Jamaica national football team
The Jamaica national football team has officially represented Jamaica in international football since their initial match in 1925 against Haiti. The squad is under the supervising body of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) which is a member of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), CONCACAF (North America) and the global jurisdiction of FIFA. All of Jamaica's home matches have been held at Independence Park since it opened 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||54 2 (14 June 2019)|
|Highest||27 (August 1998)|
|Lowest||116 (October 2008)|
|Current||66 1 (20 July 2019)|
|Highest||38 (9 February 1998)|
|Lowest||126 (29 April 1984)|
| 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|
& Gold Cup
|Appearances||13 (first in 1963)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 2015 and 2017|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2015)|
|Best result||Group stage, 2015 and 2016|
Jamaica has participated in three major football competitions. The nation has appeared once at the FIFA World Cup, in 1998 where they finished third in their group and failed to advance. They regularly compete in the Caribbean Cup with neighboring nations and Jamaica has won it six times. They also compete in the continental tournament, CONCACAF Gold Cup which they have appeared thirteen times and been finalists twice, finishing as runners-up in 2015 to Mexico and 2017 to the United States. They were also twice invited to compete in the Copa América where they were knocked out in the group stage.
Early 20th centuryEdit
The first form of football to take place in the country of Jamaica was formed in 1893 with the Kingston Cricket Club being the first to introduce football into the country. It wouldn't be until 1910 where the Jamaica Football Federation was formed with their national teams first international match being against their Caribbean neighbours Haiti in 1925. They were invited to the French-speaking Caribbean island by Andre Chevalon, president of the United Sporting Society and it was for a three-match series between the 2 countries. Jamaica won all three games by 1–0, 2–1 and 3–0. The following year Jamaica hosted Haiti at Sabina Park and won by 6–0. In 1930, Jamaica appeared in their first international tournament appearance at the 1930 Central American Games in Cuba where Jamaica would go on and lose both games in their group.
From 1930 to it's independence in 1962, Jamaica had regular games with Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Cuba and clubs like Racing and Violette from Haiti, Corinthians of Britain, Tigres from Argentina, and even a series of matches with a Caribbean All Stars team in 1952. The Caribbean All Star team included such notables as Michael (The Ruin) Kruin from Suriname and also representing Jamaica were Lindy Delapenha and Gillie Heron. The four games were shared equally with Jamaica winning the second 2–1 and the fourth 1–0 and the All Stars winning the first 5–1 and the third 1–0.
Post independence (1962–1989)Edit
In 1962, Jorge Penna took the role as head coach of Jamaica as he led them into the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games which was being played in Jamaica. The national team went on to finish in fourth place with two wins over Puerto Rico and Cuba. A year later, they competed in the first CONCACAF Championship in El Salvador where they finished bottom of their group which featured Mexico, Netherlands Antilles and eventual winners Costa Rica.
1965 saw Jamaica made its first attempt to qualify for a FIFA World Cup which was in England. After qualifying through their preliminary group of Cuba and the Netherlands Antilles, they met Costa Rica and Mexico in the final round with only the winner qualifying through to the 1966 FIFA World Cup. After a 3-2 loss at home in their opening match, they loss the away match 8-0 to Mexico with Isidoro Díaz getting a hat-trick in the match. For Jamaica, they would finish bottom of the group with the single point coming in the final game against Costa Rica at home. An attempt in 1967 to qualify for the 1967 CONCACAF Championship also ended without qualification as they finished third place in a group of five.
George Thomson became the new coach for Jamaica as they attempted to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. But due to issues with most of the players retiring or moving abroad only a couple of players remained in the previous World Cup team. For Jamaica they would finish bottom with zero points from their four games. After finishing last place in the 1969 CONCACAF Championship and not qualifying for the following championship, the national team had to withdraw from qualifying for the 1973 CONCACAF Championship after 17 players was suspended due to poor behavior on a tour to Bermuda. Four years later, 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, they would go and lose both of their games to be eliminated by an aggregate score of 5-1.
After missing the 1982 and 1986 World Cups due to insufficient funds plus a suspension by FIFA due ti not paying affiliation fees. They came back into international competition with qualifying for the 1989 CONCACAF Championship. This tournament was also part of the qualifiers for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. After defeating Puerto Rico 3-1 on aggregate in the preliminary round, they would meet the United States for a spot in the finals. After a goalless draw at home, Jamaica lost the second leg 5–1 in the United States which ended their attempt.
Caribbean triumph and World Cup appearance (1991–2000)Edit
In 1990, Carl Brown was signed as head coach of the national team to lead them into qualifying for the 1990 Caribbean Cup where the Jamaican team would finish tied for third place after the match was abandoned due to Tropical Storm Arthur. In the following year, Jamaica took home the Caribbean Cup after charming their home crowd in defeating Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup. At the Gold Cup, they finished last in a group which consisted of Honduras, Mexico and Canada with zero points.
During 1992, they competed in the preliminary rounds of qualifying for the 1994 World Cup. After defeating Puerto Rico 3-1 on aggregate in the second preliminary round, they took out Trinidad and Tobago after losing to them in the final of the 1992 Caribbean Cup. This meant that they were drawn into a group which featured Bermuda, Canada, and El Salvador, from which two teams would advance to the final round. After opening the second round with two 1-1 draws against Canada and Bermuda, they would lose their return match in Canada by a single goal from Dale Mitchell. A win at home against Bermuda 3-2 was followed up by two losses to El Salvador which put Jamaica in third place and eliminated from contention.
The following year saw Jamaica once again finished in second place with this time losing on penalties to Martinique in the final of the Caribbean Cup which was also a qualifier for the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup. During this tournament, they started off slow with a 1-0 loss to the United States before recording their first Gold Cup win against Honduras. After qualifying in second place with a 1-1 draw against Honduras, they took on Mexico in the semi-final where they was smashed 6-1 in Mexico City. After not qualifying for the final round of the 1994 Caribbean Cup despite recording their biggest win in history with a 12-0, the federation decided to hire René Simões to be alongside Brown with the goal of qualifying for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. After being eliminated in the group stage of both the 1995 edition by virtual of head to head and 1996 editions, they started their 1998 World Cup qualifiers with an 2-0 aggregate win over Suriname, before getting a 3-0 win over Barbados in the following round. In 1997, Simões searched for players and convinced Jamaican-blooded players in Britain to play for the national team. After being winless in the first four games of the final round of qualifying, three 1-0 wins over El Salvador, Canada and Costa Rica with Deon Burton scoring the winning goal in the latter two matches. This turn in form would see Jamaica made history in 1997 after a 0-0 draw against Mexico with the day after being declared a national holiday.
After qualifying for their first World Cup, they competed at the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup where they finish top of their group which featured the World Cup champions (Brazil), Guatemala and El Salvador. The opening game saw the Jamaicans get a draw in the opening match against the World Cup champions with keeper Warren Barrett stopping the chances of an Brazil victory. Victories over Guatemala and El Salvador set up a semi-final with Mexico where it would take until extra-time to break the Jamaican defense as Luis Hernandez scored the winning goal to put Jamaica in the third-place playoff. Another 1-0 loss over Brazil in the third-place playoff placed the Jamaicans in fourth place. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, they would finish third in Group H with three points which came from a 2-1 win against Japan in Lyon. Theodore Whitmore scoring both goals in the victory.
The following month saw the national team compete in the finals of the 1998 Caribbean Cup which was also the qualifiers for the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup. After finishing top of the group, would go on to win the final against Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 with goals from Oneil McDonald and Dean Sewell. 1999 saw the national team have their biggest defeat against Costa Rica before being eliminated by Cuba in the semi finals of the 1999 Caribbean Cup after they finished second in their group.At the Gold Cup, Jamaica finished last in a group which featured Colombia and Honduras as they lost 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.
Struggles at continental level (2001–2009)Edit
After competing at the Gold Cup, Jamaica started their 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in the semi-finals with the national team being drawn against Honduras, El Salvador and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in Group D of qualifying. For Jamaica, they finished in second place after losing their final two games of the group to Honduras (away) and El Salvador (home). The final round of qualifying saw Jamaica finishing in fifth place with Honduras eliminating the Jamaicans from qualifying to the World Cup. Between the two rounds of World Cup qualifying, the national team was eliminated in the group stage of the 2001 Caribbean Cup by goal-difference with the national team missing out on qualifying for the Gold Cup the following year. Jamaica qualified for the following edition in 2003, where they made the quarter-finals using mostly a 4-4-2 formation before being knocked out by Mexico 5-0 at the Estadio Azteca.
Jamaica started their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in the second round with a 4-1 aggregate win over Haiti to qualify through to the third-round where the national team would finish in third place by one point with a 1-1 draw against the United States seeing their elimination from qualifying and saw Sebastiao Lazaroni getting the sack because of the national team not qualifying. During their run towards the 2005 Caribbean Cup trophy, they equalised their biggest win record with a 12-0 win over Saint Martin with Luton Shelton and Roland Dean both getting hat-tricks in the demolition. After qualifying through to the final on the back of wins against Saint Lucia and French Guiana, the national team claimed their third title and a spot at the Gold Cup. At the Gold Cup, Jamaica was one of the third-place teams to qualify through to the quarter finals where they was defeated by the United States 3-1 in Foxborough with DaMarcus Beasley scoring two goals for the Americans.
After the Gold Cup, Jamaica struggled in 2006 and 2007 with one of the Jamaican journalists dubbing them The Reggae Toyz, this was further added with the team not qualifying for the 2007 Caribbean Cup with the team being eliminated due to goals scored with St. Vincent and the Grenadines scoring three more goals than Jamaica. Two managers later and with the team only a single point from three matches in the third round of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Jamaica sercured three wins from their remaining three matches with coach Theodore Whitmore with the wins being at home as they jumped from 116th[A] to 83rd place in the world rankings. Despite the win against Canada 3-0 on the final matchday, the team was eliminated by goal difference with Mexico finishing three goals ahead of the Jamaicans. 2008 ended with Jamaica winning the Caribbean Cup at home with Luton Shelton scoring both goals in the victory against Grenada to qualify for the Gold Cup where they was eliminated in the group stage.
Recent times (2010–)Edit
Jamaica entered the 2010 Caribbean Cup in the final round of the competition on the back of a nil-all draw with Costa Rica. After finishing top of their group, they knocked over Grenada in the semi-finals before defeating first-time finalists Guadeloupe in a penalty shoot-out to record their fifth title and also saw Theodore Whitmore become the first coach to win the Caribbean Cup as player and coach. With the Caribbean Cup being a qualifier for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Jamaica qualified to the Gold Cup where they finished top of their group featuring Grenada (4-0), Guatemala (2-0) and Honduras (1-0) before being eliminated by the United States with goals from Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey securing Jamaica's elimination.
Jamaica started qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the third-round and started off strong with seven points from the first three games which included a historic 2-1 win over the United States at home. They would later go on to qualify with a 4-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda to finish two goals ahead of Guatemala in their group. But after finishing last in their group for the 2012 Caribbean Cup and failing to recording a win from six matches in the fourth round of qualifying, Theodore Whitmore resigned from the position as manager of the Jamaica national team and was replaced by German coach Winfried Schäfer. The bad run of form though saw the national team finish in last place with a 2-0 loss to the United States sealing their elimination from qualifying for the World Cup.
After qualifying for the 2015 Gold Cup off the back of taking home the 2014 Caribbean Cup at home, they was invited to compete in the 2015 edition of the Copa América which was held in Chile. At the Copa America, they was drawn in Group B with Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina with Jamaica finishing bottom of their group after losing all three of their matches 1-0 with Jobi McAnuff quoting, "I don’t think many people would have given us that chance." A few weeks later, they competed at 2015 Gold Cup where after finishing top of the group, defeated Haiti in the quarter finals by a goal from Giles Barnes to qualify for their first semi-final since 1998. In the semi-final, Jamaica created history as they reached their first Gold Cup final as they defeated the United States 2-1 with goals from Darren Mattocks and Barnes sercuring the victory as they became the first Caribbean nation to qualify for a final. The final though would see them go down to Mexico 3-1.
Their qualifying campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup started in the third round as the Jamaicans came back from a one goal defict in the first leg against Nicaragua to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate. The fourth round started off strong with a 1-0 win over Haiti and a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica to be on four points after three games. But three straight losses in World Cup qualifying saw them eliminated from World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 loss against Panama sealing their fate. Between the fourth round matches, the Jamaicans competed in the Copa América Centenario as they qualified through the 2014 Caribbean Cup where they would finish with no goals being scored by the team from their three matches as they ended bottom of the group with no points.
After Whitmore returned to the team, the national team qualified through to the 2017 Caribbean Cup finals where they made it to the final before losing to first-time finalists in Curaçao 2-1 with Elson Hooi scoring both of the goals for the opposition. The following month saw the team compete in the 2017 Gold Cup where they once again made it to the final after upsetting Mexico 1–0 in the semifinals with Kemar Lawrence scoring the goal to seel a spot into the final. In the final, they conceeded the opening goal at the end of the first half before Je-Vaughn Watson levelled the scores in the 50th minute. But an 88th minute from Jordan Morris delievered the United States the title and for Jamaica another runner-up.
Jamaica initially played their matches at Sabina Park which is also the home to the West Indies cricket team with the first international being against Haiti where they won 6-0. In 1962, the national team moved to Independence Park which was built for the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games which was held after the country gained independence with the first home match being a 6-1 victory over Puerto Rico. The stadium is nicknamed The Office while the national team plays at the stadium.
The national team has been through four clothing manufacturers applying the official kit for Belgium. The first supplier that supplied the national team was Italian manufacturer, Lanzera in 1995 before being merged with Kappa a year later. This deal lasted until 1998 where it was terminated after the World Cup. In 2000, the federation signed a deal with German sporting brand Uhlsport which would last until 2006. After having another three year contract with Kappa between 2012-14, the JFF signed a deal with Emiratie spotwear company Romai Sports for a four year deal to a price of 4.8 million US Dollars.
Schedule and recent resultsEdit
The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the past or in the upcoming 12 months. The time in the Jamaica is shown first. If the local time is different, it will be displayed below.
|17 August 2018 Friendly||Grenada||1–5||Jamaica||St. George's, Grenada|
|22:30 (UTC−4)||Charles 56'||Report||Green 12'
Vassell 20', 48'
St. John 59' (o.g.)
|Stadium: Kirani James Stadium|
Referee: Kimbell Ward (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
|20 August 2018 Friendly||Barbados||2–2||Jamaica||Bridgetown, Barbados|
|20:00 (UTC−4)||Marsh 33' (o.g.)
|Report||Morgan Jr. 80'
Vassell 84' (pen.)
|Stadium: Wildey Astro Turf|
Referee: Sherwin Moore (Guyana)
|7 September 2018 Friendly||Ecuador||2–0||Jamaica||Harrison, United States|
|20:00 (UTC−4)||Valencia 17' (pen.)
|Report||Stadium: Red Bull Arena|
Referee: Ted Unkel (United States)
|9 September 2018 CONCACAF Nations League Q||Jamaica||4–0||Cayman Islands||Kingston, Jamaica|
|19:00 (UTC−5)||Mattocks 2', 58'
Burke 35', 66'
|Report||Stadium: National Stadium|
Referee: Bryan López Castellanos (Guatemala)
|14 October 2018 CONCACAF Nations League Q||Bonaire||0–6||Jamaica||Willemstad, Curaçao|
|18:00 (UTC−4)||Report||Stadium: Ergilio Hato Stadium|
Referee: Sherwin Moore (Guyana)
|17 November 2018 CONCACAF Nations League Q||Jamaica||2–1||Suriname||Montego Bay, Jamaica|
||Stadium: Montego Bay Sports Complex|
Referee: Tristley Bassue (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
|23 March 2019 CONCACAF Nations League Q||El Salvador||2–0||Jamaica||San Salvador, El Salvador|
|20:00 (UTC−6)||Report||Stadium: Estadio Cuscatlán|
Referee: Juan Calderón (Costa Rica)
|26 March 2019 Friendly||Costa Rica||1–0||Jamaica||San José, Costa Rica|
|20:00 (UTC−6)||Fuller 28'||Report||Stadium: Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica|
Referee: Oliver Vergara (Panama)
|5 June 2019 Friendly||United States||0–1||Jamaica||Washington, D.C., United States|
|19:00 (UTC−5)||Report||Nicholson 60'||Stadium: Audi Field|
Referee: Kimbett Ward (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
|17 June 2019 Gold Cup GS||Jamaica||3–2||Honduras||Kingston, Jamaica|
|20:30 (UTC−5)||Orgill 15', 41'
|Stadium: Independence Park|
Referee: Jair Marrufo (United States)
|21 June 2019 Gold Cup GS||El Salvador||0–0||Jamaica||Houston, United States|
|18:00 (UTC−5)||Report||Stadium: BBVA Stadium|
Referee: John Pitti (Panama)
|25 June 2019 Gold Cup GS||Jamaica||1–1||Curaçao||Los Angeles, United States|
|17:00 (UTC−7)||Nicholson 14'||Report||Gaari 90+3'||Stadium: Banc of California Stadium|
Referee: Marco Ortíz (Mexico)
|30 June 2019 Gold Cup QF||Jamaica||1–0||Panama||Philadelphia, United States|
|17:30 (UTC−7)||Mattocks 75' (pen.)||Report||Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field|
Referee: Mario Escobar (Guatemala)
|3 July 2019 Gold Cup SF||Jamaica||1–3||United States||Nashville, United States|
|20:30 (UTC−5)||Nicholson 69'||Report||McKennie 9'
Pulisic 52', 87'
|Stadium: Nissan Stadium|
Referee: Iván Barton (El Salvador)
Win Draw Loss
The following players have also been called up to the Jamaica squad in the past 12 months.
- As of June 30, 2019
- Players in bold text are still active with Jamaica.
The term UB40 is used in Jamaica to describe players born in the United Kingdom who have gone on to represent Jamaica at international football. The term is a nod to the reggae band UB40 whose members were born in the United Kingdom.
|Event||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||4th place|
World Cup recordEdit
Jamaica only appearance at the FIFA World Cup was in 1998 at France. They opened their campaign with a 3-1 loss against Croatia in Lens. After going behind in the 27th minute, Robbie Earle scored the equalizer close the first half. But two goals in the second half saw Jamaica lose the match by two goals. The second match against Argentina saw Gabriel Batistuta getting a second half hat-trick as he aided in Jamaica second defeat of the tournament and elimination from the World Cup. The final match of the tournament saw Theodore Whitmore scoring a double as Jamaica secured their first win at a World Cup with a 2-1 win over Japan.
|Jamaica's FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Declined participation|
|1966||Did not qualify||8||2||3||3||8||21|
|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|
Caribbean Cup recordEdit
|Jamaica's Caribbean Cup record|
|1989||Did Not Qualify|
|1994||Did Not Qualify|
|2007||Did Not Qualify|
Copa América recordEdit
Jamaica was invited to the Copa América for the first time in 2015 where they finished last of their group which featured Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. In addition, they have qualified as winners of the 2014 Caribbean Cup for the special Centernario tournament in 2016.
- 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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