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Foreign Legion Carry Jamaica Flag

Foreign Legion Carry Jamaica Flag

Posted by Shanelle Weir on March 04, 2014

The wait for a return to the FIFA World Cup stretched to 15 years for Jamaica's national team, who missed out on this summer's tournament in Brazil. But that does not mean the nation will not make its presence felt - in a manner of speaking that is.

Jamaicans are known for spreading their influence far and wide and despite the country's failure to qualify, many sons of the soil still have a chance of taking to the football pitches in Brazil. The players, strongly anchored to the island by ancestral roots, have chosen to represent other nations due to other connections, but in several instances still identify with the black, green and gold.

Chief among them is Raheem Sterling, with the Maverley native strongly favoured to find a spot in England manager Roy Hodgson's squad for the tournament. The 19-year-old, the subject of a tug-o-war between the Jamaica Football Federation and the English Football Association last year, has been in red-hot form for English Premier League team Liverpool and likely to be in the cut when the team's final 23 is selected.

If Sterling has a good chance of being in Brazil, his Anfield teammate, Daniel Sturridge, is certainly a lock to make the trip. Sturridge, whose maternal and paternal grandparents are Jamaicans - and often visits the island - has slammed in 18 goals for Liverpool so far this season, forming part of a deadly partnership with Uruguayan Luis Suarez that has fuelled the Reds' charge to a Champion's League spot.

Brazil appearance

Though not having a spectacular season as the others, Manchester United's Ashley Young, whose father hails from Jamaica, could be in with a shot at making an appearance in Brazil. Another player on the fringes of the English team is Tottenham's Andros Townsend, who also has a father of Jamaican descent. Townsend impressed on debut for England last October, but has seen a dip in form since.

However, there is little doubt that the winger is talented enough to make the trip. England is not the only country that could call on the aid of players with Jamaican descent. Canadian-born Jonathan de Guzman, who is linked to the island by his mother, Pauline, could also be in contention for a spot on the Netherlands' World Cup team. The player, who plies his trade for English Premier League club Swansea, has already made eight appearances for the Netherlands team, all coming in friendly matches last year.

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