JFF boss says football has power to steer youngsters away from crime

RICKETTS… we don’t just want to be the bosses of football, so to speak, but we also need to have a social impact on our young people (Picture: Observer File)

President Michael Ricketts says the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) recognizes it has a role to play in ensuring young Jamaicans stay away from crime.

With the government’s moves to censor aspects of the media it says lead young people to believe a criminal lifestyle is glamorous, discussions continue about other factors that actually cause crime and violence. . There is also a debate about how to prevent young people from turning to crime.

Ricketts says football is a vehicle for social change and the JFF can and will do more to try to bring about change among young people.

“We don’t just want to be the bosses of football, so to speak, but we also have to have a social impact on our young people,” Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer. “I had discussions with the Secretary General [Dennis Chung], and we intend to write to Fifa to ask if there is any type of funding, any type of support, where we go into inner cities and do our best to have a social impact on young people . We must, as a football organization, try to have a positive impact on our young people.”

Ricketts says this project will come into effect in January.

“We’re going to be on a record with identifying talent,” he said. “We want to improve our core program and our whole development program. We want to make sure that we attract and attract young people. We want to be absolutely clear on our path and what our programs will be in the near future. “

Ricketts says such an endeavor can ultimately lead to social change, particularly in terms of greater economic impact through remittances. This means that local players who obtain contracts with foreign clubs could not only earn attractive incomes, but also financially support their loved ones and communities in Jamaica.

Ricketts also believes former National players have a role to play. Former Reggae Boy Ricardo Fuller, now back at his former club in Stoke City, England, earning his coaching badges, told the Observer recently that he enjoys coaching young players and is looking forward to working with the JFF in the future, in the interest of serving his country more.

“It’s something that I’m sure will have an impact on our young people,” he said. “We will seriously consider this in the new year. We have a brand new sponsor [adidas] on board, probably the most decorated of all sportswear companies. I am sure they will come up with new ideas and we will have discussions with them to see how we can facilitate a process of engaging young boys and girls,” he said.

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