Cedella Marley's inaugural 'Football Is Freedom' fundraising match set for Sunday, October 24.

By Sports Desk September 29, 2021
Cedella Marley's inaugural 'Football Is Freedom' fundraising match set for Sunday, October 24. Contributed

Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of companies) currently in her seventh year as Global Ambassador for the Jamaica Women’s Football Programme, is now expanding her advocacy and commitment to the women’s game.

Her new Football is Freedom Initiative will provide tools and resources for the development and growth of women’s football throughout the Caribbean and Latin America as well as diaspora communities in the United States.

“In the process of my role as ambassador, I have taken note of the crucial role that football can play in empowering young women; through opportunities for education and professional advancement - both on and off the pitch,” Marley said.

“Through the Football is Freedom Initiative we can expand our efforts to other countries in the region and eventually beyond.”

The core mission of FIF is to support the development of women’s football at the grass-roots level in the region by funding existing programs and academies in the islands and in diaspora communities in Canada and the United States, supporting the growth and development of national teams by staging an annual exhibition match and mini-tournament to provide a quality training experience and raise funds that will go directly into the women’s programs of the participating federations as well as invest in the holistic wellness of the players by funding scholarships and programs that assist players with skill sets and tools to help them succeed outside of football once that time comes.

The launch of Football Is Freedom centres around an international friendly fundraising match between the national women’s teams of Jamaica and Costa Rica. In addition to helping fund the new initiative, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to each national team.

Marley is particularly pleased that Costa Rica will join Jamaica on the pitch at DRV PNK Stadium.

“In 2014, I was honoured to attend the FIFA U-17 WWC finals in Costa Rica (as the guest of the late Capt. Horace Burrell). The Costa Rican federation's investment in women's football has helped to inspire my own ideas about the impact that the women’s game could have once given the proper support. Having two of our strongest female teams come together like this is a chance to demonstrate the potential depth and power of women’s football in this region,” she said.

The Reggae Girlz and Las Sele both arrive in South Florida on October 18 for a week of training and a two-game series. In adherence to FIFA- mandated COVID protocols, the delegations will be housed in protective isolation during the camp. The first match will be a closed-door scrimmage, and the finale will be a fundraising match open to the public. The camp is the result of a combined effort by the Bob Marley Foundation, Rita Marley Foundation, and Reggae Girlz Foundation.

The match is being presented by Cedella Marley in association with Black Tower Agency.

Costa Rican and Jamaican Federations expressed the importance of the upcoming camp and the initiative itself to women’s football in the region.

“For the Costa Rican Football Federation it is a true pleasure to be able to participate in the first edition of the "Football is freedom" Festival. From a sporting perspective, the fact that our female players can compete with a team of such high calibre as the Jamaican team is immensely important,” said Gustavo Araya, FEDEFUTBOL General Secretary.

“And of course, getting the chance to participate in the beginnings of what this foundation is going to do makes us proud. The first edition of this festival, set to be held in Florida, will be of utmost importance for our players as they look ahead to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. We will also use this opportunity to show how a foundation like this can impact young girls and get them excited about sports.”

Meanwhile, JFF President Michael Ricketts commended Marley for the initiative that he said will prove to be invaluable.

“I would like to wholeheartedly commend and congratulate our Reggae Girlz Ambassador Cedella Marley and her team. “Football is Freedom” can only help to broaden the interest and quicken the expansion of women’s football in Jamaica and the wider region,” he said.

“We are particularly proud that the initiative is being launched around a camp and an international Friendly game involving the Reggae Girlz. This will serve as invaluable preparation for their World Cup Qualifiers which begin in November. The Jamaica Football Federation stands ready to offer whatever assistance necessary to ensure the success of this venture and we look forward to participating vibrantly going forward.

“On behalf of every aspiring female footballer throughout Jamaica, I wish this progressive vision every

success.”

In addition to the main event, Sunday’s festivities will include a pre-game kickoff party and fan zone experience with games, entertainment, and food trucks as well as a community marketplace showcasing small businesses and organizations from the South Florida diaspora communities.

There is also a musical halftime performance.

The event will also be sponsored by Visit Fort Lauderdale, KICS International, Bob Marley Foundation, and Riddims Marketing.

Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster beginning October 6th. For information about group ticket purchases please contact the production office directly via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For vendor/food truck information please contact Riddims Marketing (954) 251-1643.

Further details about the event and the initiative are available in the Football Is Freedom app which

can be downloaded in the Google Play and I Tunes stores October 6th

.

Related items

  • Reggae Boy defender Mariappa seals move to Australia A-League club Macarthur FC Reggae Boy defender Mariappa seals move to Australia A-League club Macarthur FC

    Jamaica international Adrian Mariappa has secured a surprise move to Australia Super League club Macarthur FC.

    The 35-year-old defender had been without a club since May of this year, after being released by English Championship club Bristol City.  The player had, however, continued to show strong form with his country’s national team, playing in 6 games.

    Mariappa was linked with a move back to England with Sheffield Wednesday, who are coached by another former Jamaica international Darren Moore.  The club reportedly offered the out-of-contract player a deal, but he opted for the Super League move instead.

    For his part, Mariappa insists he is excited and looking forward to the new challenge.

    “I want to thank the owners and the football staff for having faith in me and making this happen,” Mariappa said.

    “When the opportunity to join the Bulls arrived, it was one I couldn’t turn down. It’s an exciting new challenge for me in my career and that for me is what I thrive off,” he added.

    “I’m hungry to achieve great things with the club and create new memories with the team and the fans.”

    Macarthur have won one and drawn one of their two games so far in the 2021/22 season.

  • Barcelona stalwart Pique: I don't want to let Xavi down Barcelona stalwart Pique: I don't want to let Xavi down

    Gerard Pique revealed he feels "added pressure" as he does not want to let former team-mate and new Barcelona head coach Xavi down.

    The centre-back has started all three games of the new era under Xavi, who was appointed in the wake of Ronald Koeman's dismissal at the end of October.

    Barca have won twice while drawing the other of Xavi's first three games and currently sit in 10th in LaLiga, 10 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

    Pique now feels an added incentive and pressure to perform for the former Blaugrana midfielder, who he played with 261 times during the Catalan club's halcyon days.

    "Xavi has arrived and has set standards like many coaches," Pique told Spanish television show El Hormiguero on Tuesday. 

    "They are necessary to demand orders and we are going to fulfil them all as it has always been in the past.

    "It puts added pressure on me to have Xavi as a coach, you don't want to let him down.

    "Morally I have to give him my best and if my performance is not the best I feel like I'm failing him."

    Barca's challenge has mounted this term following the departure of Lionel Messi, who ended a 21-year association with the Spanish giants as he joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

    Pique explained the difficulties of seeing Messi leave as he reminisced on a glory period with the Argentine superstar, who collected a record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or on Monday.

    "It was very hard, we played together since we were 14 years old," he added. "It was very hard from a sporting and personal point of view. Things haven't gone well for us at the start of the season.

    "I am happy for him and his seventh Ballon d'Or proves that he is the best of all time.

    "He has gone to a new country and a new culture. It's difficult, it happened to me when I was 17 when I went to Manchester [United]. Leo has gone with his family and I went on my own, but it's hard."

    Pique has no ambitions to leave Barca, though he has been gradually preparing himself for a potential retirement.

    "Many team-mates say that when you retire it's hard. You have had this routine since you were little," the 34-year-old continued.

    "It takes you a long time to adapt to the new life. People can take a year or more. And people recognise you less and less in the street and generations go by. It's hard.

    "I have been preparing myself for this life for a long time. Investing in business, projects, [and so on] to have something to do after I retire.

    "The key is to have something to do after leaving football. But clearly, I'm going to miss football."

  • Chiellini: Juventus has given us all so much, it is time to give back Chiellini: Juventus has given us all so much, it is time to give back

    Giorgio Chiellini insists he and his team-mates are determined to repay the faith shown in them by Juventus and help put their recent struggles behind them.

    The Bianconeri bounced back from successive defeats by Chelsea and Atalanta with a routine 2-0 win over bottom side Salernitana in Serie A.

    Goals from Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata sealed victory for the visitors at Stadio Arechi. Juve dominated, enjoying 73.9 per cent of the ball, having 18 attempts, with seven on target, and finishing the match with a 92.9 per cent passing accuracy in contrast to their hosts' completion rate of 75.9.

    Dybala sliced a late penalty over the bar – his first spot-kick miss for Juve since 2017 – but the three points were already assured. 

    But despite the win, Juve remain seventh in the Serie A table and seven points off the top four after their opening 15 matches.

    Massimiliano Allegri has claimed Juve cannot be considered as title contenders, though Chiellini is still driven to improve.

    "It was a good performance, but the coach used the right words yesterday and today to let us realise what we need to do," Chiellini told DAZN.

    "We need a sense of responsibility, don't do anything extraordinary, just do it with the right mentality. 

    "We played it clean today; it doesn't always work, but we managed it this evening. We knew it would be difficult, but we held out.

    "Juventus have given so much to me and all my team-mates, so this is the time to give back. 

    "We must all stay close to this club and together, we'll get out of this situation."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.