Tony Becca: Give Jamaicans a chance!

first_img Team strikes Oral Tracey is a man of my own order, or almost, or, at least, when he writes in The Gleaner on Tuesdays. I only wish there were more like him, or rather, there were more people who would speak out as he quite often does. As I have been doing for years now, Tracey has been calling for a change in the attitude of the Jamaica Football Federation, or of its president, Horace Burrell, in travelling to England and elsewhere and turning over every stone in order to find a footballer who has a Jamaican connection and who he can convince to come and play for Jamaica. According to Tracey, Burrell is wasting his time, and, again, I congratulate him on saying that. According to Tracey, and me, who believes that he is also wasting the people’s money, Burrell would be better served if he concentrates on building Jamaica’s football and improving Jamaica’s footballers, especially the young footballers. Instead of flying all over the place to tell the foreign-based players about Jamaica, to encourage the foreign-based players to visit Jamaica for a while, a few days at a time, and to represent Jamaica, instead of bringing in these players, paying for their flight “home” and their hotel bills, Burrell could spend a little money, some of Jamaica’s money, on local football, on grounds, etcetera, etcetera. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will the quality of Jamaica’s football, if it is ever to be built at all. Jamaica made it to the World Cup in 1998, however, and Jamaica can make it back again. In around 1993, Burrell turned up at Jamaica House, at a meeting of the National Sports Council, and pleaded for help, for some money, to try and assist Jamaica’s efforts to reach the World Cup finals in 1998. He spoke about the basic skills of young Jamaicans, and about the young footballers’ dream. The meeting turned him down, and he left in disappointment. Prime Minister P. J. Patterson then spoke to the meeting about really considering Burrell’s request. He asked them if they would rob the poor young men of Jamaica of the chance of trying for the World Cup and of fulfilling their dreams. And it is worse to hear that the “team was on strike yesterday over money”, the day before a match. And it is worse, remembering that none of these boys play for Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, or Liverpool, and that none of them is Raheem Sterling or Daniel Sturridge. Although Wes Morgan is from Leicester, most of them are from small clubs playing in the lower leagues and would never ever be called to play for England. If, by some miracle, that happens, Burrell would spend his time on his knees pleading in vain for them to come “home” and play. Jamaica is a small country, and we should give opportunities to those who travel while seeking a better life. But their presence on the national team should be limited in numbers, and it should be limited to those who want to play, those who seek to play, and those who are good enough to play. If we follow Tracey’s plea, Jamaica may not make it in 2018, and Jamaica may not even make it 2022 or in 2026. The only hope for Jamaica, however, to make it after that is to offer opportunities to our young, talented local footballers, get them together regularly, play them in the Premier League, and let them express themselves on the way to fulfilling their dreams. On top of it all, Jamaica cannot afford to bring “home” strangers to play “home” matches at the National Stadium, to be in the bargaining room arguing over money when the players should be preparing to play, especially when they are average players treated with kid gloves and are lucky that there is a place like Jamaica, with a body like the JFF, and a president like Burrell. Government assistance The meeting then voted for the government to assist. The government went beyond the call of duty, and the result is history. A group of Jamaicans, including young Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, plus a small set of English-based Jamaicans, Robbie Earle, Paul Hall, Deon Burton, and Fitzroy Sinclair, worked and trained under the guidance of coach RenÈ Simies of Brazil and assistant coach Carl Brown of Jamaica, went to the World Cup, and also beat Japan. That was 1998, and although it is no disgrace, Jamaica have not been back to the World Cup. They, however, recently went to Japan and were easily and comprehensively beaten. What has happened to the Burrell, who in 1993 or thereabouts spoke so emotionally about the young Jamaican footballers? Is this another Burrell? Jamaica’s football has been kept alive, mostly by Red Stripe. The parish leagues have been kept going, mostly by the Captain’s money, but local football itself has been nowhere since 1998. The “national” team, the squad, is made up of almost all foreigners, sometimes with a token local player or two, sometimes they play reasonably well, and sometimes, most times, they play badly. The “national” team, the playing eleven, sometimes has no born and bred Jamaican in it. It is sad to hear commentators, Jamaican commentators, saying that “number 20 plays a pass to number 22”, while describing play, or the newspapers writing that “the Jamaica players arrived yesterday for the home match against El Salvador at the National Stadium”.last_img read more

Security guard released on $30,000 bail for brawl

first_imgMikhail Gordon, a security officer from West Minster, La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD) appeared at the Wales Magistrate’s Court on allegations that he threatened and threw missiles at his neighbour, Ranarta Jackson. The 31-year-old man denied that he committed the offences at West Minster on February 20, 2018, pleading not guilty to both charges.Presiding Magistrate Rushell Liverpool ordered that Gordon not have contact with Jackson and that he keep the peace for the remainder of the matter. She released him on $30,000 bail and adjourned the matter for May 3.last_img read more

Environmental disaster looming at Kato

first_imgAuditor General 2016 report findsThe 2016 Auditor General Report has found that the $62.9 million project aimed at rehabilitating the Kato airstrip has been delayed. But more worrying is that it has also been found that there is a looming environmental disaster and danger to residents of the area, caused by improperly stored toxic chemicals intended to be used in the project.A view of a pristine river in KatoIt is understood that a physical verification of the lagging project was carried out on July 3, 2017. In his report, Auditor General Deodat Sharma noted that while the advance bond was still valid, no works or mobilisation had been started. The physical verification also revealed huge quantities of bituminous chemicals being stored in perforated and leaking drums.Bitumen is a black substance composed of hydrocarbons which can be derived from petroleum distillation residue or are naturally obtained. It is solid, semi-solid or vicious and is primarily used in the paving of roads.Kato, located in Potaro-Siparuni region, is well known for its exceptional beauty, pristine waterfalls and tourism potential. But according to the Auditor General, the improperly stored bituminous chemicals will result in environmental issues if it comes into contact with the community’s waterways or wells.Ministry take no responsibilityIn its response to the Auditor General’s findings, the Public Infrastructure Ministry threw the blame at the contractor. According to the Ministry, the drums of bitumen are the property of the contractor and its storage is thus the entity’s responsibility.However, the Ministry admitted that it was notified subsequent to the drums being stored on the site that some were punctured. It noted that this most likely happened during transportation.“However, the Ministry would raise this issue with the contractor,” the Ministry stated in response. “The leak was later contained by covering with sand and it was reported that there are no other leaking drums. We do acknowledge the grave environmental implications and the potential of the pollution of waterways. However, we believe that the mitigation measures will adequately contain the leak and prevent seepage into the ground or surface water.”In its recommendations, the Auditor General urged that all bituminous material be properly stored in order to avoid spillage.The Kato project is part of a larger multimillion-dollar project to build and upgrade Hinterland/Coastal airstrips. Some $241.5 million was allocated to complete the Mahdia airstrip, as well as to rehabilitate the Kato, Eteringbang, Annai, Paramakatoi, Kurupung, Kopinang and Monkey Mountain airstrips.A supplementary allocation of $110 million was also issued, bringing the total revised allocation to $351.5 million. According to the Auditor General, $310.4 million was expended as of December 31, 2016.DelayThe contract itself was signed on October 10, 2016 and gave the contractor a 40-week timeframe for completion and a defects liability period of 12 months. A defects liability period is supposed to ensure that contractors can remedy any defective work following the completion of a project.The works were supposed to comprise of clearing vegetation and debris from areas within the airstrip and excavation of soft spots, supplying and replacing granular sub base material. In addition, they were supposed to compact the bitumen and apply a double bituminous surface treatment (DBST).In addition, the contractor was supposed to grade and compact the runway shoulder and install a wind sack. As at December 31, 2016, $22.9 million in total was paid to the contractor. In its response to the Audit Office’s comments about the delays, the Ministry noted that the contractor presented a work plan stipulating that the Kopinang airstrip would be worked on first, then Kato.The Ministry noted that while its initial assessment backed this plan, the onset of rainy season threw a wrench in the plans. It noted that the rain made the trail impassable and the contractor’s request for an extension up to October 30, 2017, was approved. It admitted that while the advance payment was not recovered, the payment bond was still in effect.The Auditor General recommended that the Ministry explain why no action was taken against the contractor for not proceeding with the work. It also requested copies of the Advance Payment Bond and Performance Bond be submitted for audit examination.last_img read more

UPDATE – Large power outage in Charlie Lake

first_imgUPDATE – Power was restored in the area near Charlie Lake, shortly before 11pm Wednesday night.  Hydro says the outage was caused by equipment failure in the area.- Advertisement -Residents in Charlie Lake will be without power until at 1:30am after a power outage.BC Hydro is reporting a large power outage affecting residents in the Charlie Lake area and an area north of mile 54.  At the moment the cause of the outage is still being investigated.  The outage is affecting 1440 customers.The only other large outage is in the South Peace in an area south of the 234 road and north of the 222 road.  There are about 142 customers without power in that area and power should be restored by 12:30am. For more on either outage, visit www.bchydro.com/outages last_img read more

Worker injured during explosion at an Encana facility near Farmington

first_imgUPDATE: B.C. Oil and Gas Commission spokesperson Phil Rygg confirmed that there was an incident that occurred this morning, and that there was no environmental damage or risk to the public. OGC investigators responded to the incident to work with Emergency Management BC and other area first responders. Rygg says that the OGC has also been in contact with industry operators and Encana, who have begun emergency procedures.FARMINGTON, B.C. – One worker has been taken to hospital after an explosion at an Encana Corporation facility near Farmington.The Montney Water Resource Hub is situated roughly 20 kilometres northwest of Dawson Creek. Encana spokesperson Doug McIntyre says that the incident happened this morning at approximately 9:00 this morning. One worker was injured in the explosion and was transported to hospital. McIntyre says that the cause of the explosion is not known, but that there was no fire, nor was there evidence of a spill of any kind.- Advertisement -The facility extracts saline water that is unfit for human or agricultural use from a subsurface aquifer, which is then used in hydraulic fracturing operations in the Montney basin.McIntyre says that Encana’s top concern is for the wellbeing of the injured workers. According to McIntyre, crews have secured the site and are investigating the cause of the explosion, and added that there is no risk to the general public.last_img read more

Putin plays football with Infantino 100 days before World Cup

first_img0Shares0000Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian football legend Pele and Argentina’s former midfielder Diego Maradona pose for pictures ahead of the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 01, 2017.© SPUTNIK/AFP/File Alexey NIKOLSKYMOSCOW, Russia, Mar 6 – President Vladimir Putin played football with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino in the Kremlin on Tuesday as a festive Russia marked 100 days before the start of the World Cup.The footage from Putin’s reception office was released by football’s world governing body in a tweet featuring legends of the beautiful game juggling the ball and doing tricks. The clip ended with Putin heading one back to Infantino after a heavily edited kickabout set to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.“Some people just can’t wait for the greatest show on earth,” FIFA said in the tweet.Others playing around with the official Telstar 18 World Cup ball included ex-England midfielder Wayne Rooney and Argentina’s Diego Maradona.Brazil’s Ronaldo juggled by the beach while Sweden’s Thomas Brolin had his fun in the snow.Putin is known for his sporting prowess, taking part in Judo matches, skating, diving and playing ice hockey.A judo black belt and all round sports fan he is hoping to use the World Cup to showcase Russia and boost its image at a time of fraid relations with the West.Russia is hosting its first World Cup on June 14-July 15 in 11 host cities stretching from its western exclave of Kaliningrad near Poland to Yekaterinburg in the Urals.Numerous Russian cities are planning events to commemorate 100 days before the start of the 32 team tournament.Moscow is staging an open air concert for 6,000 volunteers while Russia’s northern capital Saint Petersburg is unveiling a countdown clock.“It is important to show Russia the way it really is: open, hospitable and modern,” Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov was quoted as saying on Tuesday by RIA Novosti.– ‘Open heart’ –Russia’s preparations for the showpiece event are going largely according to schedule but still being clouded by scandal and global disputes.Fan violence that made Russians infamous at the Euro 2016 in France returned last month during a Europa League match in Spain between Spartak Moscow and Athletic Bilbao.Organisers hope the February 22 insident in which a handful of Russians were arrested and a policeman died of a heart attack does not frighten away global fans.Tensions with the West have been compounded by the ignomy of Russians being forced to perform under a neutral Olympic flag at the Winter Games in Pyongyang over doping allegations.But Russian national team coach Stanislav Cherchesov said he hoped the World Cup would improve people’s attitude toward his country.“The most important thing is to come to Russia with an open heart and to try to understand our country and the places you are visiting,” Cherchesov said in an interview released by FIFA.“As we say in Russia, better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times.”The tournament kicks of when Russia hosts Saudi Arabia in Moscow’s renovated Luzhniki Stadium on June 14.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Tottenham target Andre Schurrle on the move… but NOT to White Hart Lane

first_imgFormer Chelsea winger Andre Schurrle is on the verge of a move to Borussia Dortmund, according to reports in Germany.Schurrle only joined Wolfsburg in February 2015 after being told by then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho that he was surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.Tottenham were in contention to land the 25-year-old but, according to Bild, Dortmund have beaten the north London club to his signature.Dortmund are set to pay their Bundesliga rivals £26m for Schurrle as they look to add attacking depth to their squad after the departures of Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester City and Manchester United respectively.Schurrle worked under Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel during the pair’s time at Mainz and is understood to be keen on a reunion with his compatriot at BVB. Andre Schurrle in action for Germany at Euro 2016 1last_img read more

Newcastle set to lose out to Roma in race for Maxime Gonalons

first_img Maxime Gonalons is set to leave Lyon Roma have moved ahead of Newcastle United in the race for Maxime Gonalons after agreeing personal terms with the Lyon midfielder.Gonalons has spent his entire career at Lyon but is ready to leave the French side this summer after refusing to extend his contract as it enters its final year.A number of clubs are keen to strike a deal for the 28-year-old Frenchman, including AC Milan, Lazio and Newcastle.However, according to L’Equipe, Roma have steamed ahead of the competition by agreeing personal terms with Gonalons.Roma’s new sporting director, Monchi, is said to be leading the charge and they now just need to agree a transfer fee with Lyon.The Ligue 1 side are reportedly holding out for around £5m for the sale of Gonalons. 1last_img read more

More DWP failures

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals On Tuesday, the Department of Water and Power held a special hearing solely for the purpose of hearing complaints from builders and other construction industry representatives about the backlog of DWP inspections and how it delays their projects. The fact that there was a need for such a hearing at all points to a central problem at the utility: Despite realizing millions in profits annually, the DWP still often manages to fail at its core mission of serving water and power to the city’s residents. This was also illustrated in September by massive power outages, which a recent report blamed on lax oversight and poor communication between the DWP and a contractor. We encourage the board to take the introspection a step further and to hold more hearings on all the non-power-related expenses of the utility, including sponsorships, public-relations campaigns, lobbying and transfers to the city’s general fund. Only then will they stand a chance at starting to make the DWP a utility that truly serves its ratepayers. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Women’s Tennis Wins 4-3 Decision Over Northern Illinois

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s tennis team came away with a 4-3 victory over Northern Illinois on Saturday morning at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.The Huskies managed to steal the doubles point away from the Bulldogs as Drake a led on courts one and three but eventually fell 7-5 and 7-6, respectively.The Bulldogs didn’t allow the early setback affect them in singles as sophomore Summer Brills cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Michelle Erasmus at No. 3 to tie it up at one. The Huskies earned a win on court six, but freshman Joely Lomas produced a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Evelyn Youel at No. 5 to make it 2-2. Sophomore Tess Herder gave Drake its first lead of the match by beating Abigail Dekkinga in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 4. The Huskies tied the match up 3-3 with a win on court one.The decisive match point came down to court two between DU’s Maddie Johnson and NIU’s Cristian Alvarez. Alvarez managed to take the first set 6-3, but Johnson bounced back and dominated the second set, winning 6-0. Johnson went on to break Alvarez’s serve to clinch the match and come away with a 6-3 third set victory.The Bulldogs won’t return to action until Saturday, March 26 when they host Upper Iowa and Northern Iowa.Drake 4, Northern Illinois 3Mar 12, 2016 at Des Moines, Iowa (Roger Knapp Tennis Center) Singles competition1. Osbuohien, Adey (NIU) def. Ante, Mariel (DU) 6-4, 6-12. Johnson, Maddie (DU) def. Alvarez, Cristina (NIU) 3-6, 6-0, 6-33. Brills, Summer (DU) def. Erasmus, Michelle (NIU) 6-2, 6-04. Herder, Tess (DU) def. Dekkinga, Abigail (NIU) 6-2, 6-35. Lomas, Joely (DU) def. Youel, Evelyn (NIU) 6-1, 7-56. Montgomerie, Meghan (NIU) def. Jaglarz, Mela (DU) 6-3, 6-2 Doubles competition1. Osbuohien, Adey/Youel, Evelyn (NIU) def. Ante, Mariel/Herder, Tess (DU) 7-52. Johnson, Maddie/Lomas, Joely (DU) def. Erasmus, Michelle/Dekkinga, Abigail (NIU) 6-43. Alvarez, Cristina/Montgomerie, Meghan (NIU) def. Brills, Summer/Jaglarz, Mela (DU) 7-6 Match NotesOrder of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,6,5,4,1,2)  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more