personal reasons’. The Reggae Boyz, when focused and ready, have the skills to bounce back and still qualify for the World Cup Finals in 2018. But the question to be answered is this: How long will the public be prepared to put up with repeated displays of disrespect from players and, President while hoping against hope that we will qualify for Russia? FLOW Super Cup On Saturday, November 14, at the same venue of the previous night’s debacle, the final of the FLOW Super Cup was played between St George’s College (StGC) and Jamaica College (JC). This time, the match was played by members of two teams (schoolboys) who gave their all for coach and school. Fans were treated to a match of such quality that spectators watched open mouth, in awe as StGC displayed skills that drew comparison to the great Barcelona! Well done, StGC! This display re-emphasises the point that our own local footballers, if given the chance, coaching, and exposure, can be groomed and trained to be a force to be reckoned with in global football If those in administration with the ability to think outside of their own financial well-being could identify a squad of young local ballers and keep them together in a year-long training and playing group, then we can qualify for another senior World Cup Finals. The present “formula” has consistently failed and will fail again, until we give our home-grown talent a chance. It can be done; however, not with the present hierarchy of the JFF. They have shown, time and time again, that as long as they are rewarded with trips and cash, nothing will change. We the football fans of Jamaica deserve better.last_img read more

first_imgThe five persons who were arrested in connection with the horrendous murder of prominent rice farmers Bibi and Mohammed Munir will be further detained by Police for questioning as the probe into the matter intensifies.On Thursday, investigators were granted a 72-hour extension to the legal 72-hour detention period.Bibi Munir, 70, and her husband, Mohammed, 77, of Lot 16 Good Hope, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), were burnt to death after bandits set their house on fire following a suspected botched robbery on April 17.Reports indicate that among those arrested are the late couple’s handyman and Winston Sherlock, called “Quarters”, who was wanted for the abduction of Windsor Forest businessman Tazim Gafoor.Accompanied by his Attorney, Sherlock turned himself in to the Leonora Police Station on Tuesday.Eyewitnesses recounted that on the night of the incident which occurred around 23:00h, numerous gunshots were heard.Upon investigation, residents realised that the house was being rapidly consumed by the blazing fire and the couple, trapped inside the grilled room that they had locked themselves into when the bandits had invaded their home, were desperately screaming for help.However, neighbours were too late to render assistance.last_img read more

first_imgMr. Charles ‘Chucky’ Taylor, Jr., the convicted son of former President Charles Ghangay McArthur Taylor, has told Liberians, “I am sorry if I have done anything to offend anyone.  I apologize if I have at any point in time created the perception that what has been said about me is true, I apologize.”Speaking for the first time since his incarceration in 2008 within the thick walls of the United States Penitentiary (USP) Big Sandy, located in Inez, Kentucky, Mr. Taylor Jr, who introduced himself as “Charles Taylor, Jr., otherwise known as ‘Chucky’”,  on the Al Jerome Chede TMZ’s online talkshow: “Issues in the Press Reloaded,” said, “And this interview, I wanted to use as an opportunity as well, to first clearly apologize to my mother, my father whom I would say three words to: ‘Now I understand.’ To my children, my son Charles, my daughter Jordan, my son Darren Taylor, who’s in Liberia right now; my brothers and my sisters; my fellow partisans, my comrades and fellow Liberian citizens: I am sorry if I have done anything to offend anyone.  I apologize if I have at any point in time created the perception that what has been said about me is true, I apologize.”Mr. Taylor Jr, who said he prefers not to be called “Chucky” again, stated that by apologizing, “has been an exercise of humbleness and I am thankful to have been placed in this environment. What may surprise many is that I have transcended the suffering and I have found wisdom within it. But more importantly, it has stressed the need to be humble.  To say sorry is a sign of strength, this is not a weakness.”Chucky, who is jailed for 97 years in that Kentucky Federal Penitentiary for only male convicts furthered: “To have compassion is a projection of strength and it is an exercise that I will continue to fully engulf myself in.  So as I say again: to my family, to my children, to my partisans, comrades and Liberian citizens, I am sorry for all that I have done or they have perceived that I have done. But it is now time for me to reclaim my name, not only for my children but for those who know me well, which are a very small number.”Chucky, a US citizen, is being jailed for rape, torture and crimes committed by him and other acting on his orders on a ‘foreign soil,’ which is against US laws for any of its citizens to do.However, in the 15-minute interview, he stated that he’s being “unlawfully” detained and that his conviction is “illegal.”Chucky: “Let me be pristinely clear about the allegations that I’m making and will be making in the months to come.  I’m stating that Justice Department officials and other federal executive employees involved in the first torture case in US history, conspired to violate my civil and constitutional rights: By producing false statements in violation of 18 USC 1001 in Department of Justice Documents i.e. prosecution memorandum, case initiation report and supporting affidavits, regarding a case that they clearly lacked probable cause to initiate. I will be saying and clearly asserting, prosecutors lacked the same probable cause when they sought and procured an illegal indictment in violation of my due process rights. Due Process violation continued in my trial as the government failed to prove the jurisdictional part of the statute under 18 USC2348(b) regarding count one of the indictment, as it relates to 18 USC 2348… conspiracy to commit torture.”Chucky and father are both serving over half century prison terms in maximum prison facilities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more