Kemar Roofe, one of a string of UK-based players being targeted by Jamaican officials to sign up for the Reggae Boyz ahead of World Cup qualifiers and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, was sent off within six minutes after coming on, as nine-man Scottish champions Rangers crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night.
Roofe, a 28-year-old English-Jamaican striker, was given his marching orders in the round of 16 match as Slavia Prague handed Rangers their first defeat at Ibrox in just over a year.
Peter Olayinka’s first-half header gave the Czech champions the lead following a 1-1 draw in Prague, and Nicolae Stanciu doubled the advantage after Leon Balogun was shown a second yellow as the visitors won 3-1 on aggregate.
Rangers were already down to 10 by then, Roofe having been sent off in the 61st minute for catching goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar in the face with his boot.
Roofe was clearly just trying to win the ball, but his foot was so high as to be reckless, and Kolar’s injury appeared serious as he was stretchered off, although he returned to the bench for the closing moments after receiving treatment.
Kemar Roofe has confirmed an approach from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and says he is going through the process of acquiring a Jamaican passport, having been born in the English West Midlands market town of Walsall.
“Yes, of course. Who wouldn’t want to go to the World Cup? So yes, definitely that excites me. But we got to get there first,” Roofe said in a recent interview.
“I am currently sorting out my passport, so it’s positive signs.”
West Ham’s Michail Antonio, another player on the JFF radar, is currently applying for a Jamaican passport after committing his international future to the Reggae Boyz, while Reading defender Liam Moore has reportedly received his documents and is now eligible for selection.
Next up for the Reggae Boyz is a friendly against the United States in Austria on March 25.