Hatters defender recovers from hamstring injury to earn Jamaica call-up for Copa America

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Bell to join Reggae Boyz out in America

Luton defender Amari’i Bell has been included in Jamaica’s 26-man squad for their Copa America 2024 tournament which starts in America next week.

The 30-year-old missed the last two months of the campaign for the Hatters after suffering a season-ending hamstring injury against Aston Villa on March 2, but has recovered in time to get the nod from head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson for the quadrennial tournament that takes place in America and starts on June 20.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Reggae Boyz, who have only qualified twice for the tournament previously and are yet to win a game, have been placed in the same group as Mexico, Ecuador and Venezuela, as they open up against Mexico on Saturday, June 22 at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. They then face Ecuador at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday, June 26, before finishing against Venezuela at the Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas on Sunday, June 30.

With the top two going through, the Reggae Boyz will find themselves facing one of Argentina, Peru, Chile and Canada should the qualify from the group stages. Bell, who played 21 times for Luton in the Premier League last term, also winning 17 caps for his country since making his debut back in March 2021, scoring once, had been targeting a return to full fitness for the tournament. Speaking on his Instagram page after having his hamstring repaired, he said: “Initially I didn’t think it was as bad as it is now, but it was confirmed by the scans it was a three C (complete muscle tear), so some tendon damage and I had to get it repaired.

"I had surgery, it’s not the route I wanted to go down, but if it means that I’ll come back fitter and stronger and it’s not going to be a recurring thing then it’s something I had to do. The rehab process now is going to be long, it’s going to be gruelling at times, but I just can’t wait for the comeback. They said on average it will be 14 weeks, the quickest has been nine weeks, so I’m going to aim for the quickest, but I don’t want to rush it. I’ll get back for the Copa America hopefully, but as long as I can do it quick but safe, that’s the most important thing.”

Full squad, Goalkeepers: Andre Blake, Coniah Boyce-Clarke, Jahmali Waite, Shaquan Davis. Defenders: Amari’i Bell, Damion Lowe, Dexter Lembikisa, Di’Shon Bernard, Ethan Pinnock, Greg Leigh, Michael Hector, Jon Bell, Richard King, Wesley Harding. Midfielders: Alex Marshall, Bobby Reid, Joel Latibeaudiere, Karoy Anderson, Kasey Palmer, Kevon Lambery. Forwards: Demarai Gray, Kaheim Dixon, Michail Antonio, Renaldo Cephas, Shamar Nicholson, Leon Bailey.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.