Running on fumes!
JFF grateful for Bob Marley Foundation's help but calls for more corporate supportSunday, September 26, 2021
Against the backdrop of financial hardships, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) says it is grateful for the assistance provided for women's football by the Bob Marley Foundation, while expressing optimism that ongoing discussions with potential partners can bear fruit.
“They [Marley Foundation] will give us some support and we are eternally grateful,” JFF boss Michael Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer.
The foundation, spearheaded by Cedella Marley, the daughter of late Reggae King Bob Marley, has been the driving force behind the revival of Jamaica's women's football programme over the past seven years.
Due to financial reasons, the national women's programme was dormant between 2008 and 2014, but Marley's appointment as Jamaica's women's global football ambassador created an almost instant turnaround.
The foundation has attracted funding to help the Girlz's preparation, which has included local and overseas-based training camps, and culminated in the senior women's historic qualification for the Fifa Women's 2019 World Cup Finals in France. They are slated to begin campaigning for the 2023 edition in two months' time.
Their quest overlaps with the senior Reggae Boyz bid to reach next year's men's World Cup Finals in Qatar, further stretching the resources of the cash-strapped federation.
JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint admitted that the foundation's involvement will significantly ease the federation's financial burden, but urged corporate Jamaica to support the cause.
“The Marley Foundation has committed themselves towards the women's programme and they have been playing their part, which we expect to continue. With that said, we still need a lot more funds in the women's programme to be successful.
“Jamaicans want back-to-back qualification for the World Cup, but that can only take place if we get the resources required to put support in place for the ladies. Conversations have started, but we haven't got any firm commitment from sponsors. People are out there who are interested but the interest needs to be converted into a document that says, 'We are supporting you,' ” Wint explained.
Ricketts noted that Concacaf qualifying games at home against Bermuda and away to Grenada in late November are likely to be preceded by a preparation camp in the United States.
“We play our first game against Bermuda and then we go to Grenada. We have a possible practice game [against Costa Rica] and camp coming up in Florida. All this [will be carried out] in conjunction with the Marley Foundation,” the president said.
The Women's World Cup is to be jointly staged in Australia and New Zealand between July and August 2023.
— Sanjay Myers
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