Jamaica national football team
The Jamaica national football team, nicknamed the "Reggae Boyz", represents Jamaica in international football. The team's first match was against Haiti in 1925. The squad is under the supervising body of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), which is a member of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and the global jurisdiction of FIFA. Jamaica's home matches have been played at Independence Park since its opening in 1962.
|Association||Jamaica Football Federation|
|Confederation||CONCACAF (North America)|
|Head coach||Theodore Whitmore|
|Most caps||Ian Goodison (128)|
|Top scorer||Luton Shelton (35)|
|Home stadium||Independence Park|
|Current||48 (11 June 2020)|
|Highest||27 (August 1998)|
|Lowest||116 (October 2008)|
| Haiti 1–2 Jamaica |
(Port-au-Prince, Haiti; 22 March 1925)
| Jamaica 12–0 British Virgin Islands |
(Grand Cayman, Cayman Isls.; 4 March 1994)
Jamaica 12–0 Saint Martin
(Kingston, Jamaica; 24 November 2004)
| Costa Rica 9–0 Jamaica |
(San José, Costa Rica; 24 February 1999)
|Appearances||1 (first in 1998)|
|Best result||Group stage (1998)|
|CONCACAF Championship & Gold Cup|
|Appearances||13 (first in 1963)|
|Best result||Runners-up (2015, 2017)|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2015)|
|Best result||Group stage (2015, 2016)|
The national team has participated in three major football competitions. Their sole appearance in the FIFA World Cup was in 1998, where the team finished third in its group and failed to advance. The team also competed in the Caribbean Cup winning six times. Jamaica also competes in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, appearing thirteen times and finishing twice as runners-up to Mexico in 2015 and the United States in 2017. They were also invited to the Copa América in 2015 and 2016, being eliminated in the group stage on both occasions.
Early history (1893–1962)Edit
In 1893, Jamaica's first football club, the Kingston Cricket Club, was formed. In 1910, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) was formed and controlled all of the games; in 1925, Jamaica was invited to play Haiti in a three match series with the team winning all three games 1–0, 2–1, and 3–0. In 1926, Jamaica hosted Haiti at Sabina Park and won 6–0. At the 1930 Central American Games in Cuba, Jamaica made its first international tournament appearance and lost both games in its group.
From 1925 to 1962, Jamaica had regular games with teams from Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, and Cuba, as well as with clubs like the Haitian Racing CH and Violette AC, the British Corinthians, and the Argentinean Tigers. In 1952, the Caribbean All-Star team was formed with players from Trinidad, Cuba, Haiti, and Suriname. The team played four matches against Jamaica in Sabina Park. Jamaica won the second game 2–1 and the fourth 1–0, and the All-Stars won the first game 5–1 and the third 1–0.
In 1962, the same year Jamaica became independent, the JFF became a member of FIFA. At the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games played in Jamaica, the national team was led by Brazilian coach Jorge Penna. Jamaica finished in fourth place, with two wins over Puerto Rico and Cuba. A year later, Jamaica competed in the first CONCACAF Championship in El Salvador, where the team finished last in its group, which included Mexico, the Netherlands Antilles, and eventual winner Costa Rica.
In 1965, Jamaica attempted to qualify for the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England. After finishing first in its preliminary group that included Cuba and the Netherlands Antilles, Jamaica faced Costa Rica and Mexico in the final round, where the winner would qualify for the World Cup. After a 3–2 loss at home in the opening match against Mexico, Jamaica lost the return match 8–0, with Isidoro Díaz getting a hat-trick for Mexico. Jamaica then lost 7–0 to Costa Rica and ended with a draw at home in the return match, ultimately finishing with a single point. In January 1967, Jamaica attempted to qualify for the CONCACAF Championship but was eliminated after finishing third in the group of five.
In 1968, George Hamilton became the new coach as Jamaica attempted to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. Most of the squad for the campaign was young with only a few remaining players from its previous attempt at qualifying being in the team. This was due to most of its players being either retired or migrated abroad. Jamaica finished last with zero points from four games. After finishing last in the 1969 CONCACAF Championship and not qualifying for the following championship, Jamaica had to withdraw from qualifying for the 1973 CONCACAF Championship after 17 players were suspended for poor behavior during a tour to Bermuda. In 1977, Jamaica competed in qualifying for the 1977 CONCACAF Championship, which was also the qualifier for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Taking on Cuba in the first round, Jamaica lost both of its games 5–1 on aggregate.
Jamaica did not attempt to qualify for the 1982 and 1986 due to insufficient funds and a poorly prepared team. The team returned to international competition after qualifying for the 1989 CONCACAF Championship, which was part of the qualifiers for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. After defeating Puerto Rico 3–1 on aggregate in the preliminary round, Jamaica played the United States for a spot in the finals. After a 0–0 draw at home, Jamaica lost 5–1 in the US and was eliminated.
Caribbean triumph and World Cup appearance (1990–2000)Edit
In 1990, Carl Brown was signed as head coach and led Jamaica into qualifying for the 1990 Caribbean Cup, finishing tied for third place after the final round was abandoned due to Tropical Storm Arthur. In 1991, Jamaica defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 to win the Caribbean Cup and qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In the Gold Cup, Jamaica finished last with zero points in a group consisting of Honduras, Mexico, and Canada.
After the Jamaicans lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the final of the 1992 Caribbean Cup, they started their campaign in preliminary rounds of qualifying for the 1994 World Cup. After defeating Puerto Rico 3–1 on aggregate in the second preliminary round, Jamaica eliminated Trinidad and Tobago and was grouped with Bermuda, Canada, and El Salvador, two of which would advance to the final round. Jamaica opened the second round with two 1–1 draws against Canada and Bermuda, but the team lost its return match in Canada after a single goal from Dale Mitchell. After a 3–2 home win over Bermuda and two losses to El Salvador, Jamaica finished in third place and was eliminated.
In 1993, Jamaica finished in second place after losing on penalties to Martinique in the final of the Caribbean Cup, which was a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup which was held later that year. During this tournament, the team opened with a 1–0 loss to the US before recording their first Gold Cup win against Honduras. After qualifying in second place with a 1–1 draw against Honduras, Jamaica lost 6–1 to Mexico in the semi-final in Mexico City. After not qualifying for the final round of the 1994 Caribbean Cup despite recording its largest-ever win margin in a 12–0 win against the British Virgin Islands, the team decided to hire Brazilian René Simões to assist Brown with the goal of qualifying for the 1998 World Cup. After being eliminated in the group stage of both the 1995 Caribbean Cup by virtue of head-to-head and the 1996 Caribbean Cup, Jamaica opened its 1998 World Cup qualifiers with an 2–0 aggregate win over Suriname and defeated Barbados 3–0 in the following round. In 1997, Simões, by then promoted to head coach, scouted for players in England that had Jamaican heritage to join the national team. Paul Hall, Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton and Robbie Earle were all named in the squad due their heritage. After finishing winless in the first four games of the final qualifying round, Jamaica recorded three 1–0 wins over El Salvador, Canada, and Costa Rica, with Burton scoring the winning goal in each of the latter two matches. After a 0–0 draw against Mexico, Jamaica secured its qualification and made its first-ever World Cup appearance, and the following day was declared a national holiday.
In 1998, Jamaica competed at the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup, finishing first in a group comprising World Cup champion Brazil, Guatemala, and El Salvador. With the help of goalkeeper Warren Barrett, Jamaica opened with a 0–0 tie against Brazil. After wins over Guatemala and El Salvador, Jamaica advanced to the semi-final against Mexico. The match went into overtime before Mexican player Luis Hernandez scored the winning goal. In the third-place playoff, Jamaica lost 1–0 to Brazil, ending in fourth place. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Jamaica finished third in Group H with three points from a 2–1 win against Japan in Lyon. Theodore Whitmore scored both goals in the victory.
The following month, Jamaica competed in the finals of the 1998 Caribbean Cup, which was a qualifier for the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup. After finishing first in its group, Jamaica won the final 2–1 against Trinidad and Tobago, with goals from Oneil McDonald and Dean Sewell. In 1999, Jamaica experienced its biggest defeat in a 9–0 loss against Costa Rica. After finishing second in its group, Jamaica was eliminated by Cuba in the semi finals of the 1999 Caribbean Cup. At the Gold Cup, Jamaica finished last in its group, losing against Colombia and Honduras 2–0 and 1–0, respectively.
Struggles at continental level (2001–2009)Edit
In the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification semi-finals, Jamaica faced Honduras, El Salvador, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the second group. Jamaica finished second, securing a spot in the final round despite losing two games to Honduras and El Salvador. In the final round of qualifying, Jamaica finished in fifth place after being eliminating by Honduras. Between the two rounds of World Cup qualifying, Jamaica was eliminated in the group stage of the 2001 Caribbean Cup by goal-difference and missed out on qualifying for the Gold Cup the following year. Jamaica qualified for the 2003 Gold Cup, reaching the quarter-finals before being eliminated by Mexico 5–0 at the Estadio Azteca.
Jamaica started its 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in the second round with a 4–1 aggregate win over Haiti to reach the third round. Jamaica finished third in group play, with a 1–1 draw against the US and one point away from reaching the next round. Coach Sebastião Lazaroni was sacked due to the team's performance. In the 2005 Caribbean Cup, Jamaica tied its largest-ever win margin record with a 12–0 win over Saint Martin, with Luton Shelton and Roland Dean both getting hat-tricks. After reaching the final with wins against Saint Lucia and French Guiana, Jamaica claimed its third title and a spot at the Gold Cup. At the Gold Cup, Jamaica reached the quarter finals before losing to the US 3–1 in Foxborough, with American player DaMarcus Beasley scoring two goals.
In 2006 and 2007, Jamaica continued to struggle, with one Jamaican journalist dubbing the team "The Reggae Toyz". The team failed to qualify for the 2007 Caribbean Cup after being eliminated due to goals scored, with St. Vincent and the Grenadines scoring three more goals than Jamaica. Two managers later, the team only earned a single point from three matches in the third round of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With coach Theodore Whitmore, Jamaica secured three wins from its remaining matches, jumping from 116th[A] to 83rd place in the world rankings. Despite the team's final win over Canada, Jamaica was eliminated by goal difference after Mexico finished three goals ahead. Jamaica won the 2008 Caribbean Cup, with Luton Shelton scoring both goals in the victory against Grenada to qualify for the Gold Cup. At the Gold Cup, Jamaica finished third in its group; with a single win over El Salvador, the side finished last among the third-place teams and was eliminated.
Continental finals appearances (2010–2019)Edit
Jamaica entered the final round of the 2010 Caribbean Cup after a 0–0 draw with Costa Rica. After finishing first in its group, Jamaica won against Grenada in the semi-finals, then defeating first-time finalists Guadeloupe in a penalty shoot-out. Jamaica earned its fifth title, and coach Theodore Whitmore became the first to win the Caribbean Cup as both player and coach. In the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Jamaica finished first in its group, beating Grenada 4–0, Guatemala 2–0, and Honduras 1–0 before being eliminated by the US, with goals from American players Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey.
In qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Jamaica started in the third round and earned seven points in the first three games, which included a historic 2–1 win over the United States at home which was their first win over the Americans. Jamaica later qualified with a 4–1 win over Antigua and Barbuda, finishing two goals ahead of Guatemala in its group. After the team finished last in its group for the 2012 Caribbean Cup and failed to record a win in six matches in the fourth round of qualifying, team manager Theodore Whitmore resigned and was replaced by German coach Winfried Schäfer. After a 2–0 loss to the US, Jamaica finished in last place and was eliminated.
After qualifying for the 2015 Gold Cup due to winning the 2014 Caribbean Cup, Jamaica was invited to compete in the 2015 edition of the Copa América in Chile. At the Copa America, Jamaica was drawn in Group B with Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. Jamaica finished last after losing all three of its matches 1–0, with Jobi McAnuff saying, "I don’t think many people would have given us that chance." A few weeks later in the 2015 Gold Cup, Jamaica finished first in its group and defeated Haiti in the quarter-finals with a goal from Giles Barnes to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time since 1998. In the semi-final, Jamaica defeated the US 2–1 with goals from Darren Mattocks and Giles Barnes, reaching its first-ever Gold Cup final. In the final, Jamaica lost to Mexico 3–1.
In qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Jamaica started in the third round and defeated Nicaragua 4–3 on aggregate to reach the fourth round. In the fourth round, Jamaica started off strong with a 1–0 win over Haiti and a 1–1 draw with Costa Rica, earning four points after three games. However, three straight losses, including a 2–0 loss against Panama, eliminated Jamaica from World Cup qualifying. Between the fourth-round matches, Jamaican competed in the Copa América Centenario after qualifying through the 2014 Caribbean Cup. Jamaica finished with no points from their three games, scoring no goals and conceding six.
After Whitmore returned to the team, Jamaica qualified for the 2017 Caribbean Cup, reaching the final before losing to first-time finalists Curaçao 2–1, with Elson Hooi scoring both of Curaçao's goals. In the 2017 Gold Cup, Jamaica upset Mexico 1–0 in the semi-finals, with Kemar Lawrence scoring the goal. In the final against the US, Jamaica conceded the opening goal at the end of the first half before Je-Vaughn Watson tied the score in the 50th minute. However, after a goal in the 88th minute from Jordan Morris, the US won the title, and Jamaica finished as runner-up.
In 2020, Jamaica played a single international friendly versus Bermuda before all international football was placed on hold by FIFA. 
Between 1926 and 1962. Jamaica played its matches at Sabina Park, which is also home to the West Indies cricket team. In 1962, the football team moved to Independence Park, which was built for the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games held after the country gained independence; the first home match was a 6–1 victory over Puerto Rico. The stadium is nicknamed The Office while the team plays.
The national team has used four clothing manufacturers that supplied the official kit for Jamaica. The team's first supplier was Italian manufacturer Lanzera in 1995 before it merged with Kappa a year later. This deal was terminated after the 1998 World Cup. In 2000, the JFF signed a deal with German sporting brand Uhlsport, which lasted until 2006. After another three-year contract with Kappa between 2012 and 2014, the JFF signed a four-year deal with Emiratie sportswear company Romai Sports for US$4.8 million.
Records and fixturesEdit
As of 18 November 2019[update], the national team has played in 547 matches, with 221 wins, 117 draws, and 209 losses since their first international match in 1925. In total, the team has scored 740 goals and conceded 722 goals. Jamaica's highest winning margin is twelve goals, which has been achieved on two occasions: against the British Virgin Islands in 1994 (12–0) and against Saint Martin in 2004 (12–0). Their longest winning streak is seven wins and their unbeaten record is 22 consecutive official matches.
Upcoming fixtures are listed on the results page.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Akeem Chambers||16 June 1998||1||0||Waterhouse|
|GK||Dennis Taylor||5 May 1990||1||0||Humble Lions|
|DF||Ladale Richie||30 July 1989||19||0||Mount Pleasant|
|DF||Shawn Lawes||3 July 1993||3||0||Waterhouse|
|DF||Ajeanie Talbott||24 January 1998||3||0||Harbour View|
|DF||Ricardo Thomas||30 May 1990||1||0||Waterhouse|
|DF||Renaldo Wellington||17 June 1999||0||0||Montego Bay United|
|MF||Peter-Lee Vassell||3 February 1998||16||6||Unattached|
|MF||Fabian McCarthy||21 March 1990||9||0||UWI|
|MF||Chevone Marsh||25 February 1994||5||1||Cavalier|
|MF||Lamar Walker||5 December 1999||4||1||Portmore United|
|MF||Kevaughn Isaacs||12 January 1996||4||0||Mount Pleasant|
|MF||Jahshaun Anglin||6 May 2001||1||0||Harbour View|
|FW||Andre Clennon||15 August 1989||4||0||Humble Lions|
|FW||Jourdaine Fletcher||23 September 1997||3||1||Mount Pleasant|
|FW||Kemar Beckford||23 April 1991||1||1||Mount Pleasant|
|FW||Kemal Malcolm||19 November 1989||1||0||Arnett Gardens|
|FW||Colorado Murray||23 January 1995||1||0||Waterhouse|
The following players have also been called up to the team in the past 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Amal Knight||19 November 1993||6||0||San Diego Loyal||v. Antigua and Barbuda, 15 November 2019|
|GK||Andre Blake (captain)||21 November 1990||45||0||Philadelphia Union||v. Aruba, 12 October 2019|
|GK||Jeadine White||7 July 2000||2||0||Humble Lions||v. Guyana, 9 September 2019|
|DF||Alvas Powell||18 July 1994||49||2||Inter Miami||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|DF||Adrian Mariappa||3 October 1986||49||1||Watford||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|DF||Shaun Francis||2 October 1986||26||3||Louisville City||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|DF||Damion Lowe||5 May 1993||28||2||Unattached||v. Antigua and Barbuda, 15 November 2019|
|DF||Kemar Lawrence||17 September 1992||58||3||Anderlecht||v. Aruba, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Ricardo Morris||11 February 1992||18||3||Portmore United||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|MF||Chavany Willis||17 September 1997||7||2||Portmore United||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|MF||Andre Lewis||12 August 1994||7||0||Colorado Springs Switchbacks||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|MF||Bobby Decordova-Reid||2 February 1993||4||1||Fulham||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|MF||Je-Vaughn Watson||22 October 1983||88||4||unattached||v. Antigua and Barbuda, 15 November 2019|
|MF||Devon Williams||8 April 1992||11||1||Louisville City||v. Aruba, 15 October 2019|
|MF||Alex Marshall||24 February 1998||10||0||HFX Wanderers||v. Aruba, 12 October 2019|
|MF||Leon Bailey||9 August 1997||6||1||Bayer Leverkusen||v. Guyana, 9 September 2019|
|MF||Daniel Johnson||8 October 1992||0||0||Preston North End||v. Antigua and Barbuda, 6 September 2019 WD|
|FW||Shamar Nicholson||16 March 1997||18||7||Charleroi||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|FW||Javon East||22 March 1995||11||1||Santos de Guápiles||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|FW||Brian Brown||24 December 1992||6||1||Partizani Tirana||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|FW||Kevaughn Frater||14 December 1994||1||0||Bengaluru||v. Guyana, 18 November 2019|
|FW||Maalique Foster||5 November 1996||7||4||Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona||v. Antigua and Barbuda, 15 November 2019|
|FW||Dever Orgill||8 March 1990||18||4||Ankaragücü||v. Aruba, 15 October 2019|
|FW||Junior Flemmings||16 January 1996||10||1||Phoenix Rising||v. Aruba, 15 October 2019|
|FW||Rolando Aarons||16 November 1995||0||0||Newcastle United||v. Catalonia, 30 March 2020|
The term UB40 is used in Jamaica to describe British-born players who have gone on to represent Jamaica in international football. The term is a nod to the English band UB40, who perform reggae, a genre of music that originated in Jamaica.
Most capped playersEdit
- As of 17 November 2018
|Event||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||4th place|
FIFA World CupEdit
Jamaica's only appearance at the FIFA World Cup was in 1998. The team opened with a 3–1 loss against Croatia in Lens. After falling behind in the 27th minute, Robbie Earle scored the equalizer to close the first half. In the second half, Croatia scored two goals, causing Jamaica to lose the match. The second match against Argentina saw Gabriel Batistuta getting a second half hat-trick, aiding in Jamaica's second defeat and elimination from the World Cup. In the final match of the tournament, Theodore Whitmore scored a double, securing Jamaica's first World Cup win with a 2–1 win over Japan.
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Declined participation|
|1966||Did not qualify||8||2||3||3||8||11|
|1978||Did not qualify||2||0||0||2||1||5|
|1982||Did not enter||Declined participation|
|1990||Did not qualify||4||2||1||1||4||6|
|2002||Did not qualify||16||6||2||8||14||18|
|2022||To be determined||To be determined|
CONCACAF Gold CupEdit
CONCACAF Championship 1963–1989, CONCACAF Gold Cup 1991–present
|1965||Did not enter|
|1967||Did not qualify|
|1971||Did not qualify|
|1973||Did not enter|
|1981||Did not enter|
|1989||Did not qualify|
|1996||Did not qualify|
|2002||Did not qualify|
|2007||Did not qualify|
|2013||Did not qualify|
Jamaica was invited to the Copa América for the first time in 2015, finishing last among Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The following year, the team competed in the Copa América Centenario as winners of the 2014 Caribbean Cup, again finishing last in the group stage with a 3–0 loss to Uruguay.
|Caribbean Cup record|
|1989||Did not qualify|
|1994||Did not qualify|
|2007||Did not qualify|
- Which at the time was their lowest ranking
- Play was suspended when Jamaat al Muslimeen attempted a coup d'état of the government of Trinidad and Tobago. The tournament was abandoned altogether after Tropical storm Arthur forced the cancellation of the final round of games. Trinidad and Tobago were to meet Martinique in the final.
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