Reggae Boyz remain on course for Concacaf hexagonal qualifying berth
Alvas Powell of Jamaica beats Guyana goalkeeper Akel Clarke during Concacaf Nations League action at the Leonora National Track & Field Center in Leonora, Guyana on September 9, 2019.
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz have remained on course for a spot among the top six teams who will compete for three World Cup berths in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) region.
The Reggae Boyz climbed five places to joint 47th in the world and fourth in Concacaf in the latest FIFA world rankings, which are still led by Belgium.
The top six Concacaf teams in next June's rankings will play for three World Cup berths during qualifying from September 2020 through September 2021, known as the hexagonal. All the other teams in the region will compete for the right to meet the fourth-place team in the hex in a playoff. The playoff winner will play a nation from another region for a spot in the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
Mexico lead the region and are ranked 12th in the world, followed in the region by the United States (21), Costa Rica (43), Jamaica (47), Honduras (67), El Salvador (72) and Canada (75).
Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore has expressed pleasure at the positive movement in the FIFA rankings issued on Wednesday.
"This is, of course, positive for the team and the country and this is in keeping with the objectives that the players, technical staff and the federation set at the beginning of the Concacaf Nations League Group Phase," Whitmore declared.
Whitmore further said, "our wish is for it to continue to get better and I will be lobbying with the federation to ensure that what is necessary to make this happen is indeed put in place because we do not want to get complacent.
"I appeal to the fans to show their recognition of this positive direction by turning out for our next game against Aruba on October 12, the players need to know that they have the country's support."
President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts also expressed satisfaction with the development.
The JFF president encouraged the coach, his staff and the players to maintain focus with the immediate goal being to maintain a top-six ranking in Concacaf over the coming months.
Jamaica's upward movement in the latest FIFA rankings was aided by their strong start to League B of the Concacaf Nations League.
The Reggae Boyz hammered home 10 goals in two matches earlier this month to lead Group C following a 6-0 victory over Antigua and Bermuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex and an away 4-0 triumph over Guyana at the Leonora National Track & Field Center in Leonora.
The Reggae Boyz will next be in action in the Concacaf Nations League on Saturday, October 12 against Aruba at the National Stadium in Kingston. The match is scheduled to kick off at 5:00 pm.