Five nations to play in preliminary rounds
REPRESENTATIVES of the Caribbean Zone of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football Associations have finalized arrangements to stage the preliminary rounds of the CONCACAF championship in Jamaica from January 11 to 30, next year.
Agreement was reached yesterday afternoon at a conference at which all members of the Caribbean zone, with the exception of the Netherland Antilles were present.
The Jamaican Representative, Dr. Ron Gordon, President of the Jamaica Football Federation, told the Gleaner in an interview last night that all agreements reached were tentative, pending final approval of the CONCACAF Executive Council.
Present at the Conference were Mr. Eric James, representing Trinidad and Tobago, Senor Armando Velasquez, Cuban Consul to Jamaica representing Cuba, Mr. Arthur McKenzie, representing Haiti and Dr. Gordon.
A spokesman at the conference said that word has been received from the Netherland Antilles that any decision reached would be accepted by them.
The first match which will be played on January 11 and is expected to be between Jamaica and the Netherland Antilles.
There will be ten matches, each country playing one match against other member countries.
Two countries will qualify to play in the finals which will take place in Spanish Honduras later in the year. February 2 will be left open in case there has to be a play off for second place.
If two teams are tied for first place, both will automatically qualified for the finals.
In the meantime, Kingston and St. Andrew Football Association Bunny McLean said yesterday the association is sending a team to Trinidad on Friday to compete fro the Jamaica Mutual Life Challenge Trophy.
Mr. McLean said that the tour will last for 10 days and four matches will consist KSAFA under-20 players and will be accompanied by three officials.
A letter was forwarded to Dr. Ron Gordon, President of JFF, informing him of the KSAFA tour, requesting the Federation's approval of the players chosen by KSAFA and its blessing on the tour.
Dr. Gordon said the Federation is unwilling to approve the whole seventeen named by KSAFA because five of those players have been chosen by National Coach Jorge Penna to play on the Jamaica National Team in the CONCACAF championships.
He said that the period of training to get the players in shape for the CONCACAF tournament is short, and if these five players were to go on the tour, they would have little time left for training, especially with the Christmas holidays coming up.
Mr. McLean contended that other great football countries usually embark upon rigid tours before taking part in any major competition, and that the tour of Trinidad would be a good exercises for players named for the National team.
Those selected by KSAFA are: Leslie Lucas (Railway), Ronald Henry (Lucas), Franklyn Morant (Railway), Lloyd McLean (Lucas), Delroy Scott (Cavalier), Winston Earle (Santos), Freddie Sutherland (Lig-United), H. Hammond (Railway), Neville Oxford (Cavalier), Allan Cole (Santos), Hector Pinnock (Railway), Allie McNab (Lig-United), Peter Crooks (Cavalier), David Sanguinetti (Lig-United), Mickey Vernon (Railway), A. Williams (Cavalier), Francis Delgado (Kingston). Reserves are Dennis Sadler (YMCA) and Len Brown (Boys' Town).
CONFERENCE: Representatives of the Caribbean Zone of CONCACAF at their conference at the National Stadium yesterday are (from left to right) Mr. Eric Wittingham, Secretary JFF; Dr. Ron Gordon, President of JFF and Jamaica's representative; Mr. George Abrahams, First Vice-President of JFF and Chairman of the Conference, Mr. Arthur Mackenzie, Haiti's representative, Lic. Armand Velasquez Cuba's representative, and Mr. Eric James, Trinidad and Tobago representative.