Jamaica Women’s World Cup players slam federation over lack of support

June 16, 2023 _ (Reuters) – Leading Jamaica players, including Manchester City forward Khadija Shaw, have expressed their “utmost disappointment” at the lack of support from the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) ahead of the Women’s World Cup.

The players said their focus had been hindered by a number issues such as inadequate planning and access to proper resources ahead of the showpiece event, which kicks off on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

“Qualifying for a second World Cup is something most never imagined or thought possible for the Reggae Girlz,” the players wrote in a open letter posted on social media on Thursday.

“At a time where we should be focused solely on preparing to compete on the world’s largest stage, we are unfortunately compelled to express our utmost disappointment with the Jamaica Football Federation.

“On multiple occasions, we have sat down with the federation to respectfully address concerns resulting from sub-par planning, transportation, accommodations, training conditions, compensation, communication, nutrition, and accessibility to proper resources.

“We have also showed up repeatedly without receiving contractually agreed upon compensation,” they added.

Reuters has contacted the JFF for a comment.

Earlier this year, JFF President Michael Ricketts said the governing body was struggling to find the money to fund the World Cup campaign.

Chicago Red Stars forward Cheyna Matthews said the mother of one of her team mates at the Women’s Professional Soccer club had started a crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000 for the Jamaica squad.

Each player at the Women’s World Cup will be guaranteed at least $30,000 after FIFA earlier this month announced some of the prize money would be disbursed to individuals rather than national federations.

The JFF announced a sponsorship deal for the women’s team with a fast food chain on Thursday and Ricketts told Nationwide News Network the governing body was taking the players’ concerns seriously.

“We want to make sure we provide as much as we can for the girls, who we certainly think will do very well at the World Cup,” he told the radio station.

Jamaica, who lost all three games at their first World Cup four years ago, begin their 2023 campaign on July 23 against France in Sydney.

(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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