New JFF president Ricketts ready for work after elevation

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Clarendon Football Associaton president, Michael Ricketts, was Saturday elected to succeed the late Captain Horace Burrell as head of the Jamaica Football Association, and said he planned to immediately get to work in rebuilding the organisation.

Ricketts beat out challenger Stewart Stephenson 8-5 to assume the mantle previous held by Burrell who passed away last June after a long battle with illness.

“This is no honeymoon and I am very much aware of the challenges that we will face going forward,” the Gleaner newspaper quoted Ricketts as saying.

“But I am absolutely sure that we have the machinery, we have the personnel that will do the repair job that is necessary.”

He added: “We feel we have the full support of the board of directors and I hope we have a very positive impact going forward, and from what we have seen, there are good things on the horizon.

“We cannot speak of any particular arrangement, but we are working and we do hope that in short order, we will see positive change.”

Jamaica remain the Caribbean’s most powerful football nation, emphasized in their outing at the CONCACAF Gold Cup last July when they reached the final for the second straight tournament only to lose again.

They currently lie second in the Caribbean Football Union rankings behind Haiti, and are 61st in the FIFA rankings – the second highest-ranked regional side.

However Ricketts, also the JFF’s South Central Confederation chairman, said there were domestic issues he also needed to address.

“I am a parish president and I know the challenges of the presidents, and based on my experience and the number of times I was exposed by the late Captain Burrell, I believe I have the credentials and the support to do well,” he stressed.

“But we must work together as a family in the interest of building football. We must work with the parish presidents and improve the support to the parish and once you improve support to the parishes you will improve your team and administrators.”

He continued: “But each component of the game will be addressed under this new administration – refereeing, coaching and administration. And we must end up with a better product, because once we have a product of high quality, then we become more marketable.”

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