JAMAICA FOOTBALL (JFF) General Secretary Dalton Wint said the organization will work with all capacities agreed for the upcoming World Cup home qualifiers at the national stadium.
His comments come as Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie announced last Wednesday that fan requests to attend international cricket matches on Ireland’s tour of the West Indies as well as the semifinals of the 2021 school football season. -22 were rejected due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the threat of the Omicron variant.
Wint had indicated last November that the JFF was looking to accommodate up to 50% of its capacity (17,500 fans) for the Reggae Boyz clash against Mexico on January 27, after welcoming 4,100 spectators to ‘The Office’ for their game against the United States on November 16.
To be realistic
The JFF proposal is under consideration. However, given the current situation, Wint admitted that the sport’s governing body needs to be realistic about their chances.
“Our approach to government was half the stage. I’m pretty sure the government will ignore that number because of what’s going on right now. (But) we’ll work with whatever the government comes up with, ”Wint said. The Sunday Gleaner.
A maximum of 5,000 fully vaccinated fans were allowed to attend the United States game with strict COVID-19 protocols enforced. When asked if the federation plans to change the capacity request in light of the current situation, Wint said she would be guided by any changes the ministry decides to make to the proposal.
“There was (nothing) to say that we would work with this number or we would work with this number. We will leave it to the government to make that decision, ”said Wint.
Meanwhile, McKenzie said the Department of Local Government would assess further event requests from the JFF, Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association and Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and adapt to the changing climate of the day. .
“The government will show flexibility as the situation evolves as the role and impact of sport on the social well-being, social development and local economies of communities are fully recognized,” said McKenzie.
Jamaica on Thursday reported 329 new cases with a positivity rate of 27%. This is the highest number of positive cases recorded since October 1, when Jamaica reported 348 cases.
Sports doctor Dr Akshai Mansingh has said a return to closed-door games could continue if the current trend is followed, but believes there is a path for fans fully vaccinated in Mexico’s qualifiers.
“It’s known around the world that Omicron is a milder form of the disease that doesn’t send you to the hospital but gives you mild symptoms that go away after a while. Therefore, if you had vaccinated people with their masks on, it is not unfathomable to understand why they would risk catching or spreading it, ”Mansingh said. “If you’re in outdoor spaces with the proper precautions, this chance of spread is even less. “If a review is given with all the contemporary external practices, then there is no reason why you can’t even have the 5,000 at the game at the end of the month.”