Another international window has come and gone for Jamaica, and while we as a nation were able to savour the taste of victory over minnows Bonaire, that victory has been overshadowed by the continued nonsense surrounding Leon Bailey.
German club Bayer Leverkusen made it known, prematurely it seems, to the world, that Leon Bailey had decided to represent the country of his birth and forgo imaginary options from other countries. Yes, rejoice! Leon Bailey had finally chosen the only choice available to him and was going to don the colors of the Reggae Boyz. Unfortunately, it became clear almost immediately that this would not be the case due to the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF’s) decision to not call up Kyle Butler. So the only reason Leon Bailey was on the island was to enjoy the beach and forget about the ball.
“It (his brother’s situation) is a big part of it. I need players who can understand me. You can’t expect me to jump in a system and expect it to work.” – Leon Bailey
What a load of bull.
Listen, no one in Jamaica believes Bailey is the second coming of Lionel Messi. No one expects him to jump into the Jamaica team and bring them to the World Cup. The equivalent didn’t happen at Genk or when he moved Bayer Leverkusen, so why would we expect it to happen with Jamaica? He eventually figured out how to figure into the system at both Genk and Bayer without Kyle so this nonsense about needing Kyle is nothing more than nonsense.
Debates have been raging since Bailey’s decision to go public with the reasoning behind his decision. Thankfully these are the words of Bailey and not his ‘Dad-ager’ so we can finally settle the nonsense we’ve seen in the past about Craig Butler holding him ransom. Bailey is old enough to be okay with everything that has surrounded him and his going public confirms this.
As I said before “ the stand we are taking is not only for me but for all the Jamaicans who are doing well but will never get the chance to represent the country because of political reasons.” A selection process should be fair and only fair! No biases..
— Kyle Butler (@Kyleee_butler) October 15, 2018
Just like a younger brother who is eager to emulate and follow in the footsteps of his elder, it didn’t take Kyle long to go public himself. He took to Twitter to defend himself and his comments did nothing but make him look like a laughing stock. He asks for a fair selection process yet he is content with his brother demanding a player with one appearance for Austrian Second Division club FC Juniors OÖ be included? How would such a situation be fair?
Funnily enough the JFF apparently did not totally rule out calling up Butler. It appears that, like in the past, an olive branch in the form of a trial was offered and refused. Why? If it is a case of “fair” then offering a player with almost no body of work this season the chance to impress and earn selection should be seen as more than fair. It appears Kyle is in the mindset that his less than impressive showings in Malta a season ago are enough for him to be handed a spot in a team that at this point in time should be looking to introduce genuine quality.
If it is so that Kyle does possess genuine quality then there is no question that he will earn a spot in not only his club team but the Jamaican national team. There exists no agenda and no group filled with devious minds preventing Kyle from playing for the national team if he demonstrates the quality to do so. The simple truth is to date he has not done so and anyone who disagrees and argues in favor of his inclusion as a means to ensure Leon Bailey plays for Jamaica is missing the bigger picture.
No football federation in the world should be bullied into selecting a player to appease another. Leon Bailey could one day go down as the greatest Jamaican footballer to play the game but at this stage of his career the focus should be on making that possibility a reality instead of selecting siblings for a team he hasn’t represented yet. Nepotism does not look good on a 21 year old.