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Leon Bailey suspended for curfew breach ahead of Nations League tie

Leon Bailey thinks to himself during Nations League match between Jamaica and Canada.

Already missing Demarai Gray and Shamar Nicholson for their CONCACAF Nations League semifinal showdown with the United States, the Reggae Boyz have suspended star Leon Bailey ahead of the match.

The Boyz named their 23-man squad for the Nations League, which restarts on Mar. 21, with Bailey being the most notable exclusion. Bailey, enjoying a career-best season for Aston Villa, received the ban after “breaking curfew in the last camp,” when Jamaica played Canada in the quarterfinals. The Boyz called up DaCosta Cup standout and Arnett Gardens’ teenage prodigy, Kaheem Dixon, to replace Bailey.

Leon Bailey has 8 goals and 8 assists in the league this season for Villa, who are hunting a first-ever UEFA Champions League berth. He also has 4 goals in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Bailey has 5 goals in 30 international caps for Jamaica and has been at the centre of criticism for his national team performances.

Gray and Nicholson will also miss the semifinal vs. the defending champion USA, with Gray red-carded Jamaica’s famous win against Canada. In contrast, Nicholson misses out due to yellow card accumulation. However, both were included in the squad to play a potential final. Additionally, Brentford defender, Ethan Pinnock, is out with an injury.

The Reggae Boyz will see their first-ever CONCACAF trophy against the U.S., whom they have beaten twice before on enemy territory, including the 2015 Gold Cup semifinal. The winner will face Panama or Mexico in the final on Mar. 24.

The Boyz’s win against Canada ensured qualification for the 2024 Copa America this June, which the U.S. will host.

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Written by Jodee Brown

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