"--IANS/CMC"
Lille (France), June 11 (IANS/CMC) Head coach Winfried Schaefer said Jamaica's humiliating 0-8 loss to World Cup-bound France exposes the 'Reggae Boyz's' unpreparedness to compete with regular participants on football's biggest stage.

Jamaica crashed to their second biggest defeat in history when they lost to France at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium here Sunday. Their worst defeat was a 0-9 trouncing at the hands of Costa Rica in San Jose in 1999.

We were witnesses of a game that painfully made obvious how much work is still needed to play at the same level as the regular participants of the World Cup. That's hurtful and will not be forgotten soon but it isn't a shame. We must accept the fact and push ourselves to work even harder and more systematically, Schaefer said.

The scoreline put a scar on a four-match tour that saw a young Jamaica team growing with each game. Before the beating from France, Jamaica gave creditable performances, losing 1-2 to Serbia, holding their own in a 0-1 defeat to Brazil-bound Switzerland and drawing 2-2 to African champions Egypt.

We performed very well against Egypt; defended a draw, scored twice and showed again that we improved from game-to-game. So at first sight, our loss against France broke our continuing development. But four games in 12 days were exhausting for players with injuries that affected the performance of the team. Our last and hardest game showed us our limits for the moment, Schaefer wrote.

The coach said while his players are in advance stage of preparations for the Caribbean Cup later this year, they are a long way off from being ready for World Cup 2018.

Now we have to shake that off and invest all our energy, time and spirit into the development of football in Jamaica. We're on a good way for the Caribbean Cup but still at the beginning for our preparation for the 2018 World Cup.

--IANS/CMC

ss/vm


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