Captain Horace Burrell (left), President of the Jamaica Football Federation, shakes hands with new men's national team head coach Winfried Schafer at a press conference announcing the appointment on July 17, 2013. (Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Football Federation)
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Football Federation (JJF) announced Wednesday that Winfried Schafer is its new men’s nation team head coach. The German replaces Theodore Whitmore, who left the position after the Reggae Boyz lost 2-0 at Honduras in a final round World Cup qualifier on June 11.
Schafer enjoyed a successful career as a player, winning the UEFA Cup and the German Bundesliga with Borussia Moenchengladbach, plus German Cup with Kickers Offenbach.
As a coach, the 63-year-old has guided clubs and national teams throughout the world. His most notable achievement came in 2002, when he managed Cameroon to the 2002 African Cup of Nations title. A year later, he was in charge of the Indomitable Lions as they finished as runner-up at the FIFA Confederations Cup, defeating Brazil, Turkey and Colombia along the way.
He took the Thailand reigns in 2011, before moving onto club side Muangthong United in the same country earlier this year.
Schafer inherits a team that sits last in the six-team CONCACAF Hexagonal, the confederation’s final round of qualifying for Brazil 2014.
The Jamaicans are five points away from fourth place with four games left to play, but is winless in its last five qualifiers, including four consecutive losses. The top three teams automatically qualify for the World Cup finals, while the fourth-place finisher enters into a two-legged playoff against New Zealand, the Oceania winner.
Jamaica, which did not qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup currently being played in the United States, resumes its qualifying campaign on September 6 at Panama.