Photo: Dalton Wint - “We were advised that we could leave the players. We had a discussion with the Saudis and they said this is something that they will do for us, all we need to do is just to continuously communicate with them."
There was uproar in some quarters in Jamaica when all the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) officials who travelled with the Reggae Boyz to Saudi Arabia for the two match friendly, departed that country while four players who had tested positive for Covid-19, were left behind.
There are some who felt that at least one official should have stayed behind to keep an eye on and provide support for, the players as they recovered from the virus.
JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint, who was a part of the delegation along with President Michael Ricketts and Vice President Bruce Gaynor, sought to explain the rationale behind returning to the island while the players, some local based and some based in Europe, were left by themselves.
“When we found out that we were in this situation, we had a meeting and it was decided that the doctor who was taken with the team, because he would be the only one that is allowed to move around and to visit the players, (would stay). But then it was decided that the doctor could not stay because of his job situation.”
Wint revealed that it was after a conversation with their Saudi hosts that the decision was made for the entire delegation to leave minus the four players.
“We were advised that we could leave the players. We had a discussion with the Saudis and they said this is something that they will do for us, all we need to do is just to continuously communicate with them.
“They would place a doctor on site, they would place a nurse on site, they would place an ambulance, everything would be taken care of, the meals, everything. These players would be checked every hour on the hour. The discussion was that there was no need for any one of us to stay because they would take care of these players.
“It was a situation that we had to make a calculated decision. The Saudis have done very well, because they committed themselves to do it and they have treated the players with utmost respect and (provided) very good support.”
“We (get) continuous update on the players welfare while they are in Saudi Arabia, they are being treated like Kings. So, we are satisfied and we were satisfied when we were leaving that they would be taken care of,” Wint explained.
All the players have since returned negative tests from Covid-19 and were cleared to leave Saudi Arabia. They have returned to Jamaica or their respective clubs in Europe.