In the face of adversity and ongoing disputes, the Jamaica Football Federation has announced a 22-player squad for two crucial international friendly matches against Chile on February 23 and 27. However, the squad is notably missing key senior first-team players who continue to abstain due to unresolved issues with the football federation, primarily revolving around unpaid fees and related concerns.

The delegation set to represent Jamaica in these significant international friendly encounters includes a mix of talented players from various backgrounds and universities. Among them are standout athletes like Theana Burnett from Sacred Heart University, Serena Mensa from Fordham University, and Sydnie Street from Seneca College. The team boasts a diverse roster, showcasing players from institutions such as George Mason University, SCU Torreense, and SK Slavia Praha Zeny.

Despite the absence of the senior first-team players, the selected squad is ready to face the formidable Chilean opponents. The delegation, consisting of both local officials and SWNT (Senior Women's National Team) players, is scheduled to depart from Jamaica on Tuesday, February 20. The entire team will assemble in Chile a day later, brimming with determination and unity.

The list of players includes Nevillegail Able from the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Alika Keene from SK Slavia Praha Zeny, and Ricshya Walker from LaSalle University, among others. Each player brings their unique skills and experiences to the field, forming a cohesive unit ready to represent Jamaica on the international stage.

Leading the charge is the coaching and support staff, with Xavier Gilbert at the helm as the Head Coach, supported by Assistant Coach Jermaine Thomas, Team Manager Crystal Walters, and Team Doctor Ruchelle Brown. The staff also includes physiotherapist Ashley Stephens, masseur Devin Lawson, GK Coach Everdean Scarlet, equipment manager Omar Folkes, and trainer Leacroft Lettman. Heading the delegation is Paul Beckford, the Head of Delegation.

Full squad: Theana Burnett, Sacred Heart University; Serena Mensa, Fordham University; Sydnie Street, Seneca College; Zoe Vidaurre, George Mason University; Nevillegail Able, University of Maine at Fort Kent; Chinyelu Asher, SCU Torreense; Alika Keene, SK Slavia Praha Zeny; Ricshya Walker, LaSalle University; Marlo Sweatman, Viktoria Haladas; Christina Salmon, William Carey University; Davia Richards, Hill College; Mikayla Dayes, Rodez AF (France); Shaneil Buckley, XLCR; Melissa Johnson, Charlton Athletic Women FC; Aliyah Morgan, George Mason University; Jade Bailey, London City Lionessess; Destiny Powell, XLCR; Lachante Paul, Burnley FC; Isreala Groves, London City Lionesses; Naya Cardoza, Brown University; Njeri Butts, University Of Florida; Lexi Lloyd-Smith, Southampton FC Women's.

 

 

 

With members of last year’s senior Reggae Girlz FIFA World Cup squad and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) still yet to amicably agree on the way forward, interim Head coach Xavier Gilbert has once again pooled a fairly inexperienced team for a two-match friendly against Chile later this month.

Gilbert, who welcomed the fixtures, and his Reggae Girlz is expected to assemble in the South American country on February 21, ahead the two games scheduled for February 23 and 27.

“It is always important to utilize the FIFA windows so getting these games is a good move from the JFF and, of course, we get to expose some of the young talent that we have to offer to top level competition so they can gain the necessary experience that will be required as we look ahead,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV.

The 22-player squad comprises mostly players that contested last year’s Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers, with former Liverpool midfielder Jade Bailey, who recently signed with London City Lionesses, making a return to the national setup following a knee surgery, while National Under-17 representative Naya Cardoza, makes her transition to the senior team.

“It is very good to have Jade back she is a very good player who was out for quite some time, so it is good to have her back in the fold giving her level of experience and we expect her to be one of the leaders in the team where guiding the younger players is concerned,” Gilbert noted.

This will be the second two-match friendly series between the two teams following their 2019 meeting in Jamaica, which the Reggae Girlz won 1-0 and 3-2. However, Chile came away 6-0 winners in their most recent meeting at last year’s Pan American Games.

“We are expecting another good game from Chile, obviously they are a pretty good team with a lot to offer. It is never comfortable going into another team’s base to play, so we just have to go there and give of our best, because like I said, these games are important for players to not only gain experience, but also to develop some semblance of cohesion going forward,” Gilbert reasoned.

Squad: Theanna Burnett (Sacred Heart University), Serena Mensa (Fordham University), Malikae Dayes (AAB, Denmark), Zoe Vidaurre (George Mason University), Nevillegail Able (University of Maine, Fort Kent), Chinyelu Asher (SCU Torreense), Alika Keene (SK Slavia Praha Zeny), Ricshya Walker (LaSalle University), Marlo Sweatman (Viktoria Haladas), Christina Salmon (William Carey University), Davia Richards Player (Hill College),Mikayla Dayes (Rodez AF, France), Shaneil Buckley (Excelsior High), Melissa Johnson (Charlton Athletic Women FC), Aliyah Morgan (George Mason University), Jade Bailey (London City Lionessess), Destiny Powell (Excelsior High), Lachante Paul (Burnley FC), Isreala Groves (London City Lionesses), Naya Cardoza (Brown University), Njeri Butts (University Of Florida), Sydnie Street (Seneca College)

Too often, we wait until our pioneers are gone before we shower them with the praise they deserve.

The Jamaica Football Federation ensured this wouldn’t be the case on Monday when they held a ceremony honoring four stalwarts of football in Jamaica at the federation’s headquarters.

The first set of honorees included Geoffrey Maxwell, Leander Marshall, Everton “Bob West” McLeary and Allan “Skill” Cole.

According to Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts, this initiative was long overdue and is one that he plans to do annually.

“We really want to use this opportunity to express my personal views and those of the JFF. We would have previously planned similar exercises which really did not work out as we would’ve liked and we took a decision that we would select four or five persons annually,” he said.

“Here we are today showing our love and appreciation for the commitment, love, loyalty and the level of entertainment that these players and administrators have given to the sport,” he added.

Ricketts explained that this initiative is a part of the JFF’s efforts to re-connect with past players.

“The JFF is intent on ensuring that we re-establish a relationship with our past players and persons who would have given support to football over the years,” he said.

“Those were the days when service to sport, and especially football, was straight volunteerism,” he added.

Geoffrey Maxwell represented Jamaica as a defender before transitioning into coaching.

He guided Excelsior High to one Manning Cup title and two Walker Cup titles in the 1980s and also coached Waterhouse to the National League trophy in 1998.

Schoolboy football apart, Maxwell coached at the club level with Santos, Waterhouse, Harbour View, Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens, St George's SC, the JDF, and Maverley/Hughenden, among others.

Leander Marshall served as president of the Portmore Football League for over 30 years.

Everton “Bob West” McLeary was a respected administrator to the JFF 30 years ago and sponsored a football competition holding his name. This was part of the KSAFA ecosystem.

Prior to his post at the JFF, he served as a Journalist and a Policeman. He was seriously injured after being knocked down by a vehicle when he was on his motorcycle on Mountain View Avenue in 1994.

Unfortunately, as a result of this accident and the head injuries he sustained, he wasn’t the same. McLeary helped to improve the quality of administration and getting things in place even when resources were not there. McLeary is currently at a nursing home in Manchester.

Allan “Skill” Cole is widely regarded as Jamaica’s greatest ever footballer.

At the peak of his powers, Cole was a midfield maestro local fans compared to Pele. He remains the Jamaica's youngest senior football international, donning national colors against a Brazilian team when he was only 15 years old.

In addition to his local exploits, Cole represented the Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL and Nautico in Brazil.

“First I want to thank the federation for honoring us,” Cole said on behalf of the honorees.

“I cherish these things because I remember in the early days when we were playing football and we didn’t get any form of honor. You see schoolboys today getting citations, plaques and all these things when they score goals, we didn’t get those things. The game has evolved and that is very good” he added.

Cole, who has had his fair share of health issues, made the point that people must be honored more while they are living.

“Honor us before we die. Don’t wait until we die before you honor us. It’s sad and it happens all over the country. Let a man live in his glory,” he said.

 

Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw believes there is no praise too high for Cedella Marley and her exploits which resulted in the country now boasting a solid women’s football programme.

Shaw, in a heartfelt post on Saturday, expressed gratitude to Marley for the work done over the past 10 years, as she partnered with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to raise funds for the Reggae Girlz, which inevitably led to consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup appearances in 2019 and 2023.

Marley on Thursday announced her resignation as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s women’s football programme, citing the current state of affairs involving the senior Reggae Girlz World Cup representatives and the JFF as reason behind her departure.

She also stated that the federation is “neither receptive nor interested" in her "current manner of support”, and, as such, demitted the role with immediate effect.

As such, Shaw, who rose from humble beginnings and is now enjoying a decorated professional career at Women’s Super League (WSL) outfit Manchester City, paid tribute to Marley, who she said gave not only her, but other young girls, a chance to believe in their dreams.

“To the woman, who fought for us through all the constant struggles and mistreatment, I am forever grateful,” Shaw declared.

The towering striker, who is one of only a few players to have represented Jamaica at the Under-15, Under-17, Under-20 and senior levels, simultaneously at times, recalled when JFF cut the women’s programme due to a lack of funding.

With over three years of inactivity at that time, the country was kicked off the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. However, Marley gave the programme a new lease on life in 2014.

Through her tenacity and committed fundraising efforts, Marley ensured the Reggae Girlz have not only etched their names in the annals of Jamaica’s and the world’s sporting history on numerous occasions, but are currently ranked at number 40. They only recently slipped from the country’s highest ever ranking of 37.

“When the senior programme was abandoned in 2008, due to lack of funding, there was no senior pathway. In 2014, 10 years ago, you came, and you kept every young girl’s hopes alive to one day represent Jamaica at the highest level,” Shaw said.

“(I remember) when you said ‘they said y’all couldn’t, and I said tell me why. When they said y’all wouldn’t, I said watch me.’ Here we are years later, qualified for two World Cup back-to-back, all because of your dedication and willingness to ensure we are given an opportunity. For that I am forever grateful,” she added.

Despite her resignation, Marley declared that she would continue to support the Reggae Girlz’ journey via the Football is Freedom initiative.

The Bob and Rita Marley Foundation has also cut ties with the country's governing football body in what it said was a move was to “reassess its priorities.”

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts, said he is saddened that both Cedella Marley, as well as the Bob and Rita Marley Foundation have opted to cut ties with the country's women's programme.

After Marley resigned from her role as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s women’s football programme, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundation followed suit and announced its discontinuation of funding support to the JFF and the national women’s programme.

A statement signed by the Foundation’s General Counsel Lecia-Gaye Taylor and released on Thursday, said the decision was not made lightly given their “long and meaningful” partnership with the JFF over the years.

While Marley pointed to the current state of affairs involving the senior Reggae Girlz World Cup representatives and the JFF as reasons behind her departure, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundation said its move was to reassess its priorities.

“We have been privileged to witness the growth and development of women’s football in Jamaica, and we are proud of the achievements and progress that have been made during our collaboration.

“However, as circumstances change and our foundations evolves, we must reassess our priorities and the impact of our funding on various causes and organizations. In light of our revised focus and funding priorities, we have come to the conclusion that we can no longer continue our financial support of the JFF programme,” the statement read.

Like Marley, the Foundation expressed its commitment to the empowerment of girls and the development of women’s football in Jamaica and, as such, will continue its support under the Football is Freedom initiative.

Both Marley and the Foundation, have been instrumental benefactors to the country’s governing football body over the years and their absence have started to raise questions about how the JFF will fill that huge gap in its JFF’s coffers, a fact Ricketts is very much aware of.

“I am saddened by the unfortunate decision of Miss Marley to cut ties with the women's programme at this time. This is even more so as we are of the view that we had made significant progress in the discussions and are just awaiting the World Cup players to come back to us and advise of their availability. We must thank Miss Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation for all the support that they have given over time. We want to assure her that the gains that have been made will be concretised as we move into the future,” Ricketts said in a release.

“We are happy that she [Marley] will continue to lend support to local women's football through the "Football is Freedom" initiative and are eager to offer any support that might be requested. The JFF no doubt will always welcome the contribution of Miss Marley as we continue to develop women's football and provide a path for the young girls in Jamaica,” he ended.

 

 

Cedella Marley has resigned from her role as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s women's football team effective immediately.

Marley, who was highly regarded by the players as the Reggae Girlz’ ‘fairy godmother,’ made the announcement via a release on Thursday.

Marley, in the statement, pointed to the current state of affairs involving the senior Reggae Girlz World Cup representatives and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) as reasons behind her departure, a decision which comes after 10 years partnering with the country's governing football body, to raise funds for the Reggae Girlz as they qualified for consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019 and 2023.

"I must express my disappointment and growing concern with the turn things have taken in recent months. After the World Cup, I was under the impression that we all were committed to working together to build on that success. However, the ever-widening rift between the JFF and the team is very alarming. Numerous overtures to each of you to voice my concern and try to assist with a resolution, continue to be met with noncommittal, generic response," a part of her statement read.

She said she believes the federation is “neither receptive nor interested" in her "current manner of support.”

Marley explained that after sharing a mutual vision with Captain Horace Burrell, she joined the team with an understanding that she would bring “help and support.” She further expressed that since coming to that understanding, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations alongside a host of partners have invested some US $2.7 million into the growth and development of the country's women’s football team since 2014.

“We have worked diligently with the federation to build a solid women’s programme. The results of this work speak for themselves as the Reggae Girlz have gone on to literally make history – not once, not twice but repeatedly,” she noted.

Despite her resignation, Marley declared that she would continue to support the Reggae Girlz’ journey via the Football is Freedom initiative.

Meanwhile, JFF Vice-president Raymond Anderson, who will challenge incumbent Michael Ricketts for the presidency next week, believes Marley's resignation speaks clearly to the inability of the current leadership to be trusted. 

"This resignation casts a long shadow of mistrust over the current JFF administration. It is now clear that there has been a deliberate effort to discredit our two-time World Cup-qualifying Reggae Girlz. This squad, a beacon of hope and pride for our nation, has been let down. In just three months, the JFF has managed to undo what took Cedella Marley and everyone involved a decade to build," a release from Anderson's Real Solid Action (RSA) team stated.

"I utterly condemn the manner in which the Reggae Girlz and Ambassador Marley have been treated. The lack of communication, unfulfilled promises, and disregard shown are inexcusable. To see such disregard for the team, the handling of coach Lorne Donaldson, and the dismantling of their structure after ascending to the Round of 16 in the World Cup, is not only a betrayal of trust but a tragic misstep," it added.

General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, Dennis Chung, has commended the work done by Jamaican football’s governing body on the back of a busy calendar year of football in the country.

The Reggae Girlz and Reggae Boyz hosted seven games between them in Jamaica between September and November.

“It has been an extremely busy year. In September we had three games, in October we had two games and we had two games in November and anyone who knows what it takes to plan a game, it takes a lot of time, effort and resources,” Chung said at a press conference at the JFF offices on Thursday.

“We had so many events during the year so it was really good that we were able to manage through it. My commendations to the staff because I know the amount of work that they go through to put an event on or to mobilize a team, it is significant. The amount of money that we spent taking the women to the World Cup was about US $2 million. We have to manage all of that,” he added.

The Reggae Boyz hosted Honduras, Haiti and Canada in Concacaf Nations League A action while the Girlz hosted Canada in an Olympic Qualifier as well as Guatemala and Panama in a pair of Concacaf W Gold Cup qualifiers.

Chung also pointed out that despite some hiccups such as Visa issues for travelling parties, the federation was able to get through the year with no major hindrances.

“We are grateful for the activity that has happened and grateful, also, that we really have not had any incidents in the year. We had one or two hiccups when it relates to the Visa process but it didn’t cause any major dislocation,” Chung said.

“The first one had to do with the UK incident where the staff was late in getting their Visas because of the move of the processing from Jamaica to New York and then we had the incident of the U-15s going to Sweden. Outside of that I think we’ve had a fairly successful year administratively,” he added.

Without going into specific numbers, Chung also mentioned that the JFF were able to sort out some financial problems they were experiencing.

“The other thing that was initially a challenge for us was the administration of the accounting because, as you know, the JFF has been on restricted funding for a while but I’m happy to say that, based on how we’ve closed out the year and our interactions with FIFA, who we had invited to come here in November, I think we’re in a much better place,” he said.

“We would’ve gotten, during the year, a tax compliance certificate, which many companies in Jamaica do not have. We have been managing very well, certainly better than last year, in terms of the demands of the organization,” Chung added.

Chung also commented on renovations done to the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence located at the University of the West Indies.

“We also did a lot of work at the center and we were able to host some national teams there. The Trinidad National Men’s team was there and the Guyana Men’s team was there as well. We were able to also rent out the facility. It’s now well renovated,” he said.

“2023 was a year of bringing all the chips together, ensuring we have the right capacity in place and we’re as productive as possible given the circumstances,” he added.

The current administration will now turn their attention to the upcoming JFF presidential elections scheduled for January 14, 2024.

 

 

 

The Real Solid Action campaign team, led by Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Presidential candidate, Raymond Anderson, has provided evidence of what they describe as “massive electoral fraud” by the incumbent JFF administration led by President Michael Ricketts.

Last week, Anderson’s team expressed profound outrage and dismay at the recent uncovering of actions taken by the Michael Ricketts-led administration to disenfranchise constitutionally recognized voter organizations. 

Anderson's team said it has in its possession irrefutable evidence showing the JFF's repeated attempts to prevent legitimate voter organizations from exercising their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for January 14.

These tactics, the RSA team believes are a blatant disregard for democratic principles and are aimed at silencing voices that are crucial to the fair and transparent functioning of the electoral process.

They presented said evidence to members of the media and, thus, to the public during a press briefing at the Liguanea Club in Kingston on Monday. 

To better understand the questions at hand, we must first gain a better understanding of exactly how the voting structure for the JFF elections is made up. 

“There are 56 votes spread across what we refer to as three pillars,” according to RSA team member and current JFF director Denzil Wilks. 

“Pillar one comprises all the football parish associations and each parish has two votes so that’s 26 votes there.” 

“Pillar two comprises the top four clubs in the Men’s Premier League, the top four clubs in the Women’s Premier League, the top four clubs in what is referred to as the men’s tier two and equally in the women’s tier two. We are aware that in the current circumstances, because there has not been any tier two in the women’s area, there is a special arrangement as far as voting is concerned where the top four in tier one will vote on behalf of what should be tier two.” 

“Pillar three comprises the Referees Association, Jamaica Football Coaches Association, ISSA, Inter-col, Beach Soccer Jamaica, Past Players Association and the PFJL.” 

With that said, RSA’s major concerns have to do with the disenfranchising of two of these members-the Jamaica Football Coaches Association headed by Vin Blaine and Beach Soccer Jamaica headed by Pat Garel. 

The RSA argues that the current JFF administration masterminded the formation of two shell companies, namely the Jamaica Coaches Association led by Rudolph Speid, and the Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited which listed current JFF vice president Bruce Gaynor, team manager for the Senior Reggae Boyz O-mar Stennett and current JFF director Patrick Malcolm as directors. 

These companies were formed to supplement votes for the current administration at the January 14 elections. Both companies were granted admission to the JFF.

The evidence provided against the Jamaica Coaches Association was a letter from the Companies Office of Jamaica stating “the name Jamaica Coaches Association Limited does not appear on our list of registered companies.” 

“When we looked at the coaches and we sat and planned, the only group we had in mind was the Vin Blaine-led group that was formed in 2009. There was no other group,” Anderson, who also the current vice president of the JFF, said. 

The board was essentially tricked into thinking that the Speid-led Jamaica Coaches Association Limited was a registered company as Anderson explained further. 

“When we as a board made that decision, the General Secretary Dennis Chung told us that all the boxes by the Speid-led association were checked and that the association led by Blaine had some outstanding boxes. If you look at it, the boxes that were not ticked for the Blaine-led group did not apply to coaches. It was an inside job. They went ahead and tried to register the company and it could not be registered so they just ticked that box and brought it to the board. Based on that, the board referred it to congress with all those boxes ticked. So, the decision congress made on the coaches’ association is not true. It is a lie!” 

A similar situation took place regarding Beach Soccer Jamaica and Beach Football Jamaica Limited.

Beach Soccer Jamaica, run by Pat Garel, is the internationally recognized body controlling the sport in the country by the global governing body, Beach Soccer Worldwide, whereas Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited is not internationally recognized.

The latter was, however, chosen by the JFF to cast a vote at the upcoming election instead of the actual body overseeing the sport in Jamaica.

“On September 15th, we (Beach Soccer Jamaica) were invited to what would be a congress on the 24th of September to ratify the affiliates based on the mandates of the new constitution. Prior to that time, when we were having any kind of Beach Soccer event, all that was necessary was to send a letter to the JFF and ask them for a sanction letter,” Garel said.

“The congress took place and we were told that we need to be compliant in being a registered company which we did on September 18, then we sent in our membership application on the 19th of September as instructed by the JFF so we thought that we would have gotten an acknowledgment letter which would have been the proper process,” she added.

Garel said that they followed up regarding their application on September 22 with JFF General Secretary Dennis Chung and even thought that they couldn’t go to the congress on the 24th without it being ratified.

“The congress took place and they said don’t worry about it. We need more supporting documents-a short profile of your directors- and we duly obliged and sent those. We kept calling and we kept writing then he (Chung) sent to say that they are giving some of the pillar three people, who are not as compliant as we have been, time to get their documents in,” she said.

According to Garel, they wrote again on October 30th and the message from the General Secretary was the same as before.

“On November 7, we heard through the media that there was consideration for another Beach entity and so we enquired and we were told that on October 18, a Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited was registered,” she said.

“We got back in touch with Mr. Chung and he said they’re not understanding what’s going on. He told us to just send any other additional information we have regarding our qualification and I said ‘what else would that be?’ He said anything from the international body so we got a letter from the international body inviting both the JFF and Beach Soccer Jamaica to the World Cup in Dubai next February so we sent that letter only to understand, through the media again, that they decided on Beach Football Association of Jamaica Limited,” Garel added.

In fact, one of the listed directors of Beach Football Jamaica Limited, O-mar Stennett, denied any involvement with the company, stating that the furthest his involvement with the sport goes is being added to a WhatsApp group titled Beach Football Jamaica.

The other listed directors of the company- Bruce Gaynor and Patrick Malcolm- wouldn’t even be able to vote at the elections due to the JFF’s constitution. There was even evidence of Stennett's signature being forged on an official document signed by Gaynor.

To conclude, the RSA is appealing to the JFF’s electoral committee, including JOA President Christopher Samuda, Leighton McKnight, Acting Principal of Jamaica College Wayne Robinson and Steve Distant, will overturn the JFF’s decision and grant voting privileges to the legitimate, constitutionally recognized pillar three members, Jamaica Football Coaches Association and Beach Soccer Jamaica.

The Real Solid Action (RSA) campaign team, led by candidate Raymond Anderson, has expressed profound outrage and dismay at the recent uncovering of actions taken by the Michael Ricketts-led Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration to disenfranchise constitutionally recognized voter organizations.
 
Anderson's team said it has in its possession irrefutable evidence showing the JFF's repeated attempts to prevent legitimate voter organizations from exercising their right to vote in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for January 14. These tactics, the RSA team believes are a blatant disregard for democratic principles and are aimed at silencing voices that are crucial to the fair and transparent functioning of the electoral process.
 
"Among those wrongfully and shamelessly targeted are the Vin Blaine-led, Jamaica Football Coaches Association and Beach Soccer Jamaica, led by Pat Garel.  These organizations play a pivotal role in the development and governance of football in Jamaica and must not be silenced.  We also find it absolutely deplorable, unconstitutional and shameful that the federation's leadership deliberately failed to inform these groups of their rights and obligations under the new constitution and has decided to share the document with these entities only as recently as October 2023," an RSA release said.
 
"Further investigations by Team RSA have unearthed attempts by the incumbent president, Michael Ricketts, and his administration to register newly formed "shell" companies. These entities, formed by disingenuous directors and federation staff members, are intended to replace the disenfranchised organizations, further skewing the electoral process in favor of the current JFF leadership. Contact has been made with the Electoral Committee regarding these developments, and we expect and have confidence that this body will act in keeping with its mandate and thoroughly examine the evidence presented as a matter of urgency and with fairness," it added. 
 
On that note, the RSA team declared its plans to host a press conference on Monday, as it called for action and asserted that the alleged misconduct must end immediately. The conference scheduled for 11:00am at the Liguanea Club will be used to present evidence and further details on the disenfranchisement efforts, as well as the RSA's action plan to restore fairness and integrity to the electoral process.
 
"We stand united in our commitment to ensuring a fair and just electoral process within the Jamaica Football Federation. The RSA campaign calls for immediate corrective measures and stands ready to lead the way towards a more transparent and accountable governance of football in Jamaica," the release ended.

Interim Reggae Girlz Head coach Xavier Gilbert will again be without his more established players for the decisive legs of their Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying fixtures against Panama and Guatemala on November 29 and December 3.

With the players, who achieved the historic feat of making the Round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year still out, Gilbert has once again assembled a squad filled with more youth than experience where senior international caps are concerned.

In fact, Sashana “Pete” Campbell is the only experienced player called up to join fellow 2019 World Cup veterans Chinyelu Asher and Marlo Sweatman in the team.

The Girlz, who lost 1-2 away to Panama and were held to a 2-2 stalemate at home by Guatemala, are faced with a must-win situation in the League A encounters, if they are to secure an automatic berth to next year’s Women’s Gold Cup.

They currently sit at the foot of the three-team standing with a point. Panama heads the standings on six points, with Guatemala on four. Should the Girlz fail to top the standings, they would at least need to finish second to have another shot at Gold Cup qualification through a playoff contest against a League B group winner.

With that in mind, expectations were that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the World Cup players –who withdrew their services over lack of payment and general “mistreatment” from the governing football body –would have arrived at an amicable settlement, as it is understood that several meetings were planned.

JFF’s General Secretary Dennis Chung explained that meetings were in fact planned but didn’t materialize.

“We had reached out to them and asked them to specify in writing what the details of the mistreatment they allege are, and also to advise us of two dates they want to meet and who the representatives are from their end to discuss, as per the grievance procedures under the contract, as we want to ensure that we do everything according to contract for the protection of all. We didn’t receive any feedback on proposed dates, so we proposed December 8,” Chung told SportsMax.TV.

“Someone said to us they would speak to the players about meeting earlier (Tuesday), but this was not official communication from the players and there was no confirmation from them. And there is still no response to the December 8 proposal, so we have to wait on the feedback,” he added.

However, SportsMax.TV has been reliably informed that the reason for the Girlz silence is due to the fact that they are still yet to be paid in full.

This is contrary to a JFF release on October 27 which states: “The JFF is pleased to advise that, as committed, we have now paid in full balances due to the Women’s World Cup team.”

A source close to the situation denied the claims.

“The players have not received their money and they want it to be made public,” the source shared.

But Chung rebutted.

“As far as we know we have paid all the monies due. I have heard people say that players are due money still, but no one has come to us and say what is outstanding. So, persons outside can say anything, but I have to go by the records we have. If there is money outstanding, then it should be for the players to state what is outstanding, not for people in the public to say money is outstanding. That is not something anyone can act on,” Chung argued.

“Our focus right now is on the upcoming games, while we wait on the response to the proposed date, as we of course want to understand the allegations of mistreatment so that if it is something we need to address then we ensure that it is dealt with for all our players, current and future,” he noted.

The Girlz will face Panama at the National Stadium next Wednesday, before travelling to lock horns with Guatemala a few days later.

Squad: Lauren Reid, Malikae Dayes, Zoe Vidaurre, Chinyelu Asher, Israela Groves, Ricshya Walker, Marlo Sweatman, Davia Richards, Mikayla Dayes, Shaneil Buckley, Melissa Johnson, Aliyah Morgan, Theanna Burnett, Serena Mensa, Shanice Foster, Destiny Powell, Njeri Butts, Sashana Campbell, Shania Harris, Sydnie Street, Javanae Jones, Lachante Paul, Maliah Atkins.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is singing praises for the Reggae Boyz following their remarkable comeback win against Canada in Toronto on Tuesday night. The Reggae Boyz staged a historic turnaround, with two second-half goals from Shamar Nicholson and Bobby Reid's penalty kick securing a 3-2 victory over Canada and propelling Jamaica to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League.

In a thrilling encounter that ended 4-4 on aggregate, Jamaica advanced on the away-goal rule, sparking celebrations among football enthusiasts and earning the team high praise from President Michael Ricketts.

"Jamaica's football fans were put on the edge of their seats throughout the game," expressed President Ricketts. "We are so proud of the effort and determination demonstrated by the team. They fought so hard with their backs against the wall, a true example of the character that the country needs to tackle any adversity we may encounter."

The historic win not only secured Jamaica's place in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League but also earned them a spot in the prestigious Copa America, setting the stage for more high-stakes encounters. President Ricketts sees this as a pivotal opportunity for the team's growth and cohesion ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers next year.

"Now they get a chance to play more big games in the semifinals of the Nations League and the Copa America, which will, in turn, help to pull them together for the World Cup Qualifiers next year," added President Ricketts.

This victory marks Jamaica's first entry into the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Nations League, showcasing the team's rising prominence in regional football. Additionally, it is the third time Jamaica will participate in the distinguished Copa America, underlining their growing influence on the international stage.

The win over Canada holds special significance, as it not only secured Jamaica's first-ever victory over Canada in Canada but also marked the first time Jamaica registered three goals against a North American team on North American soil. The historic triumph is a testament to the Reggae Boyz's resilience and skill, earning them a special place in the annals of Jamaican football history.

 

 

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts, has attempted to shed some light on the latest challenge facing the JFF in relation to the sanctioning of a number of the 56 delegates that will vote for the body’s next president on January 14, 2024, to determine the way forward for football in the country.

The 56 delegates will come from three pillars and, according to Ricketts, the JFF held an emergency congress on Sunday to sanction the Pillar-Three delegates.

Ricketts explained that there are six entities associated with Pillar Three but of that six, only three were able to meet the requirements.

He put this down to misinterpretation of the federation’s new constitution.

“The new constitution and its articles seem to be causing a lot of issues because people are not interpreting the contents of the articles,” he told SportsMax.tv on Monday, explaining that this was also an issue at Sunday’s meeting.  “What happens now is that there are certain criteria based on the articles that entities must meet for them to qualify for voting at the congress. They were listed! Of all the applicants, three would’ve met all the requirements.”

The president says the JFF received applications from two different coaches associations, a former players association and the beach-football association.

One of the coaches associations, headed by former senior women’s coach Vin Blaine, was not considered as it has been defunct for some time.

“The coaches', where one Mr. Vin Blaine, who is not even domiciled in Jamaica, says that he heads a coaches association with four listed persons. One of those persons does not live here and one of those gentlemen said that he is not a part of the association which has gone defunct for years. They have not been operative,” Ricketts told SportsMax.tv on Monday.

The other association, comprising current active head coaches, met all the requirements and was approved.

“The other one is current and includes practicing coaches now like Merron Gordon, Andrew Peart, Rudolph Speid and Xavier Gilbert among others. They met all the requirements,” Ricketts added.

He went on to say that the former footballers' association also met the requirements and were approved but the Beach Football Association did not because of “serious misrepresentation” as Ricketts put it.

 “The directors for the Beach Football Association were not named, the members were. The directors are those that are listed at the Company’s Office. There were members who were asked to serve. There is a huge debate right now because of one particular gentleman. A member of KSAFA got up in the congress yesterday and said that gentleman has vehemently denied ever being a part of the directorship,” Ricketts explained.

“However, the gentleman sent an email to the JFF this morning (Monday) saying that he is, in fact, a member. So, as it is now, there was serious misrepresentation because the gentleman sent an email saying he is, in fact, a member of the board of directors for beach football. What has happened is because that was raised, I suggested that we defer sanctioning the Beach Football Association until we get clarification so the other two-the coaches association and the past players association-were accepted,” he added.

The remaining stakeholders who have not applied will have until some time in December to try and meet the requirements.

“There are others who we would’ve reached out to and have asked them to apply. So, there are now applications from ISSA, PFJL among others. The referees have some further documents to be submitted. In an effort to ensure that we get all the stakeholders on board, we have extended the period to sometime in December so that those entities who have not met the requirements have a chance to get themselves up in line with the requirements and to apply so we will again have to have another congress maybe just before the voting congress,” he said.

In conclusion, Ricketts lamented the publicizing of the ongoing situation and accused detractors of trying everything to discredit the current JFF Board of Directors.

 “We are publicizing the whole thing and, believe me, we’re making so many issues, making mountains out of molehills, all in the interest of politics," the JFF president said.

"It is just sad how people will do everything to discredit this board. We are not perfect and we make mistakes but, my God man, don’t just try and destroy something you are a part of. We try to be strong and try to be guided by the articles of the constitution and we’re just hoping that after the election, things will be normal and that we just move forward in an effort to grow the sport of football which ought to be our aim and ambition."

The Michael Ricketts-led Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration has once again found itself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, as their integrity has again been called into question by stakeholders.

This, as Beach Soccer Jamaica demanded an explanation for why its application for membership was turned down, while another recently formed entity “that has never operated or been involved in beach football in Jamaica, has been accepted as a member by the Board of the JFF.”

Beach Soccer in a letter addressed to general secretary Dennis Chung said it complied with all the JFF’s request to submit various documents and at no time based on all email responses where there any indication from the country’s governing football body that there were outstanding documentation.

In fact, Beach Soccer in its statement pointed out that they were “never officially provided with the Constitution or any other document that detailed the required submissions,” and, as such are disappointed with the outcome.

“It is with great dismay and shock that we learned in the news media that another recently formed entity that has never operated or been involved in beach football in Jamaica, has been accepted as a member by the Board of the JFF. It is disheartening that this new entity was equally incorporated after the June 30, 2023, deadline for being in existence as stipulated in Article 83(ix) of the JFF constitution.

“We demand an explanation of why our documents were not accepted by the Board of the JFF or why we were considered non-compliant when prior to this decision, we were never advised that we had not met any of the requirements. We note that included in the leadership of the alternative Beach Football Association, which was accepted, are two current members of the JFF Executive,” Beach Soccer’s statement said.“This is a serious breach of your obligation to us as a stakeholder in the JFF, which has unfairly resulted in our organization being disenfranchised for the upcoming election congress, and is an affront to good governance, and appears discriminatory.

“Your actions have left us with no alternative than to report this serious dereliction of duty to the CFU, the CONCACAF, and FIFA for their intervention and as such we have copied them herein,” it added.

Meanwhile, Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron, chairman of the Real Solid Action (RSA) –the team behind Raymond Anderson, who will challenge Ricketts for the JFF presidency on January 14 –conveyed their discontent with how the JFF has handled the stakeholder agreement for Pillar Three for the upcoming elections.

The elections are constitutionally due this year but the decision to move it to early next year, was made to give other stakeholders, particularly those in Pillar Three to apply for acceptance. Only the Past Players’ Association, the Beach Football of Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Coaches Association have been accepted from Pillar Three.

The deadline for application closes on December 20, and that will allow other stakeholders in that section to apply.

The Jamaica Football Referees Association, ISSA, PFJL and Intercol are the other stakeholders in Pillar Three.

The JFF constitution was changed to allow 56 delegates to vote, up from 13 in previous elections.

“Pillar Three was introduced specifically to recognize the supporting and most important segment of our football landscape to ensure that the representation at the highest level reflects the view of the majority of the stakeholders participating in football.  

“We are of the firm belief that the process to engage the stakeholders was not treated with the requisite due process and importance to ensure they were properly registered,” Cameron’s release said.

“The JFF has been aware of what is required to engage all 56 voting members, but its failure to communicate same has been met with a possibility of them being disenfranchised. We believe there has also been a major breach of the code of ethics which has just been adopted by the JFF again underlying the challenges of the organization,” it noted, while requesting that the issues be resolved as quickly as possible. 

 

Law firm Archer Cummings & Co. has described the current Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) board as “unconstitutional.”

The letter, released by the firm on Wednesday, October 24, highlighted the fact that, based on the JFF’s adoption of a new constitution at it’s congress in December 2022, the current board’s term, which began on September 15, 2019, should have ended on September 14 this year.

“As you know, Article 37.6 of the constitution states that the mandate of the President, Vice Presidents, and members of the board of directors shall be four years. As such, it would seem imperative that we now turn our collective attention to calling the needed election. Your mandate and the mandate of the current board and Vice Presidents commenced on the 15th day of September 2019. Naturally, by a simple calculation your four-year term of office constitutionally expired on the 14th day of September 2023. Meaning, the continuation of this administration is now operating ultra vires of your newly minted constitution. The nature of the standing order and said provisions is not discretionary, but indeed mandatory.”

“The requirement for the holding of a congress requires sixty days' notice to its members. The previous congress has already set the place for this congress and all that is remaining is for a date and time to be set. Although article 37.6 states that terms expire at the congress where a successor is elected, the fact that the current administration has gone beyond the mandated four years is disconcerting and warrants explanation.”

“There have been repeated public declarations defining yourself as the most successful president of the JFF and whilst statistics support the ideation of team growth under your administration, we are not convinced that any of your administration's successes warrant a breach of the federation's guiding principles.”

“Therefore, as we are all committed to the integrity and success of the JFF, we urge you and the current board to set the date for the required election, immediately. Any further delay compromises the electoral process by reducing its transparency, democratic protocols and equity for all stakeholders.”

 

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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