The Jamaica women’s national team made history at this year’s World Cup by reaching the knockout stage. However, the squad faces new challenges as players boycott the Gold Cup qualifiers over issues involving “mistreatment” and late payments by their governing body.
On Saturday, according to CNN, several squad members shared a statement on social media using the nickname “Reggae Girlz” to address their grievance with the Jamaica Football Federation regarding its mishandling of the team and monetary issues.
Key team members, including captain Allyson Swaby and star striker Khadija Shaw, said they were taking a “drastic stance” against the federation to end “constant mistreatment” and that they’re still waiting to receive full payments for their performance in the World Cup tournament and bonuses for qualifying in 2022.
— Rebecca Spencer (@beckyspencer2) October 21, 2023
In the statement, the players condemned the JFF for “unprofessional communication,” as they were unaware of changes made to the team. The squad allegedly found out about their new head coach, Xavier Gilbert, through social media after former coach Lorne Donaldson was replaced.
“We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management, and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again,” the statement read.
“For these reasons, we take our stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment.”
Reuters reported that the JFF responded to the team in a Friday memo stating they would take disciplinary action against the players for refusing to represent their country in upcoming matches.
“The JFF is uncomfortable with the response of the players and the non attendance of the player representatives to a scheduled meeting today,” read the statement.
“The JFF is eager to clear up all the concerns that team members may have in accordance with the contracts. If there is a grievance or concern, this must be placed squarely on the table to be addressed and documented to the JFF.”
According to reports, Panama defeated Jamaica 2-1 in the Concacaf Gold Cup on Wednesday. Jamaica is set to play against Guatemala on Sunday.
In August, Blavity reported that the Jamaica women’s national team made history as the first Caribbean country to reach the knockout stage at this year’s World Cup.