Emotional Shabazz hammers boycott call
- No injury worries for ‘Jags’
Technical Director of Guyana’s ‘Golden Jaguars’ Jamal Shabazz in an emotional outburst hammered the sentiments expressed in one of the dailies that called for fans to boycott today’s crucial CONCACAF2014 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, at the National Stadium.
The Briefing which was conducted at the National Stadium, before visiting Costa Rica and Colombia journalists, who joined the local outfit, was called to update the media about the team’s preparations, but also addressed the charge made by Georgetown Football Association Vice-President Mark Phillips, who in a recent interview urged the nation to boycott today’s match due to what he feels is the exorbitant fee being charged for fans to see the encounter.
Shabazz in response crushed the idea of a boycott, stating that nothing should stop this nation from coming to the Stadium to see their heroes perform at home.
“Our people have the opportunity to see their heroes against a top opponent, never before has Guyana reached this far in world football and as a country everybody has to participate because it is not a national team that is going to come out of this, it is a country,” Shabazz vigorously emphasized.
He added, “…this thing is not about talk, it is about a people coming together.”
Touching on football related issues, the TD said that Costa Rica is a different team, but on the day the situation determines the strategy.
“You could plan to play a certain way, but sometimes the opposition’s game plan could very well alter yours, but what I can say is that we will enter the game on a positive note and play to the best of our ability,” Shabazz disclosed.
Acting President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFA) Franklin Wilson in response to the boycott asked the critic to show where in the world fans could pay as little as US$15 to see a WC match, adding that patrons pay that amount and more to witness a concert.
He said the ‘Golden Jaguars’ and the GFF will not be deterred by the naysayers, reminding that the critic cannot speak for wider Guyana.
According to some persons, the call made by the GFA official appears to be an attempt to misguide fans and could be construed as unpatriotic.
Ticket sales Wilson revealed has been good and consistent and he expects a packed Stadium come today.
Also in attendance at the presser were ‘Jaguars’ Carl Cort, Captain Chris Nurse and JP Rodrigues and they too interacted with the media, offering comments on the state of affairs within the squad and how ready they are for the ‘big’ game.
Cort, who it was mentioned was suffering a slight niggle, told this newspaper that he took a day off training on Sunday, but was feeling good and will be 100% ready for today’s game.
Rodrigues, who was also listed as carrying a slight injury, debunked the claim, adding that he too is rearing and ready to go the full 90 minutes.