x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Barnes to coach Reggae Boyz

The former England player John Barnes has been appointed the new coach of Jamaica's national football team.

KINGSTON // The former England player John Barnes has been appointed the new coach of Jamaica's national football team. The Jamaica-born Barnes will take over the coaching of the Reggae Boyz officially on Nov 1, the Jamaica Football Federation president Horace Burrell confirmed yesterday. Mr Burrell did not immediately disclose specifics of Barnes' contract. Barnes will succeed Rene Simoes, who was fired last week following Jamaica's poor start to the semi-final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Simoes was nine months into a three-year contract in his second stint in charge of Jamaica. The Brazilian-born coach guided Jamaica to their first World Cup appearance in 1998 before resigning in 2000 after six years as technical director. He returned in January to replace Bora Milutinovic, who was fired for breach of contract. Barnes scored 11 goals in 79 appearances for England, as well as playing for English clubs Liverpool, Newcastle, Watford and Charlton in a professional career spanning 1981 to 1999.

He served a short stint as head coach of Scottish giants Celtic from 1999 but was sacked a year later. Jamaica host Mexico in their next World Cup qualifier on Oct 11, followed by Honduras on Oct 15 and Canada on Oct 19 and need to win all three to have any chance of advancing. Mexico leads CONCACAF Group Two with nine points, followed by Honduras with six, and Canada and Jamaica with one. The top two teams in each group progress to the next round of qualifying.

*AP