Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:12 am Post subject: Boyz to face Costa Rica
|Burrell confirms Ja v Costa Rica match for Feb 6
SEAN A WILLIAMS, Assistant Sports Editor
Thursday, December 13, 2007
THE Reggae Boyz will host Central American rivals Costa Rica in a football friendly on February 6 at
'The Office' at 7:00 pm.
President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, who is in Japan as a
disciplinary official at the FIFA Club World Cup, confirmed the date yesterday, saying
"the deal is sealed... the game is definitely on".
"Yes, we have confirmed the match with Costa Rica for the next FIFA date on Wednesday, February 6,
at 'The Office'," Burrell said. Without giving details, Burrell said based on the terms of the contract,
both countries must field full strength teams for the game, which will be played on the first FIFA
date for 2008.
"We expect Costa Rica to be at full strength and I know the Reggae Boyz will have all their top
overseas-based players available for this game," explained the CONCACAF executive
member from his hotel in Tokyo.
If fit at the time, it is expected that the likes of England-based Ricardo Gardner (captain), Ricardo Fuller,
Claude Davis, Damion Stewart, Donovan Ricketts, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Jermaine Johnson, Omar Daley,
Marlon King, Luton Shelton, US-based Tyrone Marshall and Khari Stephenson in Sweden should
figure in the Boyz line-up.
Two weeks into its tenure, the new Burrell administration quenched the thirst of local fans with two
friendly internationals four days apart, which saw the Reggae Boyz defeating El Salvador (3-0)
and Guatemala (2-0) in front of crowds not seen at 'The Office' in years.
Burrell, who returned to the helm of the nation's football unchallenged after incumbent Crenston
Boxhill opted out of the race, said, "Of course we're expecting another bumper crowd for the
Costa Rica match."
But for drooling local fans, "high quality" opposition comes at a price, and they will be asked to pay
more for the Boyz's next assignment. Supporters using the bleachers will now pay $1,000, while
those sitting in the Grandstand area will pay $2,500 and $3,000 for Categories One and Two,
respectively - an increase of $500 in all classes.
"I don't want Jamaicans to see this as a charge, but more as their contribution to the programme...
we know that we're going through harsh economic times, but if we are to host top-class international
friendlies as we try to revive football in the country, it's important for us to ask for this extra contribution,"
Since retaking office as JFF president on November 5, Burrell's rhetoric and sense of mission have
reignited interest in the sport which, in turn, has seemingly created a nostalgic throwback to the
glorious 1998 campaign when the Reggae Boyz qualified for the World Cup Finals in France.
And with the news that Brazilian Rene Simoes, who guided Jamaica to that unprecedented feat, will be
the man in charge of the football programme, starting January, a ripple of hope has already started
for the South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign.
"This game (against Costa Rica) will be the first that Professor Rene Simoes will be in charge of
after his return (to Jamaica) early next month," Burrell said.
Both Jamaica (ranked 98 by FIFA) and Costa Rica (69) - CONCACAF competitors - will be using
this game to continue their fine-tuning for next year's World Cup qualifiers.
Jamaica will kick-start their crusade, dubbed 'Back to Africa', with a Caribbean second-round tie
against either The Bahamas or US Virgin Islands in June next year.