Express & Star

Aston Villa hit with Jamaica suspension following podcast comments

Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey has been suspended by the Jamaican FA due to comments made regarding the national set-up while appearing on a podcast.

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The 26-year-old old, who netted 14 times in 52 appearances for Villa last season, hasn't appeared for the national team since 2023 and refused a call up to the current squad for the Copa America.

In an appearance on the podcast, Let's Be Honest earlier this year, Bailey had hit out about what he saw as a lack of professionalism in the national team set-up.

Bailey also discussed having to book his own flights and not getting paid for appearing in international fixtures.

And now the Jamaican FA have released a statement, revealing Bailey has in fact been 'temporarily suspended' from being selected for the Reggae Boyz.

The FA has cited his podcast comments and non-participation in the Copa America, despite being selected by manager Heimir Hallgrímsson.

The statement read: "The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), has made the decision to temporarily suspend the selection of Leon Bailey to the senior Men's National Team.

"This decision has been made in light of recent circumstances surrounding his comments and non-participation in the Copa America 2024 team, despite being selected.

"Consideration was also given to his stated desire to take a break from national duties, and suspending his selection will guard against any further miscommunication. The JFF values the contributions of all players and respects their individual decisions regarding national team participation."

His comments on the podcast came back in March, where he talked about a lack of professionalism and travel issues regarding international fixtures.

He said: "A lot of people haven't really thought about it from my point of view, how it is for me being Leon Bailey, playing for the national team that's nowhere close to an England for professionalism or anything like that. I'm used to a professional lifestyle.

"A lot of people don't know that most of the time, I book my own flights to come and represent Jamaica because they are very unprofessional.

"You're getting your flight details sent to you at 11pm before you have to travel the next day.

"The Jamaican national team doesn't pay me. I can't remember the last time I received a dollar from the Jamaica national team.

"It's very unprofessional, in ways you can't even imagine."

The Jamaican FA statement comes as the national team were dumped out of the Copa America, following back to back defeats against Mexico and Ecuador.