FA insist Jamaicans must pay debt

The Football Association have confirmed they will pursue Jamaica for a £135,000 (€168,660) debt, despite the Caribbean country’s FA believing they would write off the sum.

The row is potentially damaging to England’s 2018 World Cup bid as Jamaican FA president Captain Horace Burrell is a close ally of FIFA powerbroker Jack Warner, a vice-president of the world governing body.

Burrell insists FA executive Simon Johnson ratified a plan in April to write off the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) debt in return for a credit towards a youth training centre on the island.

The FA say the agreement needed to be signed off by the FA board – but there has been no move to present the deal to the board since then and there are no plans to do so.

The FA said in a statement: “This debt remains to be paid in full, and we expect the JFF to repay it. The JFF themselves have acknowledged this debt. We have been aware that the JFF have experienced financial difficulties since the game in 2006 and it would have been futile for us to pursue the debt aggressively.

“At no time did Simon Johnson make any promise that any training facility built in Jamaica would be funded with the outstanding debt.

“While we acknowledge that the subject was raised by the JFF and discussed, Johnson did make clear that in any event, any proposals from the JFF for such a facility would need to discussed and ratified by the FA board. No such proposal has been submitted to the board.”

The FA have also reported the outstanding debt, owed on tickets from the friendly against England in 2006, to FIFA.

Burrell told The Guardian he had been given the clear understanding “the FA would sign off the proposals at a meeting towards the end of the year and that it was only a matter of protocol”.

He added: “Simon never told us that this was ever going to be a problem. On the contrary. To hear anything else at this stage is mind-boggling.”

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