JFF president apologises to Cedella Marley
JFF President, Michael Ricketts
President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Michael Ricketts has apologised to Cedella Marley for a 'mix-up' which resulted in her not being accredited for the Reggae Girlz' opening Women’s World Cup match at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France.
Marley, the daughter of 'reggae king' Bob Marley, was instrumental in sourcing funding and getting the women’s football programme back on track. It was her efforts which were largely responsible for the historic qualification of the senior Jamaican women’s football team to the sport’s most prestigious tournament.
But Marley was forced to greet the grateful members of the squad, after their 3-0 defeat to Brazil, through a fence. Loop News published a video showing Marley being greeted by the female footballers, which drew widespread condemnation from fans of the Reggae Girlz.
However, in an interview with Loop News on Monday, Ricketts called the scenario unfortunate and issued an apology to Marley.
“We have nothing personal against her. Why would we? It is just unfortunate. In fact, we hail her for what she has done. I certainly want to apologise to her if she feels offended in any way,” Ricketts said.
The JFF had not been a favourite of the Reggae Girlz fans even before the Marley snub, but Ricketts said the matter was muddled due to miscommunication between the two parties.
“We did not know that Miss Marley was even at the game. The Minister (of sport) was there and she got accreditation, the JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) and their people were there and they got accreditation. I was advised that they (Marley and others) said they would get their own,” he said.
Ricketts, along with his Vice-President Bruce Gaynor and General secretary Dalton Wint, will be in France for the team’s second match against Italy at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims on Friday, before departing for the Gold Cup in the USA.