A pair of Jamaican national team stars had potential moves from MLS to England blocked because of the Reggae Boyz’ low FIFA ranking, according to Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep.
Galarcep reported on Monday that English Premier League clubs Brighton and Crystal Palace made multi-million dollar offers for Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake and New York Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence attracted interest from teams in the Championship and EPL over the summer.
According to his report, deals for both Blake and Lawrence fell through because neither were eligible for a UK work permit due to the Reggae Boyz’ low FIFA ranking.
Players who regularly take the field for national teams ranked in the top 50 of the FIFA rankings automatically qualify for work permits to play in England. Jamaica is currently ranked 61st, making it incredibly difficult for Jamaican players to move to England regardless of any potential interest.
“I knew everything all the way, and it’s a tough situation,” Blake, the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, told Galarcep after starring in the Union’s scoreless draw at New York on Sunday. “But I can’t get too worked up over it, even though it’s a very good opportunity I’m missing out on. Maybe it’s not time yet, or maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I’ve just got to keep working hard and maybe someday, somehow, if it’s supposed to be it will happen.”
More info can be found in Galarcep's full report.