Tuesday 20 November, 2018

FIFA low rankings deny Jamaican MLS stars chance to play in England

Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake, center, walks off the field after being injured during the first half of the Gold Cup final against the United States in Santa Clara, Calif., on July 26.

Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake, center, walks off the field after being injured during the first half of the Gold Cup final against the United States in Santa Clara, Calif., on July 26.

National goalkeeper Andre Blake and and defender Kemar Lawrence saw potential transfers to the English  Premier League ruined because the Reggae Boyz are ranked out of the top 50.

Premier League sides Brighton and Crystal Palace made multi-million dollar offers for MLS star  Blake this past summer following his outstanding CONCACAF Gold Cup showing.

The deals did not materialise because Blake doesn't qualify for a U.K. work permit because of the Reggae Boyz' low FIFA ranking. The Reggae Boyz are ranked at number 61.

To qualify for work permits to play in England, players should  play regularly for national teams ranked in the top 50 of FIFA's rankings.

"I knew everything all the way, and it's such a tough situation," Blake told Goal when asked about the Premier League transfer options falling through this summer.

"But I can't get too worked up over it, even though it's a very good opportunity I'm missing out on. Maybe it's not time yet, or maybe it wasn't meant to be. I've just got to keep working hard and maybe some day, somehow, if it's supposed to be it will happen."

Blake starred for the Reggae Boyz at this summer's Gold Cup, helping the team to qualify for the final.

Lawrence, a Red Bulls left back,  generated interest from teams in the Premier League and Championship, but Jamaica's low ranking made securing a work permit impossible for him as well.