Several members of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz history-making World Cup squad including Bunny Shaw, Havana Solaun, Toriana Patterson, Allyson Swaby and Lauren Silver, have declared that they will not play another match for Jamaica until they are paid money they are owed from their world cup campaign.

Each has posted a No Pay No Play poster on their Instagram pages stating their position.

Under a banner declaring No Pay, No Play, the girls posted:

“This is an issue that goes simply beyond “getting paid.” It’s about the girls following in our footsteps. It’s about leaving something better off than when you found it. We signed contracts and have yet to be paid.

“The Reggae Girlz are the first Caribbean team ever to qualify for a World Cup. The hours of hard work and dedication put in by this team doesn’t have a monetary value. It’s about so much more than money. Women’s soccer has taken a back seat for too long. It’s time to take a stand.

“For this reason, I, along with my teammates won't be participating in any tournaments until being paid,” the post said.

In response, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts said he does not know what would have triggered this latest protest from the Reggae Girls. The players are owed US$120,000, Ricketts said, and half that amount was transferred through Sagicor Bank last week.

In the meantime, team manager Jean Nelson had been in communication with the players informing them that some money had been transferred to their accounts ad that the balance would be paid once they received US$750,000 earned at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup the end of September.

FIFA, Ricketts said, is to pay over that sum at the end of the month.

However, the players insist they have not been paid.

“My teammates and I have not received any money. Our agreement ended on August 30 and today is September 2 and there is nothing pending,” Lauren Silver confirmed, indicating that the players had formed their own union in anticipation of something like this happening.

“We as a group just always wanted to have a line of communication open with each other. Like most companies have a union but since it was a repetitive action, we as a team have been trying to work together more.”

She did acknowledge that Jean Nelson did communicate with them but the bottom line is that they still have not been paid.

“Jean has communicated with us to the best of her ability but at the end of the day she is not responsible for our salary,” she said.

 

 

French attacking player Viviane Asseyi is confident Jamaica international Khadijah ‘Bunny’ Shaw is set to have a major impact for Division 1 Féminine club Bordeaux after netting twice on her official debut.

The 22-year-old Shaw, who signed a two-year deal with the French club just ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, scored twice in a 4-1 win for Bordeaux over Fleury on her official league debut on Saturday.

“For me, she’s a great player.  Because of her size, she already provides a good point of support for us.  She has special physical and technical quality,” Asseyi said.

“Physically, she’s a monster. We see it in training, she moves everyone.  She’s a very good player and good for us,  I know she’ll do well with us.”

In Saturday’s route, Shaw scored in the 75th and 90th minute.  For Jamaica, the player has scored an impressive 31 goal in 24 appearances.  Bordeaux, who finished fourth in the league last season, will be hoping Shaw’s presence will lead the team to a top-two finish, which will see them qualify for the Women's UEFA Champions League next season.

 

Jamaica international Michael Hector is likely to be without regular first-team football until the next transfer window after deadline day moves to Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham collapsed.

The 27-year-old defender signed with Premier League club Chelsea in 2015 but has spent all his time on various loan spells.  Since signing for the Blues, at Stamford Bridge, the Jamaican has been loaned back to Reading to Frankfurt, Hull City, and Sheffield Wednesday.

Having clearly found himself to not be a part of new manager Frank Lampard’s plans, Hector was in talks with Sheffield Wednesday over a permanent move a few days before the close of the summer window. 

Chelsea were, however, said to want £5 million for Hector, who recently entered the final year of his contract with the club for whom he has never played a competitive fixture. 

The player came close to joining Fulham on Thursday but that move fell through.  Fulham were hopeful of landing Hector before the window closed but couldn't as they were still waiting on the agreement for Ryan Sessegnon to be completed with Tottenham.

The Cottagers were then forced to go for other targets on loan in order to comply with FFP regulations.  Hector is, however, expected to join the club in the January window.

 

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is likely to face a fine, in addition to a bill for reimbursement, after the embarrassing fiasco that forced the team to withdraw from the CONCACAF U-15 Championships last week.

The Jamaicans were originally slated to compete in Group D, alongside Costa Rica, Portugal and Barbados.  The team was, however, forced to pull out of the tournament as not enough players were able to acquire US visa in time.

According to JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint, the organization was unable to secure emergency visa appointments for most of the team, following the US Embassy’s inability to handle the request.   Wint explained that the reason given was that the embassy was short-staffed during the Independence Day holiday period.  Only five of the 21 players held valid travel documents. 

Based on CONCACAF statues the JFF could be in hot water.  The regulations state that ‘if a team withdraws before the start of the competition, they will be fined US$10,000’. The Jamaica Football organizing body could also foreseeably be asked to reimburse CONCACAF and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for any costs incurred as a result of its proposed involvement or eventual non-involvement.

Jamaica are scheduled to kick off their 2019-2020 CONCACAF Nation's League campaign against Antigua and Barbuda, at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in September, based on a newly released schedule.

The opening round of the tournament will feature some 34 matches overall, with teams placed in three groups.  The competition will also feature all 41 member associations of the Concacaf region in the same competition for the first time.

The Jamaicans kick off the competition in League B after finishing eighth in the qualifiers earlier this year.  In League A, Trinidad and Tobago will look to beginning putting a poor Gold Cup campaign behind them when they face Martinique.  Cuba, who also struggled to make a positive impression at the tournament, will face Canada in a rematch of a Gold Cup group contest.  The Caribbean team will be hoping for a much better showing this time around having been trounced 7-0 on that occasion.

 Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, and Honduras, who are all top-ranked in the three-team League A groups, will begin their participation in the tournament in October and November.  The winners of each Nations League A group will qualify to the Final Championship that will now be played in June and will determine the champion of the new competition.

Group winners from Leagues B and League C will be promoted to League A and B, respectively, while the teams at the bottom of each League A and League B groups will be relegated to League B and C, respectively.

 

2019-2020 Concacaf Nations League Group Stage Schedule
*In ET and home team listed first

Thursday, September 5, 2019
(C) 3:00 PM US Virgin Islands vs Cayman Islands – Bethlehem Soccer Complex, US Virgin Islands
(C) 6:00 PM Barbados vs Saint Martin – Astro Turf Wildey Stadium, Barbados
(A) 6:00 PM Bermuda vs Panama – Bermuda National Sport Center, Bermuda
(B) 6:00 PM Grenada vs St. Kitts and Nevis – Kirani James Athletic Stadium, Grenada
(B) 3:00 PM Dominica vs Suriname – Windsor Park Sports Stadium, Dominica
(B) 8:00 PM French Guiana vs Belize – Stade du Dr. Edmard Lama, French Guiana
(B) 8:00 PM Nicaragua vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Estadio Nacional, Nicaragua
(C) 10:00 PM Guatemala vs Anguilla – Doroteo Guamuch Flores, Guatemala

Friday, September 6, 2019
(C) 3:00 PM Bonaire vs British Virgin Islands – Stadion Ergilio Hato, Curacao
(A) 6:00 PM Martinique vs Trinidad & Tobago – Stade Pierre Aliker, Martinique
(B) 7:00 PM Aruba vs Guyana – Stadion Ergilio Hato, Curacao
(B) 8:00 PM Jamaica vs Antigua and Barbuda – Montego Bay Sports Complex, Jamaica

Saturday, September 7, 2019
(B) 3:00 PM Montserrat vs Dominican Republic – Blake’s Football Complex, Montserrat
(C) 5:00 PM Guadeloupe vs Sint Maarten – Rene Serge Nabajoth, Guadeloupe
(A) 6:00 PM Curacao vs Haiti – Stadion Ergilio Hato, Curacao
(A) 8:00 PM Canada vs Cuba – BMO Field, Canada
(B) 10:00 PM El Salvador vs St. Lucia – Estadio Cuscatlan, El Salvador

Sunday, September 8, 2019
(C) 3:00 PM Saint Martin vs US Virgin Islands – Raymond Gordon Ernest Guishard Technical Center, Anguilla
(B) 6:00 PM Belize vs Grenada – Isidro Beoton Stadium, Belize
(B) 6:00 PM St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs Dominica – Arnos Vale Stadium, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
(B) 6:00 PM Suriname vs Nicaragua – Andre Kamperveen Stadion, Suriname
(B) 7:00 PM St. Kitts and Nevis vs French Guiana – Warner Park, St. Kitts and Nevis
(C) 7:30 PM Cayman Islands vs Barbados – Truman Bodden Sports Complex, Cayman Islands
(A) 9:00 PM Panama vs Bermuda – Rommel Fernandez, Panama

Monday, September 9, 2019
(B) 3:00 PM Antigua and Barbuda vs Aruba – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua and Barbuda
(C) 6:00 PM Bahamas vs Bonaire – Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Bahamas
(B) 7:00 PM Guyana vs Jamaica – Leonora National Track & Field Center, Guyana
(A) 9:00 PM Trinidad & Tobago vs Martinique – Ato Boldon Stadium, Trinidad & Tobago

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
(C) 2:00 PM Puerto Rico vs Guatemala – Juan Ramon Loubriel, Puerto Rico
(C) 3:00 PM Turks and Caicos Islands vs Guadeloupe – TCIFA National Academy , Turks and Caicos Islands
(B) 4:00 PM Montserrat vs St. Lucia – Blake’s Football Complex, Montserrat
(B) 6:00 PM Dominican Republic vs El Salvador – Felix Sanchez, Dominican Republic
(A) 6:00 PM Haiti vs Curacao – Sylvio Cator, Haiti
(A) 7:15 PM Cuba vs Canada – Truman Bodden Sports Complex, Cayman Island

MLS All-Stars Andre Blake and Kemar Lawrence are hoping to pave a path for future generations of Jamaican players, after creating history at this year’s edition of the All-Star Game.

The duo's appearance in a match-up against Spanish La Liga team Atletico Madrid will mark the first time two Jamaicans have been selected on the same All-Stars team.

 Blake, the Jamaica national team captain, and Lawrence, once of its best defenders, represent a growing list that opted to play their football in North American as opposed to heading straight to the European leagues.

The list, which includes the likes of Alvas Powell, Darren Mattocks, and Peter-Lee Vassell are crucial cogs in Jamaica national team that has made it to three straight Gold Cup semi-finals and two finals.

“It should motivate the kids back there to help them to believe the sky is the limit,” Blake told Pro Soccer USA. “And they just have to keep working hard, worry about nothing and everything will take care of itself,” he added.

“It definitely brings a lot of inspiration.  Even those who did not believe are starting to believe right now. That’s always a good thing for me. I always want to inspire youths, to have them believe in their dreams and believe that anything is possible. For me and him, it’s definitely a big thing. We have to keep going and keep knowing that the sky is the limit and understand there are always younger generations that are looking up to us.”

 

 

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has flatly dismissed rumours linking Jamaica international Leon Bailey with a move to the German champions.

Rumours linking the 21-year-old Bailey with a move from current club Bayer Leverkusen have gathered pace in recent weeks.  Some even went as far as to suggest that the player had agreed to personal terms ahead of the news.

Despite possibly being on the looking out for quality in the wide areas following the departure of veterans Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben last season, Kovac strongly denied the reports.

"I am not responsible for transfers, but I have to say something regarding this. I find it extraordinarily strange that you can blurt something out and nothing happens. You can just say something but it's not true,” Kovac told Goal.

"If you communicate something like this, there must be undeniable proof. Otherwise, you cannot spread it as news. I would ask you to check it. It's not true, it's not verified. It's false."

The Jamaican experienced somewhat of a dip in form last season, managing just five goals and one assist in 29 Bundesliga appearances.  His performance palled in comparison to the previous season where he was a breakthrough star, scoring 9 goals and grabbing six assists.

Norwegian division one club IK Start has refused to entertain offers for Jamaican international Damion Lowe, despite several proposals put on the table for the player this transfer window, reports have claimed.

The 26-year-old defender has been a standout performer in recent times and played a crucial role for Jamaica in a third straight run to the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals.

The defenders outstanding performances have not escaped the attention of scouts, with sources claiming the player has already received offers from Turkey, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Norway and the United States MLS. 

According to the club’s Sporting Director Tor-Kristian Karlsen, who earlier this year outlined a plan for the team becoming one of Norway’s elite in three-years, the club is not inclined to easily part with one of its prized assets.

“I can confirm that there has been great interest in Damion both from the Elite series and from abroad but we want to keep him,” Karlsen said.

“I can confirm that there have been bids that we have rejected, but I do not want to go into which clubs they are from,” he added.

Lowe, the son of former Jamaica international Onandi Lowe, has made 17 appearances for Jamaica’s national team.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey admits he is champing at the bit to get on the pitch for Bayer Leverkusen, in the upcoming season, after having somewhat of a disappointing campaign last term.

The 21-year-old winger notched 5 goals and one assist in 21 appearances for Leverkusen last season, representing a less significant output than 2017 when he registered 9 goals and 6 assists.  After a second season that initially saw the player score 1 goal and 2 assists at around the halfway point, the winger did, however, pick up some speed following the appointment of Peter Bosz as head coach.

In addition, Bailey, who suffered a hamstring injury towards the end of the season, made a less than impressive long-awaited debut for Jamaica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  The Jamaicans made it to the semifinals of the competition but were defeated by the USA.

Now back to full fitness, however, the winger is eager to once again hit top gear.

"Last season I had ups and downs," he told Leverkusen's official website.

"I had an injury towards the end, so it wasn't my best season, but right now I'm really looking forward to the new season,” he added.

"I'm just trying to stay fit, stay positive and stay focused. I'm looking forward with the mindset of being better than last season."

Jamaica Reggae Girlz striker Kayla McCoy has been ruled out of taking part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup after sustaining an injury in a practice match against Scotland last week.

The 22-year-old McCoy, who is based in the United States where she represents the Houston Dash, joined the squad in September before being selected to the final 23-man squad last month.

The player, however, sustained an injury after replacing follow forward Khadijah Shaw as a late substitute in Jamaica’s 3-2 loss against Scotland.  Shaw also sustained an injury during the match. 

The duo was initially listed as day-to-day, but it appears the injury for McCoy is worse than initially believed.  An MRI scan taken on Monday showed the player had sustained damage to her ACL. 

The injury has been reported to be a partial tear of the ligament, recuperation from which can take anywhere between 3 and 6 months.  A replacement for the player is expected to be named shortly.  The Reggae Girlz have been drawn in a Group C alongside Brazil, Italy and Australia. 

The national team will make its World Cup debut against Brazil on Sunday at the Stade des Alpes, Grenoble.  The prognosis for Shaw is better as the player is expected to make a full recovery in time for the tournament.

 

 

 

Jamaica national men’s football team coach Theodore Whitmore believes a strong start against CONCACAF rivals on home soil could go a long way in determining how well the squad does in the upcoming edition of the Gold Cup.

This time around and for the first time in the tournament’s history, there will be matches held on Caribbean soil.  Jamaica will host El Salvador, Honduras and Curacao in Group C and Whitmore is eager to take advantage of the home turf.  While regarding El Salvador and Curacao as familiar opponents, the Reggae Boyz coach regards Honduras as more of an x-factor.

“We are looking forward to it. The only difference in our group is Honduras. We know the El Salvador team, we know the Curacao team, we have the Honduras team to play at home and we are looking forward to that game. A positive result in that game should set us on our way into the El Salvador and Curacao games,” Whitmore said in an interview with CONCACAF.com.

The Reggae Boyz have reached the final of the competition in the last two editions, where they lost to the region’s top teams Mexico and the United States.  The Caribbean team will be hoping to make a third trip this year, perhaps this time hoping to do one better.

“Nothing is impossible. We just have to work hard and make sure we get in a decent preparation and then in the tournament, we’ll see what we can do,” said Whitmore.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey sent a ripple of excitement through social media platforms after promising to wear the country’s national colours with pride and dignity.

The 21-year-old and his country’s football governors, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), were embroiled in a protracted dispute for the last couple of years, but recently announced the issues to be at an end.  The player has as a result been called up to a 40-man provisional team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and is expected to make his debut next month.

In previous seasons, talented young Jamaica was linked with a move to several top-flight clubs, including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.  Despite a slower season than his 2017-2018 campaign where he scored 12 goals, Bailey still netted five times as the team sealed fourth place and European football in the Bundesliga. 

With his full focus now on the national team, however, Bailey has promised to wear the Reggae Boyz colours with pride and further hopes to serve as a role model.

“I promise to wear the colours black green and gold with honour, pride, and dignity while aiming to be a positive role model for kids with a dream,” Bailey post via social media platform Instagram.

   Jamaica are set to open the Gold Cup on June 17 against Honduras in Kingston in the first Gold Cup match to be played in the Caribbean.

Former Manchester United youth standout Ravel Morrison has been named in a 40-man provisional Jamaica national team squad for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Once considered one of England’s brightest prospects, the 26-year-old Morrison now plies his trade for Swedish club Östersund after stints in Italy and Mexico.  The player, who is of Jamaican heritage, has been on the radar of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) for quite some time but is yet to make an appearance for the national team.

The player has been invited to appear for the team on prior occasions but has been hampered by various issues.  Morrison has, however, recently received his Jamaican passport and previously travelled to the island for the Reggae Boyz' game against Antigua and Barbuda in March last year.

The roster of 40 will also include the likes of Daniel Johnson of English Championship club Preston North End, Adrian Mariappa of beaten FA Cup finalist Watford and Michael Hector (Sheffield Wednesday).  Former national U-20 player Rashawn Dally of FC Cincinnati in the MLS and defender Jordan Scarlett of the New York Red Bulls USL team are a group of US-based players which also includes Jamoi Topey (Bethlehem Steel), Darren Mattocks & Alvas Powell (FC Cincinnati), Damion Lowe (IK Start), Dever Orgill (MKE Ankaragücü) and Peter-Lee Vassell (LAFC).  Bayer Munich standout Leon Bailey is also expected to accept an invitation to join the team.

Following their 1-1 draw with South Africa back in April, the Reggae Girlz will be back in action on Sunday when they take on a strong Panama unit, hoping to exact revenge following their 4-2 penalty shoot-out loss in the World Cup qualifiers last year.

 A bit of the aforementioned recent history seemed very much on the mind of head coach Hue Menzies as he assembled a strong squad to face the Central Americans on home soil.

Veteran attacking player Khadija Shaw will once again lead the line and will be joined by returning attacking AS Roma based midfielder Trudi Carter, who has been out for four months due to injury.

 Menzies is expected to name his final 23-man squad for the World Cup this week, and so he will be looking closely at some players.

 “We are in the last week of selecting our group and some of these players were told to step up if they are to make the cut. We have brought in the technology to test some of these players and so I feel it will come down to a more psychological aspect for some of these girls,” Menzies said.

 The coach had high praises for University of Tennessee graduate Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw who showed excellent physical ability in practice.

 “When you look at the work ethic of someone like ‘Bunny’ it shows that some of the senior players are ready for the task at hand, it is very encouraging heading into our final set of warm-up games,” he added.

 Following the Panama friendly on Sunday, the squad will depart on Monday for a camp in Florida where the likes of players like Jody Brown and Marlo Sweatman are expected to join up with the team.

The Girls will then depart for the United Kingdom for a friendly against Scotland in Edinburgh on May 28.

 

Jamaica’s young Reggae Boyz secured their first win of the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, following a 4-2 win over Bermuda at the IMG Academy on Sunday.

On the back of losses to Mexico and perennial rivals Trinidad and Tobago, the Jamaicans were powered to their first points of the season courtesy of a hat-trick from Rajay Wright.  It was, however, his strike partner Revaldo Mitchell who got the ball after hitting the back of the net in the 4th minute.  Wright scored the first of his three goals five minutes later, before adding another on the 15-minute mark.

Bermuda, however, showed signs of life after getting on the scoresheet two minutes after the teams resumed play for the second half.  It was Jayce Basden who found the back of the net on that occasion, but much to the team’s disappointment Wright completed his hat-trick four minutes later.  The team captain Arnezha Astwood pulled another goal back for the Bermudans from the spot in the 64th minute, but it proved to be a consolation effort.

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