Reggae Girlz assistant coach Lorne Donaldson believes the women’s programme in Jamaica has taken a hit with the departure of World Cup qualifying coach, Hue Menzies.

Menzies, on Tuesday, announced his intention to leave the programme after disputes with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) seemed not to have a resolution in sight.

According to Menzies, the JFF has not paid money due to him in his contract, failed to communicate with him regarding a new contract after his expired in August, and have not reimbursed him for expenses incurred on the job.

Donaldson, himself, has said he would be unwilling to take up the top post, coaching the Girlz, unless there were guarantees that some of the issues Menzies spoke about were addressed.

“Menzies not being around puts a hole in the programme; the staff is really bummed because we did a lot of work within the last five years, some of it is work done behind the scenes that people don't know about, and we scraped and fought with these kids. So Hue not being around is a big setback for this programme,” said Donaldson.

The executive director of coaching at Real Colorado Soccer also believes there is a lot of uncertain surrounding the programme with just a couple of months to go before the Reggae Girlz take on the final round of Olympic Qualification.

“The crucial stage of the Olympic qualifiers is coming up, but we already messed that up because we had a game against the USA and we didn't take the game. We would have played the number one team in the world and we didn't take the game, so all this stuff is a setback for us,” said Donaldson.

“Now we missed the FIFA window; no games and I don't know when we are going to have any friendly games or camps because everything seems to be very difficult. I know Costa Rica wants to play us in January, and that's kind of late, but Costa Rica is still waiting for them to respond, so I don't know,” he said.

Still, Donaldson believes there is much promise in the Reggae Girlz programme and wants to ensure that that promise is fulfilled.

“We are going to concentrate on the players because we actually owe it to them. [Hubert] Busby and I, we made a commitment to some of the parents and players for the U-20s and U-17s,” said Donaldson.

“Again, it is going to be difficult trying to do the U-17s and the U-20s because nobody seems like they are interested on that side. There is interest elsewhere, but we have to find the right people who want to see women's football succeed in Jamaica. Right now it is not happening,” he said.

Assistant coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz, Lorne Donaldson, does not want to step into the vacancy left by the departing Hue Menzies if women’s football in the country is treated the same way it has been.

Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary, Dalton Wint, says he has received nothing in writing from former Reggae Girlz coach, Hue Menzies.

Despite numerous successes in recent times, Reggae Girlz head coach, Hue Menzies has decided he can no longer continue in his capacity after a protracted dispute did not seem to be coming to an amicable solution.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts has described as “another positive for Jamaica’s football’, the fact that Khadijah 'Bunny' Shaw has been named among the world’s top 100 female footballers by the UK Guardian.

A Jamaica Under-22 team will take on Japan at the Transcosmos Stadium in Nagasaki in a friendly scheduled for December 28, for the Kirin Challenge Cup 2019.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will need a minimum of US$2million a year to fund its objectives of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2021.

Theodore Whitmore, head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz said that Jamaica couldn’t afford to be complacent now that the team has climbed up the latest FIFA World Rankings released on Wednesday.

Some of Jamaica’s disgruntled Reggae Girlz have begun to receive a portion of their payments from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), money that came due on August 30.

 

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.

 

 

Head coach of Jamaica’s U23 team Donovan Duckie has tendered his resignation at the request of the Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts.

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.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation has expressed sadness at the passing of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga who died on Tuesday after a bout of illness. He was 89.

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