Jamaica begin quest for glory

H.G. Helps
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Local team meets Cuba in today's Shell Cup feature

THE Caribbean's leading football teams begin their quest this evening for not only the main prize in the 1991 Shell Caribbean Cup, but a spot in the inaugural CONCACAF Gold Cup competition, and further recognition in the eyes of the world.

The eight-team finals start with a double header at the National Stadium, involving Guyana and the Cayman Islands at 6 p.m., and Jamaica against Cuba at 8 p.m. both group one games.

Group two teams bow into action tomorrow, with defending champions and favourites Trinidad and Tobago taking on the Dominican Republic in the feature match, to be preceded by the 6 p.m. opener between the highly-rated Martinique, and St. Lucia.

The winners of this the third competition, will receive the beautiful Shell Cup along with prize money of US$16,000, but the incentive of qualifying for the Gold Cup, involving the top eight teams in the North, Central American and Caribbean region, will be worth going for. The tournament carries a first prize of US$100.000 and the Caribbean Cup winners and runners-up will qualify for that competition which starts June 28.


Howling favourites Trinidad and Tobago are smiling broadly, what with the acquisition of their two overseas-based heroes, forward Leonsen Lewis, and midfielder, Russell Latapy, who were playing professionally with Portuguese club Academica. Both were initially refused permission to leave the club, but the club yielded to pressure from football's governing body, FIFA, after that body's intervention.

Trinidad and Tobago won the prize in 1989, but were probably thwarted by the abandonment of the finals last year because of a coup attempt on the Trinidad and Tobago government in Port of Spain.

The twin-island republic's squad reads like a "Who's Who" of Caribbean football defenders — Clayton Morris, the captain, and Marvin Faustin; midfielders Latapy, Larry Joseph, Paul Elliot-Allen and forwards Hutson Charles, Lewis, and Philbert Jones; their weakest link probably being goalkeeper Michael Maurice.