A Pure Foolishness, he says.

Jamaica-born Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has made a damning assessment of the country’s national programme casting further doubts on the prospect of any future appearance.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Bailey and agent Craig Butler have been part of a rigorous back-and-forth in recent months which has sharply divided public opinion.  The JFF has repeatedly tried to persuade the 20-year-old to commit his international future to Jamaica, while Butler, who is also the player's adoptive stepfather, has insisted that unless recommended changes are made he will explore his options which include Belgium or England.  It is yet to be proven how the player qualifies to represent either country.

A revealing interview with USA sports website Espn.com shows both sides remain truly far apart.  Bailey did not seem to mince words in expressing the view that he did not believe the national set-up was capable of achieving much as it currently lacked a system and the players brought in did not know what they were supposed to be doing.

"You have so many local players when we play not used to the professional level of football because Jamaica, for me, is not professional football, he added.

"With players like that, I'm not saying they're not good, but if you don't have an understanding of a system from even a little help from the Europeans or MLS players, then I think you are just putting people on a pitch to play football with no system. You can never win a game like that."

The player went on to state that the country would only start to be successful by starting over and putting a new system in place.  The Jamaica national team made history by qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 1998 but has not managed to secure a return since, reaching the CONCACAF final round only twice in the last 20 years.  The squad has, however, on qualification campaigns for the most part been made up of overseas-based professionals who ply their trade in either Europe or the United States-based MLS. 

In the past two years, the team could also make a valid argument for having claimed a measure of success, after making the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in back-to-back years where they were beaten by Mexico and the United States.  Jamaica has also steadily climbed up the world rankings in the last year, currently holding a position of 48th the highest the team has been since 2005.  

Perhaps aware of the public furore the issue has caused the player has, however, insisted that he loves his country.

 "I don't want people to have their own impression of me, but one thing I want people to know is I love my country, he said.

"But at the end of the day, I have to think about myself developing as a young player, and my aim is to become the best player in the world. For me to achieve that, I need to be on the right path -- and I think at this moment, choosing Jamaica is not the right path for me."
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