Reggae Girlz pull out of W Gold Cup qualifiers saying Jamaican FA still owes World Cup fees

October 23 – Jamaica’s women’s national team said they are withdrawing from two upcoming W Gold Cup qualifiers because of “constant mistreatment” by their federation and incomplete payment of World Cup bonuses. 

The Reggae Girlz were one the standout teams of the recent Women’s World Cup, reaching the knock-out rounds, but in a statement on Saturday team members said they have still not received “full and correct” payment for their World Cup performance or bonuses for qualifying for that tournament.

“While this has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make, we feel it is necessary to take such a drastic stance to put an end to the constant mistreatment we receive from the Jamaica Football Federation,” read the statement.

Jamaica are scheduled to face Panama and Guatemala in the last week of October in their opening group qualifiers. Panama and Guatemala played each other twice in September, sharing the points.

Assuming the Jamaicans’ only sanctions are points based, they could still qualify for the W Gold Cp to be played in February/March 2024 if they win their two remaining matches. That also assumes they agree to play.

But the Reggae Girlz dispute is not just about money. The players accuse their federation of poor communication, complaining they had only learned the identity of their new coach three days before they were due to report to camp, and then only via social media.

“We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again. For these reasons, we take our stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment.”

After the World Cup elimination against Colombia in the round of 16, the first time the Reggae Girlz had reached the knockout stage, then Jamaica coach Lorne Donaldson warned that his team’s achievements were likely to change little for the women’s team.

“In 2019, nothing happened,” said Donaldson at a news conference in Melbourne. “Maybe with some help from the government, even though FIFA and the government don’t really mix, we can all come together and try to figure something out, so we don’t do something hodgy-podgy all the time. The sun is going to come up tomorrow, so we have to be ready to go and just get on with our lives.

On the eve of the World Cup, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who tends to claim that the ‘new FIFA’ know where their money ends up, implied that the global governing body couldn’t guarantee players in the Women’s World Cup would get to see their prize money. FIFA had previously received praise for raising the tournament’s prize money.

Jamaica are scheduled to face Panama and Guatemala in the last week of October in their opening group qualifiers. Panama and Guatemala played each other twice in September, sharing the points.

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