FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF boss Jeffrey Webb has charged Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz to remember that they are the standard bearers in the region.
Webb made the charge as a special guest at the Jamaica Football Federation’s Annual General Meeting held over the weekend in Montego Bay.
“I want Jamaica to understand the role and responsibility… You are a leader, fly the kite high, you carry the hopes and dreams and vision for the people of the region, understand your responsibility,” Webb declared.
The Caymanian added: “some individuals thought it was a right for 98 years the Caribbean couldn’t participate in the COPA America but for the first time a team from the Caribbean will play in the South American Championship. I am sure, he said, Jamaica understands the responsibility, the responsibility to us as a people, understand that the Jamaica team is not just representing us, it has taken 98 years to get there.”
Webb noted that the ultimate aim for Jamaica, which will be hosting the CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 tournament in Kingston and Montego Bay next January, is to qualify for the World Cup finals to be played in New Zealand.
“The goal must not be to host and to boast sports tourism, that must not be the goal.
“The goal must be for Jamaica to qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand. That must be the goal. As chairman of the Under-20 World Cup I would love to see Jamaica in New Zealand.”
The FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF) president also said plans are afoot to expand the hosting of the Gold Cup to the Caribbean region.
The Gold Cup is the top tournament in the region and is hosted only in the United States which has the best facilities in the confederation.
Webb said that widening the pool of countries that host the tournament would provide a fillip for football facilities in the Caribbean.
“We must start to expand the Gold Cup. What it is going to do is force governments to improve their infrastructure. From a future standpoint that’s definitely in our plans,” Webb told reporters and editors in Jamaica.