Recently, there has been a lot of public attention concerning an interview done by Reggae Boy Leon Bailey on the “Let’s Be Honest” podcast, where he made a number of accusations about the JFF and Technical team.

The remarks made about the technical team, particularly the coach, must be addressed by the coach, and therefore will not be commented on here.

The JFF Secretariat, however, is concerned about some comments, which are not entirely accurate and must be addressed in order to set the record straight. It is unfortunate that some things were said, as they expectedly have raised questions from our sponsors. This episode again reminds us of the comments that were made by the World Cup Girlz that up until 2024 some of the World Cup payments were still not paid, which based on their own response was not accurate.

Similarly, Leon Bailey, has made some assertions, which must be addressed.

Firstly, the charges made that Leon has to book his own airline tickets, is always contending with multiple stops, and is always booked in economy are inaccurate and contradictory. Contradictory because if he says he books his own ticket but then says that he is always booked in economy, with multiple stops, and always receives the tickets late, then it would suggest that he is the reason why he has those issues, as he is the one, he asserts, who books the tickets. The fact though is that these statements are untrue.

In order to verify these statements, we researched the last three bookings for Leon, and the following were the results:
1. A ticket booked for a travel date of 4 September 2023, shows a booking on AA 6958 leaving London Heathrow at 10:25AM, with a stop in Miami and then a flight on AA 0850, departing at 5:57PM to Jamaica. This is a typical one stop for flights out of the UK to Jamaica, and the seat type for both flights were Business.
2. A ticket booked for travel date 13 November 2023, shows a booking on VS 0103 leaving London Heathrow at 10:50AM, with a stop in Atlanta and then a flight on VS 3832, departing at 6:10PM to Jamaica. This is a typical one stop flight out of the UK to Jamaica, and the seat types were Business and Economy, respectively.
3. A ticket booked for travel date 19 November 2023, shows a booking on AC 0983 leaving Montego Bay at 1:45PM, with a stop in Toronto and then a flight on AC 0854, departing at 6:20PM to London Heathrow. This is a typical one stop flight out of Jamaica to the UK, and the seat types were Business for both

We could of course show additional similar tickets booked for Leon (which he travelled on) and so we are at a loss about the statements that he books his own tickets, that they were sent to him late (when all itineraries are sent days before to the players for confirmation), and that the bookings were primarily economy. The JFF does have a policy that all players are booked on premium economy, which is similar to what is done in other sporting organisations, as the cost of booking all players on Business would make the programme unaffordable. This is communicated to all players, and they advise in many cases (including Leon) that we should use any monies owed to them to purchase Business class tickets on occasions, when they advise. The option is available to all players to upgrade their tickets themselves or by setting off against funds owed to them.

Also, the charge made that he has received no monies from the JFF, is untrue. The JFF has stated that funds are outstanding to the Boyz, from as far back as 2022, and we have made inroads in paying it down, and has advised that we will pay them off in second quarter 2024. We can confidently say though that we have been paying per diem consistently, and we also cover all costs relating to the camps or games. So, saying that no funds have been received from JFF is misleading, and unfortunate. We would like to add that the JFF, like many national federations, is not able to match what is paid by the professional clubs. We would think though that the honour of playing for your country is something that all patriotic Jamaicans would want to do, as we realize that we will never be able to match the financial rewards of the professional clubs. We never realized that playing for Jamaica was primarily about financial rewards, and that this would be a main consideration.

The JFF secretariat would also like to say that the decision about team dynamics, and who is selected or not, remains the sole decision of the coach and his staff. The secretariat merely receives the requirements from the team technical staff, and determines if we have the funding support or not. So, the implication that it is the JFF secretariat that determines who is selected to the team is false. The accountability of the coach to the JFF secretariat is whether he is a success or not, and our job is merely to hire or terminate the coach but not interfere in the coaching decisions.

One thing we will not encourage is for any player to be treated differently from any other. However, what happens within the team is a matter for the coaching staff.

The JFF wants to say again that it is unfortunate that we have to be addressing these public comments, as we believe that the professional thing to do is for differences to be addressed with each other and not through social, or other media.

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