Minister of Sport Olivia Grange has revealed that plans are afoot for Jamaica to play host to a new international friendly football tournament.
Grange, who made the revelation during the official opening of the new Astro turf and facility at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Wednesday, pointed out that her ministry is currently taking steps to finalise the execution of the Caribbean-African Cup.
According to the minister, whose portfolio also includes cultural responsibilities, the initiative is a part of the Jamaican Government's plan to strengthen ties with the African community, and if all goes efficiently, then the tournament could be launched in the coming months.
She said the concept of the Caribbean-African Cup came about through discussions with the African Union's Ambassador to the United States Arikana Chihombori-Quao, as well as the minister of finance for Accompong.
“We are celebrating the international decade of people of African descent and so this year our theme will focus on the decade. So, for example, President [Uhuru] Kenyatta has been invited to Jamaica to be our special guest for Independence (Day) celebrations and we are looking at other African heads to come for Emancipation Day and for heritage week.
“So in all of that we are discussing the establishment of a Caribbean-African Cup in football,” Grange told journalists.
“We have yet to finalise the date and I am yet to get the blessings of the JFF (Jamaica Football Federation)... I did mention it to the president and so we want to move quickly to focus on pulling that together and setting the date so that we can have full disclosure as to what is planned and to launch where this is to become an annual event,” she added.