Sunday 19 May, 2019

Reggae Girlz to finally get World Cup bonus payments

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz are expected to receive bonus payments on Wednesday for qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

This was confirmed by Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts on Tuesday.

However, citing financial constraints, the JFF will not be able to extend contracts to its World Cup players beyond this summer’s World Cup.

Ricketts said he will leave for South Africa on Wednesday and on his arrival, he will convene a meeting with the technical staff to iron out details in a further attempt to ameliorate the situation.

News broke early last month that there was some level of discontent between Head Coach Hue Menzies and the JFF over incentive payments and contracts to the players who qualified for the Women’s World Cup last October.

Menzies had pointed out that he and his team took the decision to put the selection and other plans on hold, pending a suitable outcome regarding contracts for both the coaching staff and players.

On Tuesday, the JFF president provided an update on the situation.

“As it relates to the contracts what will be happening tomorrow (Wednesday), we have identified funds for the girls’ qualifying, we did offer an incentive that should be in their accounts tomorrow,” Ricketts told Sportsmax.TV.

“That is a start. Of course, that was a contentious issue that is behind us and we will now start the negotiations.”

The president highlighted that there was a significant sticking point between the JFF and the players.

“The point that is highly debatable right now is the length of the contracts but the truth is we cannot go beyond the World Cup because we will not be in a position to fund beyond the World Cup,” Ricketts said.

“So, we are having dialogue, there are some discrepancies in this regard but we cannot go beyond the World Cup. If we resign a contract for the Olympics then so be it.”

Ricketts said a first figure of what they could possibly offer to the girls, was suggested by the coach. The JFF, he said, used that as a ball-park figure “and of course, we made adjustments because we are negotiating.”

Coach Menzies, he said, never responded to the adjustments made by the JFF. Instead, he chose to go public with the issue to say that there was a disagreement. However, Ricketts said, they have had subsequent discussions and they are now heading “in a different direction.”

Jamaica's Reggae Girlz created history on October 17 in the United States by becoming the first Caribbean team to reach the FIFA Women's World Cup.

The Reggae Girlz achieved the feat by defeating Panama  4-2 on penalties in their third-place playoff match at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship at the Toyota Stadium in Texas.

The historic qualification to the 2019 FIFA World Cup follows the success of the men’s squad, which participated in the World Cup for the first time in France 1998.

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