Football

Jamaica competing well at Copa America in Chile

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Copa America is one of the oldest running international football tournaments in the world. The tournament which dates back as far as 1916 has showcased some of the finest footballers and some of the most exciting plays football has to offer.

This tournament is held every two years with each participating country from the Conmebol taking it in turn to host the event.

In recent years, guest teams are invited from CONCACAF. Jamaica by virtue of getting their sixth hold on the Caribbean Cup was invited to this year's tournament, held in Chile.

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Jamaica are joined in their group with reigning champions, Argentina; Paraguay and Uruguay. 

But despite the strength of teams in their group, they have more than held their own, narrowly losing just 1-0 to both Uruguay and Paraguay in their opening two games.

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Challenges ahead

The next 24 months will prove how competent and how deep Jamaica's squad is as they compete in high octane competitions.

After completing their assignment in South America, they will head for the CONCACAF Gold Cup July 7 - July 26 in USA and Canada.

Fresh squad

To compose a squad with depth and quality might prove to be a challenge based on the pool of players that are available. However, there are some exciting new young players such as Dino Williams, Allan Ottey and Romeo Parkes who have done well for there local clubs and welcome the opportunity to explode on the world scene.

Coach Winfried Schaefer was full of praise for Reading's 22-year-old defender Michael Hector and he expects him to do well.

"I tried for three or four months to get him and it wasn't easy as he thought he had a chance to play for England. I am just happy that he has come to us."

Grabban an option?

The well travelled coach is still in hot pursuit of  striker, Lewis Grabban. The Norwich City man, who scored 12 goals for his club this season, was unable to get his passport in time for Copa America, even with high-level intervention as it said there is some discrepancy with his birth certificate and that of his grandmother, but coach Schaefer hopes that he will come for the Gold Cup.

New sponsors

The Jamaican Football Federation has secured a new kit sponsor with Dubai-based Romai in a $4.8 million deal over four years. The former Cameroon coach thinks the potential for growth is immense.

Do you think Jamaica have what it takes to be a force to be reckoned with in a few years? Give us YOUR opinion in the comment box below! 

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