Connections of Impaire Et Passe are keen to have a crack at the Champion Hurdle despite the imposing figure of Constitution Hill standing in their way.

Trained by Willie Mullins and owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, Impaire Et Passe looked imperious in winning all four outings last term.

While his six-and-a-half-length victory over stablemate Gaelic Warrior in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle last season was impressive, he is a best-priced 13-2 for the Champion Hurdle, with current title-holder Constitution Hill the general 4-9 favourite after his connections ruled out a chasing switch.

“Impaire Et Passe is staying hurdling. Connections are keen to have a crack at the Champion Hurdle,” said Mullins.

“I’m not sure if that decision was made before the Constitution Hill one or not, but I think he has a fair crack at the Champion Hurdle.

“He won the Ballymore, the only reason he ran in that was because we had Facile Vega in the Supreme, so that is the route he will go down.

“If he improves any little bit – he’ll probably have to improve a fair bit to beat Constitution Hill – but I think he can and that is the decision we’ve made. I think he might start in the Hatton’s Grace.”

Second to Constitution Hill last season was Mullins’ State Man. He won all his other four outings at Grade One level but has nine lengths to find with Nicky Henderson’s supreme talent.

“I think when you can win four Grade Ones in Ireland – every horse is only one gallop away from an injury – it’s all to play for. Constitution Hill has to get there and so do we, so we just felt that he could earn his keep easier over hurdles, that was the main reason (for staying over hurdles),” said Mullins.

“The obvious race is the Morgiana. It’s hard to see him beating Constitution Hill, but I’m hoping he’ll improve.

“The two of them will get entries in both the Morgiana and Hatton’s Grace, the two could run in either, it will depend on who is ready first. Whoever runs in the Morgiana, we might let the other go for the Hatton’s Grace.”

Some bookmakers have Mullins’ Triumph Hurdle winner Lossiemouth in the Champion Hurdle betting but she is likely to stick to her own sex.

“Lossiemouth could go for the Champion Hurdle or the Mares’ Hurdle but it will more than likely be the Mares’ Hurdle,” said Mullins.

“I haven’t decided where I will start her yet as she had a busy enough season last season, she’s only four. We’d probably like to run her at Christmas, Dublin Festival and Cheltenham so whether she runs before Christmas, I’ve not decided and might just keep her fresh.”

Million-pound purchase Rogue Lightning will return to action next year for a top-class sprint campaign for new owners Wathnan Racing.

The bay son of Kodiac has worn the silks of The Rogues Gallery all season, chalking up a hat-trick of five-furlong sprints that culminated with Listed success in the Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster.

The gelding was then stepped sharply up in grade to take on the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp and was not beaten far when fifth and only a length and a quarter behind the winner Highfield Princess.

He was then auctioned via the Goffs Qipco British Champions Day Sale prior to racing at Ascot on Saturday and fetched an impressive £1million as Richard Brown was the winning bidder on behalf of Wathnan Racing.

Rogue Lightning will stay in the care of trainer Tom Clover and will return to training next season with an eye on a programme of valuable sprint contests.

“It’s absolutely fantastic news, it’s terrific to have a horse like him in the yard,” Clover said.

“He’s been a great horse for the Rogues and for us, as an ambitious yard, to keep him for some fantastic new owners in the yard is very exciting.

“We’ll have to speak to Richard Brown but the plan for now is that we’ll give him a break and bring him back fresh in the spring.

“He’s the type of horse where you’d hope that the programme would work itself out, all the obvious races – King’s Stands, Nunthorpes, who knows?

“He should winter very well, I hope, and should shape into a top-class sprinter.”

Cavalier continued their high-flying, goal-scoring form, as they hammered Harbour View 5-0 in the first leg of the 2023 Concacaf Caribbean Cup semifinals at Sabina Park on Tuesday.

With the win, Cavalier is now on the cusp of securing a spot in the Caribbean Cup Final, as well a spot in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.

Shaniel Thomas hit the ground running and after scoring seven goals in the group stage, the dynamic Cavalier striker tallied his eighth goal of the tournament with just five minutes on the clock. The former Jamaica College standout volleyed home a cross from Orlando Russell from the left wing.

Cavalier continued to apply pressure and quickly doubled their lead in the 12th, courtesy of Jamaro Calvin, who latched on to a loose ball in front of the Harbour View's goal after a free kick was played into the area.

Harbour View were down but not out, and they soon found their range. However, Vino Barclett in goal for Cavalier, proved equal to the task.

The "Stars of the East's" best effort at that point came when a Jahshaun Anglin shot deflected off Shaquiel Bradford and spun over the crossbar on the stroke of halftime.

Harbour View kept pushing for a goal and a snap header from Bradford in the 52nd was well kept out Barclett with a reaction save.

Ludlow Bernard's side later paid for their profligacy, as Cavalier extended their lead to in the 64th, when a cross from Calvin clipped the heel of Harbour View's defender Keven Clark and rolled over the line for a goal.

The Cavalier attack was unyielding, and they soon went 4-0 up in the 73rd on an excellent finish from Jeovanni Laing.

Dwayne Allen then completed the rout for Rudolph Speid's side with an easy finish from close range in the 87th.

Corach Rambler will start his season off at Kelso on Saturday, rather than Cheltenham.

The Grand National hero is all set for the Edinburgh Gin Chase at the Borders track, in preference to a handicap at Prestbury Park.

William Hill ambassador Russell said: “We could have gone to Cheltenham, but we just thought with this being a limited handicap it was the better option. He doesn’t have to give quite as much weight away and it should suit him nicely.

“He’s in really great form at home and everything he’s shown us so far suggests he’s still going as well as he did before the Grand National.

“You can never be sure how much these races take out of a horse, but he seems really well in himself and we’re looking forward to getting him going. He doesn’t take an awful lot of work to get fit and we took him for a racecourse gallop at Ayr which will have hopefully brought him forward too.

“He owes us absolutely nothing and he’s just a real joy to have in the yard.”

Bluestocking will be back again next year after a frustrating winless season ended with her finishing second in another Group One on Champions Day.

Ralph Beckett’s filly chased home Savethelastdance in the Irish Oaks and just failed to reel in Poptronic at Ascot on Saturday.

She was also placed in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and finished fourth in the Yorkshire Oaks but failed to get her head in front even when dropped to Listed company at Chester in September.

Barry Mahon, racing manger for owners Juddmonte said: “She ran another cracker, she’s having a break for the winter but she’ll be back next year.

“The owners had said before Saturday that they would like to keep her in training.

“Rossa (Ryan) gave her a lovely ride on Saturday, I thought the winner would have come back to her a little more but in fairness to her, she kept going.”

Roger and Harry Charlton’s Time Lock ran in the same race but disappointed back in seventh.

“The ground was too testing for her,” said Mahon. “William (Buick) said he knew after a furlong she wasn’t in love with the ground, it was just too soft.”

Unfortunately similar comments applied to 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, he ended up being beaten 49 lengths.

“Frankie (Dettori) said he travelled great for five or six furlongs but then, having been off the track for a while, that ground found him out,” added Mahon.

“He couldn’t quicken off that really deep ground so he looked after him. We haven’t fully decided if he’s coming back next year or not.”

Next year promises to be another good one for Juddmonte either way, with the Middle Park runner up Task Force and Skellet, a narrow runner-up in the Oh So Sharp likely to take high order.

But Mahon also said it was too early to rule out Mill Reef winner Array from being a leading player despite him disappointing in the Dewhurst, for which he was supplemented.

“The horse we ran in the Dewhurst is a very nice horse but he came out of the that with an injury, so we didn’t see his true running there. I think he’ll be a nice horse next year, it’s not serious but enough to cause a below-par effort,” said Mahon.

A makeshift Senior Reggae Girlz squad will have it all to do when they take on Panama in a Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup Qualification fixture on Wednesday.

The players who were responsible for leading Jamaica to a historic Round of 16 appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year are not part of the group in Panama after withdrawing from selection to protest what they describe as “constant mistreatment” from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Things have been made even more difficult for the travelling squad after a late change in venue due to ongoing protests in Panama City.

New Head Coach of the team, Xavier Gilbert, said the protests have also led to some logistical issues for the Girlz, including a lack of training time.

“We’ve been here from Sunday. We were in another city where there was a protest so it affected us. I must give credit to CONCACAF and the local organizing committee for responding the way they did. They tried to get us out the same time we landed on Sunday which is three hours away from the airport so it was difficult. Then yesterday in the morning we couldn’t move because roads were blocked,” he said.

“The good thing is that it didn’t affect any of the players and for that I must commend the local organizing committee once again. Once they picked up the players. They moved them straight to this hotel here so that was good. They didn’t encounter any delays,” he added before noting the challenge of the late venue change and an inability to train.

“It is challenging because now the venue has changed, the training venue has changed and the game venue changed and we’re still uncertain on some logistics as it relates to time,” he said.

“We’re going to have to do something. It’s not ideal in terms of what we want to do and to have everybody who we want involved but a lot of the players, especially when we travel at youth level, we find ourselves in similar situations so some of them are used to this. We only have a one-hour session before our first game and that includes a warm-up so we just have to try and get in and get out. We’re going to have to do a lot of mental and tactical preparation as it relates to how we want to approach the game,” he added.

In an interview on Tuesday, Gilbert said that about 15 members of the squad had already arrived in Panama with a few more coming.

He added that the absence of 18-year-old Shaniel Buckley, who is currently with the Jamaica team at the Pan Am Games in Chile, will be a big loss for the Girlz.

“We have about 15 players here so far. We’re expecting another couple and then we’ll take it from there. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that we’ll have Shaneil Buckley. She’s at the Pan Am Games and she hasn’t left yet so that’s a huge blow for us,” Gilbert said.

With regular skipper Khadija Shaw among those unavailable, Gilbert says midfielder Chinyelu Asher will Captain the team on Wednesday.

“Chinyelu Asher based on her experience playing at the international level and playing at the World Cup. She’s the most experienced and capped player here and it’s fitting for her to be the leader,” Gilbert said.

The 30-year-old Asher has scored six goals in 29 caps for the Reggae Girlz since her debut in 2015.

Cheltenham Festival victor Stage Star is due to make his seasonal debut at the Cotswolds track in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding had a successful time of things last season, enjoying a graduation to novice chasing when banking four wins including in the Grade One Turners Novices’ Chase at the showpiece fixture in March.

After a summer break the seven-year-old is now being prepared to return to action over the same course and distance in November, where he heads the ante-post market with the sponsors at 6-1.

“We’re very happy with him and we’re hoping to run him first time out in the Paddy Power,” said Dan Downie of Owners Group, to whom Stage Star belongs.

“He’s summered really well and Paul’s been delighted with him in recent weeks, so the plan is to go to Cheltenham with him.”

Stage Star – who was also a Grade One winner as a novice hurdler – has been very effective over a trip of two and a half miles, though connections do consider him capable of stepping up in distance in time.

“We’ll just see how we go, we’ve always thought he would get further but I suppose this will tell us a bit more and we’ll go from race to race,” said Downie.

Donald McCain’s Maximilian also runs in the silks of Owners Group and he too is limbering up for a first run of the campaign after Storm Babet scuppered plans for a Carlisle debut this week.

The chestnut was a Graded-winning hurdler last term when taking the River Don before finishing second in Aintree’s Sefton, with a novice chasing campaign the plan this time around.

“He’s good, he was going to run at Carlisle on Thursday but we missed a bit of work last week because of the storm,” Downie said.

“Donald’s gallops were affected a little bit so he will run in the next couple of weeks, the plan at the minute is to go novice chasing with him.

“You’ve got to keep an open mind and be flexible but he jumps very well at home and really enjoys it, so we’d be thinking of a novice chasing campaign at the moment for him.”

Jonbon and Shishkin were part of a small team of Nicky Henderson horses who took part in a gallop at Windsor on Tuesday, as both work towards targets next month.

Jonbon is being primed for a comeback in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham’s Paddy Power meeting on November 19, while Shishkin has the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 25 in his sights.

Luccia, Chantry House, Dusart and a new French recruit called Excello were the others galloping at the Thameside track, which Henderson cannot wait to see back in action during the winter from 2024 onwards.

“It was a very good morning. The ground was beautiful. I actually had a walk around with them changing it, I know it’s not until next winter, but it’s going to be really good, I think it will be fantastic,” said Henderson.

“It was interesting because they raced on the Flat there yesterday and called it heavy but we’d have only called it good to soft, we felt it was lovely ground.

“We took six. Shishkin, Jonbon, Dusart, Chantry House, Luccia and an ex-French horse called Excello. They all had a nice time, they didn’t do anything spectacular, it was just a nice day out.

“We’re thinking of Haydock for Shishkin and the Betfair Chase, while the Shloer is a possible for Jonbon.

“They are all coming along nicely, a lot of our horses worked on the grass last weekend, they are all schooling and so far so good, a lot of them are ready to go.

“It’s completely different to last year when it was like a road. Our grass was beautiful last weekend, they’ll all work again this weekend but it was just about giving them a nice time today, an away day.”

One Henderson big gun who stayed back in Seven Barrows, is Constitution Hill. His comeback date is a few weeks away, so he remained at home for the time being.

“Constitution Hill doesn’t need to be ready until December 2 and the Fighting Fifth, he’s got a little bit more time so he’s well, he’ll work again on Saturday and I’m sure he’ll go away somewhere before Newcastle,” said Henderson.

Frankie Dettori picked up two whip bans totalling 16 days on his farewell to Britain at Ascot on Saturday.

The Italian was found to have used his whip once above the permitted level of six in winning the Long Distance Cup aboard the John and Thady Gosden-trained Trawlerman, the race that opened Qipco British Champions Day.

Taking into account it was a class one race, Dettori’s penalty was doubled from four to eight days.

The following race saw Dettori narrowly beaten on Kinross in the British Champions Sprint. As in the Long Distance Cup, he was found to have used this whip once over the limit and received the same suspension.

His ban is due to begin on November 7, which is the date of the Melbourne Cup.

Two other winning rides saw suspensions for the successful rider, with Sam James using his whip once over the allowed limit in making all aboard Poptronic in the Fillies & Mares Stakes. As this represents a fifth suspension within the previous six months for a breach of the whip rules, James was referred to the Judicial Panel.

David Allan also used his whip once above that allowed threshold in his victorious ride on Art Power in the aforementioned Champions Sprint.

A BHA spokesperson said: “Ensuring fairness is a key element of the rules and the penalties which are in place – in these cases those governing the most prestigious and valuable races – are intended to act as a deterrent against overuse of the whip. This is, in part, to ensure that all participants, and those betting on the race, have a fair chance.

“Over the course of the year, we have seen jockeys adapt superbly to the new rules and the overall offence rate has markedly decreased.

“The overall objectives of the rules governing the whip, which came about following a lengthy consultation process and have been refined through regular dialogue with jockeys, are to ensure its more judicious use for encouragement, improving the perception of its use and ensuring that outcomes of races are fair.”

West Indies “A” Women suffered an eight-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan “A” Women in the opening 50-over game of their white ball tour in Lahore on Tuesday.

The hosts batted first after winning the toss and were bowled out for 174 in 49.3 overs.

Gull Feroza made the bulk of the runs for Pakistan with 62 off 101 balls including four fours.

Pacer Cherry Ann Fraser grabbed 3-38 from 6.3 overs and Zaida James took 2-29 from her 10 overs.

The tourists then fell just eight runs short, being bowled out for 166 in 45.3 overs.

A number of batters were able to get starts including Shabika Gajnabi (29), captain Rashada Williams (27) Shunelle Sawh (22) and Sheneta Grimmond (20) but none were able to kick on and get a big score.

Anosha Nasir led Pakistan with the ball with 2-29 from 10 overs while Saima Malik and Rameen Shamim also took a pair of wickets each.

The West Indians will look to rebound in the second game on Thursday.

Storm Babet continues to hit racing fixtures in Britain and Ireland but the forecast is less daunting for the major meetings scheduled to take place later this week.

The ground at Doncaster was described as heavy, waterlogged in places on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the Futurity Trophy weekend cards on Friday and Saturday.

However, the recent rain is expected to ease off at the South Yorkshire track, which is set to stage the final Group One contest of the season with Saturday’s Kameko Futurity Trophy Stakes.

Clerk of the course Paul Barker said: “We’ve had around 7mm today, which has taken us to heavy ground and it is just a bit waterlogged around the mile shoot, so we are seeing if we can do anything about that.

“But the forecast is for things to improve later on this evening and then stay relatively dry until Thursday morning, when it should just be a case of getting a few showers, rather than the heavy stuff we’ve had since the weekend.

“So, once we get through today, hopefully everything will get a bit more manageable right through the rest of the week and we can start to put a plan together for Friday and Saturday.

“At least Friday’s entries were made after Saturday’s deluge and the Futurity is historically run on testing ground, so everyone who is planning to have runners are aware of what to expect.

“Other than that, all we can do is take it one day at a time and try our best to keep on top of everything.”

Cheltenham have no issues prior to kicking off their new season with The Showcase meeting on Friday and Saturday, when Grand National hero Corach Rambler and dual Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter could return to action.

“It’s really exciting to get going again and we’re in great shape,” clerk of the course Jon Pullin told Racing TV. “We’ve had a really beneficial summer from our point of view and the turf manager’s point of view.

“Whilst we’ve seen significant rain, which did cause some problems around areas of the site, fortunately the track took it really, really well. We’re in a good position.

“It’s currently good to soft in the main and the forecast is for little bits of rain between now and racing, so I’d envisage that staying the same.”

Newbury are also scheduled to race on Friday and Saturday, with a couple of Group Three events on the second of those cards – the Horris Hill Stakes and the St Simon Stakes.

The Berkshire track is described as heavy, soft in places, with the warning that it will not be able to take substantial rain.

The forecast is for another downpour tonight to be followed by a mixture of sunshine and showers.

Clerk of the course George Hill said: “The bulk of the rain should be tonight but then it’s a variable forecast. It could be anything from 5mm to 10 or 15, or even an inch of rain.

“If we’re talking those higher kind of quantities over a 24-hour period, we’d be very much up against it, but the track is in good shape for this time of year and we’ll just have to hope for the best and see what we get.”

Tuesday’s meeting at Yarmouth and the Wednesday card at the Curragh were the latest casualties of Storm Babet and a sustained spell of heavy rain.

That followed last Saturday’s scheduled meetings at Stratford and Market Rasen being lost to the weather, along with Wednesday’s Worcester card and four upcoming fixtures at Southwell.

Kitty’s Light, who enjoyed an incredible end to last season when winning the Eider, Scottish Grand National and Bet365 Gold Cup is likely to have a spin over hurdles before his first major target – the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury on December 2.

Trained expertly by Christian Williams, he pulled off a unique feat last term in winning three of the most prestigious staying handicaps.

Now rated 147, Williams has the Randox Grand National has his big aim this spring.

“He’s in good form and I might give him a run over hurdles before Newbury because he thrived on his racing last year,” said Williams.

“Hopefully we’ll then take him to Newbury for the gallops morning about a week before and the plan then will be all systems go for the Coral Gold Cup, we like to have runners in these prestigious races.

“He had a spin in a charity race at Chepstow recently and while I wouldn’t take much notice of that, it was great to see him on the racecourse.

“A lot of his season is geared around the Grand National but his other big aim is Newbury to try to win that. He’s 147 now so he should be in the top 34 for the National, he’d be very unlucky if he missed out. He will probably stay over hurdles apart from the Coral Gold Cup, though.”

The sponsors make Jonjo O’Neill’s Monbeg Genius their 6-1 favourite followed by Dan Skelton’s Midnight River after the initial entry stage.

Lucinda Russell has entered her two stable stars Corach Rambler and Ahoy Senor, while Gold Cup runner-up Bravemansgame has also been given the option by Paul Nicholls.

Connections hope to see Art Power shine in the sprint division for seasons to come after his triumph on Champions Day.

The Tim Easterby-trained grey was not especially fancied for the six-furlong Group One as he started at 40-1, but under David Allan he led from an early stage and always looked competitive when clearly comfortable on the soft going.

As the race neared the final furlongs his lead was reduced by the 5-4 favourite Kinross, ridden by Frankie Dettori, and at one point Art Power looked as though he was going to have to accept finishing second.

He did not fold, however, and rallied all the way to the line to prevail by a neck and give owners King Power Racing their first Group One success since Winter Power took the 2021 Nunthorpe.

“We were thrilled, it’s all about winning on those big days on the big occasions,” said Alastair Donald, racing manager to King Power.

“He’s been a great horse for King Power, he hasn’t had much luck in Group Ones as he’s been drawn badly or things have gone wrong for him, so he really deserved that.

“He showed great heart after being headed to come back and win, it was very exciting and I was thrilled for connections.”

The success is a third of the season for the six-year-old, who landed both the Greenlands and the Sapphire Stakes at Group Two level at the Curragh but was luckless when returning for the Flying Five in early September.

“He’s won two Group Twos and then in the Group One in Ireland it was a mess of a race, there’s a huge draw bias and the three hot favourites were all out of the top four,” Donald said.

“Two Group Twos and a Group One in a season, you’d take that with most horses!”

The Ascot victory vindicates the decision to geld the horse, who lost his form at the tail end of last season and was deemed to be a better prospect as a seasoned sprinter than a stallion.

“In his last three races last year he started missing the break and was rather colty, we thought before he went the wrong way he needed to be gelded,” Donald explained.

“His stallion value was low at that point and we thought there’d be more fun in gelding him and having him a racehorse for the next few years, he’s been such a sound horse, touch wood, that he should be around for two or three more seasons.

“He’s very much a favourite, he’s so eyecatching as he gets paler and paler and he’s a horse that people just seem to love watching.”

More information has come to light in the ongoing dispute between the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and members of the senior Reggae Girlz.

A number of members of the team announced on Saturday a decision to withdraw from two Women's Gold Cup qualifiers next week due to "constant mistreatment" from their national governing body.

According to a statement shared on social media by members of the squad nicknamed the Reggae Girlz, the team have not received "full and correct" payment for their World Cup performance or bonuses for qualifying for that tournament.

The team also allege they received information about their coaching, medical and equipment staff in an "untimely manner and through unprofessional communication".

Players said they only received confirmation of their head coach three days prior to their report date and through social media despite efforts to have direct communication with the JFF.

The JFF on Monday issued a statement of their own to “clarify the facts” as they put it.

“The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is aware of certain information in the public domain, and would like to clarify the facts. Our stance is always that we do not discuss specifics of any contract with employees, especially as most contracts have a grievance procedure outlined, and the JFF has an obligation to ensure that we are in strict compliance with the procedures laid out in the contract. This is the reason many times behind our reluctance to discuss the issues publicly, and certainly first, as despite the public criticism many times, we have an obligation to observe the contracts terms we have agreed to.”

The statement continues: “We would first like to say that we have always been, and continue to be, grateful to the Girlz and staff from the FIFA Women’s World Cup (FWWC) campaign, who have together done the JFF and country proud in the historic achievements.

We are especially proud of this achievement, as the JFF, as we all know, is a Federation in a country that has its own economic and social challenges, and has had it difficult to ensure that we provide the best showing available, from the inadequate financial resources. Nonetheless, based on the support of our sponsors – FIFA, Adidas, Bob Marley Foundation, Corporate Sponsors, Reggae Girlz Foundation, and the Government of Jamaica – and our determination to support the Senior National Women’s Team (SNWT), we have spent close to US$4M on the campaign to, and during, the FWWC. While this has come at significant financial strain to the JFF, this is something that we would gladly do again, as we recognize the importance of football to social transformation for the people and the country.

The following outlines the position re the allegations being discussed in the public domain, which we believe we should address the surrounding facts. 

The JFF had made a commitment, through our President, at a meeting earlier this year with the SNWT, that once we received the prize money from FIFA, all the debts (dating back from 2022) under the contractual would be liquidated. We have been successful in doing so. We would like to clarify that the only money that was owed to the Reggae Girls, up to last week, is twenty percent of the JFF prize money from the 2023 Women's World Cup. The reason for this amount being outstanding, is that although the contract stated that an amount of twenty percent is to be paid to the players (including those playing in the qualification matches), it did not specify how the amount is to be distributed amongst the players. JFF reached out to the players weeks ago to ask them how the twenty percent should be divided between them, and just last week we suggested a formula, in order to expedite the process. We did not receive a response and so advised that we would start processing along the lines of the formula we had put forward. This was done.

It is important to note that although the total prize money from FIFA was approximately US$1.8 million, of that amount, there is a reimbursement that the JFF is in the process of claiming. The players are insisting on twenty percent of the $1.8 million, and we have advised that we can only pay out the incentive on the amount of $1.2 million received so far. Apart from the inability to afford to pay out funds we have not received, this is also consistent with the contract that says the JFF must pay out based on what is paid to it. Of course, as soon as the reimbursement is received those funds will be immediately disbursed according to the formula we have paid out on. We have been in discussions with FIFA and we hope to in the earliest possible time resolve the final amounts and pay the portion due to the Girlz immediately. This will ensure that we have nothing outstanding, as we have already paid up the per diem amounts for the Olympic Qualifiers recently played.

The players also asked about who would comprise the coaching staff, which was a condition of responding on being available.  The players were advised that the JFF would have a full support staff in place and that Xavier Gilbert was back on board, but not in the Head Coach capacity at that time.  We never considered that it was important to communicate the names of the coaching support staff prior to being advised of availability. This is not a requirement under the contract, which speaks to specific conditions surrounding availability, consistent with the FIFA rules.

It should be noted that the team doctor, the team manager, the team masseur and the equipment manager are also back on board. Contracts were also offered to four other staff members, who advised that they were unavailable for October.  So, the JFF has always sought to retain the support staff, contrary to discussions in the public sphere.

In response to the travel arrangements, we advised that this will be honored in accordance with the contracts that were signed. The contract states the standard travel category is economy but that the JFF reserves the right to determine the travel category based on circumstances. It is important to note that the JFF has always facilitated upgrades given the circumstances and requests from clubs and the coach, as is provided for in the contract, and we have also always at a minimum sought to place players in premium economy.

Given the response and the contractual requirements, The JFF had written to the Girlz individually advising that we are suspending their selection indefinitely, until we work through the grievance procedure outlined in the contract. We will work to ensure that we go through the contractual grievance procedure, so that we can have final resolution re the issues raised. The JFF always wants to resolve any issues with our stakeholders for a win-win solution.

We want to again mention that we are grateful for the contribution that has been made to the national women’s programme, and as is evidenced by the amount it has cost the JFF, and our follow through to pay off all outstanding amounts to the players, this shows the commitment that the JFF has to the programme.

At this time also, we want to call on all Jamaica to support the SNWT as they embark on their two upcoming qualifiers for the inaugural Women Gold Cup tournament in 2024. We wish them the best and want to assure them that we are focused on providing the support they need to give their best effort as they represent their country and bring us pride,” the statement concluded.

Jamaica’s Minister of Gender, Education, Culture and Sport, The Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange, also issued a statement on Monday confirming that she is in communication with both parties trying to help them find a mutually beneficial solution.

“As Minister, I have been careful not to say or do anything that could be seen as political interference in Jamaica’s football programme. However, like any other fan, I have been concerned about the relationship between the Jamaica Football Federation and members of the Reggae Girlz squad,” she said.

“I have been in dialogue with both sides in an attempt to bring them together and will continue to do my utmost to facilitate an amicable resolution in the interest of Jamaica,” she added.

 

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