‘Lowe Blow’: Butler accuses Reggae Boy of hypocrisy in Bailey debate
Craig Butler (left) and Damion Lowe
Phoenix Football Academy boss Craig Butler has slammed national footballer Damion Lowe for remarks made by the ‘Reggae Boy’ in relation to Phoenix and Bundesliga star Leon Bailey’s ongoing refusal to play for Jamaica’s senior team.
Bailey, 20, has been in sensational form for Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga this season but has repeatedly rejected invitations to play for his native Jamaica amid a standoff between Butler, his adopted father and agent, and the island’s football federation.
With reported interest from other national teams, Bailey is said to be now weighing his international options and seriously considering to join England ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
Bailey’s stance received support from retired track star Usain Bolt, who in a television programme last week argued that the starlet was too good to represent the national side.
However, Lowe took issue with the sprint legend’s argument, which he said was disrespectful to the national programme and the Reggae Boyz, who have risen 27 points in the FIFA World Rankings since June 2016.
“You’re basically degrading all the work your fellow Jamaicans have put to get us into the top 50, to have only lost 5 games out of 18,” Lowe said via a Facebook post.
“I guess Mr Bolt u would rather go represent another country because u think they aren’t good enough for your talents. Look what you did for Jamaica, it opened so many doors it shined a light on us,” Lowe added.
On Tuesday, Butler accused Lowe of “hypocrisy” in the matter and shared texts purportedly from the Reggae Boy which he said supported his claim.
“I am very disappointed in you Damion Lowe for criticizing Usain Bolt for stating the obvious… that Jamaica needs to build a proper system before leon should consider playing,” Butler said via Facebook.
He added, “It is this system that I advocated for and your own words - which I will post below – stated by you totally agree and (you) are totally unhappy with how things are in the JFF (Jamaica Football Federation).”
Butler then shared texts, purported to be from Lowe, which expressed support for his bid to become JFF president and labeled him “our only hope”.
The text messages also criticized the JFF’s youth programme.
“No one else in this country has the international experience or the footballing IQ or international connection as you or even the quality to develop a youth player from scratch,” it read, adding “God bless the youths who made it out during my time or else this generation would be a lost cause.”
Butler described Lowe as “weak” for his public stance.
“A man must be a man not a hypocrite I’m disappointed in you Damion and we all Phoenix considered you a good person I guess some people are weak,” Butler said.