Chairman of the RJR Sports Foundation Selection Committee, Mike Fennell, explained that Wes Morgan’s achievement of captaining Leicester City to the English Premier League title was not enough to satisfy the criteria for selection for the annual RJR National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year award. Football fans were hoping Morgan’s unlikely Premier League success with Leicester City would have brought him consideration for the nation’s most recognised individual sports award and end a 19-year wait for a win by a footballer. The only footballer to win the national sports award was Deon Burton, who did so in 1997, after his goals helped Jamaica qualify for the 1998 World Cup in France. However, Fennell noted quite simply that Morgan, who captains both Jamaica’s national senior team and Leicester City, simply did not meet the requirements for a nomination. “The criteria is simple, he has to perform for Jamaica,” Fennell told The Gleaner. “He did not perform for Jamaica, although he is a Jamaican and he acknowledges Jamaica. He performed for an English Premier League club in a club competition. It was not an international tournament, it was the Premier League. But he must be performing for Jamaica or on the behalf of Jamaica, so it’s just a Jamaican performing well, so he did not fit the criteria.” Despite its popularity in Jamaica, football players are hardly able to meet the foundation’s criteria, which states that nominees must have represented Jamaica in an internationally recognised sporting competition, with achievements at the Olympic Games or any recognised World Championships and competitors, who achieve a record world standard in their sport, satisfying the top level of qualification. Level Two speaks to Commonwealth and Pan American level achievements, with Level Three pointing to honours achieved in regional competition. Level Four recognises local performances. Fennell added that the rules for selection have worked without any issue over the years and he does not see the need to change it now. “The selection has to follow the criteria. It would be a policy decision (to change the criteria). If we hadn’t followed that (criteria) then people like Linford Christie and Donovan Bailey could have been considered in their day, because they are Jamaicans, and certainly Bailey from Canada when he won the Olympics,” he noted. Track and field athletes dominate at the yearly awards, but Fennell believes other sports can make it more competitive by improving their level and performing more consistently on the international circuit. “Being in a team sport makes it very difficult to excel as an individual … in the past, we have had Deon Burton. But every sport has their level of competition; we have just been excelling in athletics at the international level. But every sport has their competitions, and it’s for those athletes to reach those levels,” he said. Micheal Binns is the only footballer included in the award this year. He has been nominated for the People’s Choice Performance of the Year award for his 35-yard strike in the local Premier League final. The RJR Sports Foundational National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year award ceremony will take place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on January 13. HONOURS ACHIEVED
The Stoke owners, who had persisted with Hughes until the club was knocked out of the FA Cup by lower-division Coventry City, said they were impressed by Lambert’s pedigree as a Champions League-winning player for German giants Borussia Dortmund.“Paul greatly impressed us with his knowledge of our squad and had a clear plan of how he would improve our results,” said chairman Peter Coates.“He’s a man who backed himself as a player, none more so than when he turned down contract offers in Scotland to go on trial in the German Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and it’s obvious he adopts the same approach as a manager.”Stoke are third from bottom of the Premier League after taking just 20 points from 22 games.Derby County’s Gary Rowett, Espanyol’s Quique Sanchez Flores — who managed Watford in 2015-16 — and Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill were all considered targets but the former signed a new contract last week and the other two ruled themselves out of contention.Lambert, who played under O’Neill during an eight-year spell at Celtic and has also managed Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers, emerged as the preferred candidate and the club have acted swiftly to appoint him.“We stated that we were looking to make an appointment as soon as possible, particularly given our position in the league and the overriding priority being retaining our place in the Premier League,” said a Stoke statement.It added the club “reviewed a number of people”.Coates said it was essential the new manager had Premier League experience — and Lambert fitted the bill.“We were determined to appoint someone with Premier League experience or an extensive knowledge of English football,” he said.“Paul has been successful in management at clubs with a strong and stable background and with local ownership — the kind of foundation we are able to give to our managers.”Hughes had famously asked “who else is going to do it?” when interviewers questioned him about his job before he was sacked after five years at the club in central England.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lambert, who played under O’Neill during an eight-year spell at Celtic and has also managed Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers, emerged as the preferred candidate and the club have acted swiftly to appoint him.LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 15- Struggling Stoke City appointed Paul Lambert as their new manager on Monday after the Scot signed a two-and-half-year contract to replace the sacked Mark Hughes.The club face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Monday, but the 48-year-old former Aston Villa and Norwich City manager will take charge on Tuesday.