Anderson says women's football deserves better after recently launched Women's Premier League suffers setback

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential candidate Raymond Anderson has expressed concern about the recent developments surrounding the Jamaica Women's Premier League (JWPL).

This, as three days post-launch, the league has encountered notable setbacks, including the cancellation of its opening ceremony, the withdrawal of two participating teams, and widespread confusion regarding the match fixtures and venues.

Anderson in a release through his Real Solid Action (RSA) team on Saturday, argued that the initial presentation of the JWPL lacks a coherent vision for the growth of women's football, as details on the league's strategic plans, as well as the announced sponsor, Sherwin Williams, were both absent from the launch. Furthermore, he said there was no information on the support to be extended to the participating clubs or efforts to promote the games and foster interest in women's football.

The inconsistency in messages regarding the inclusion of a knockout competition, Anderson believes further contributed to the perception that the launch was merely a superficial attempt to garner positive public relations.

"This approach mirrors the ongoing issues faced by the Senior Reggae Girlz, underscoring a pattern of inadequate management and planning by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). In light of these challenges, the RSA urges the General Secretary to promptly address these critical issues. Immediate action is necessary to rectify these flaws, which threaten to demoralize players and undermine the clubs' stability," Anderson's statement read.

"I firmly believe in the potential and significance of women's football in Jamaica and pledge to ensure the establishment of a well-structured, Tier 1 women's league, complete with substantial sponsor support, under his leadership. This commitment is a cornerstone of the manifesto (launched December 2023), reflecting our dedication to elevating the standard and visibility of women's football in Jamaica," it added.

Anderson, who is challenging incumbent Michael Ricketts, pledged that the JFF under his leadership would commit to revolutionizing women's football in Jamaica through a multifaceted approach. He also promised to prioritize and invest the necessary resources and effort into the development of the local women's football league, ensuring it reflects the high standards set by the national team's accomplishments on the global stage.

"Our manifesto emphasizes the importance of grassroots development, aiming to significantly increase girls' exposure to football from an early age, thereby laying a solid foundation for the future. Recognizing the critical role of competitive play in development, the initiative includes the establishment of a properly organised Professional Football of Jamaica Women’s League and support for annual competitions across various age groups and technical levels. This framework is designed to enhance skill development, experience, and national representation opportunities.

"The achievement of a women's squad qualifying for the World Cup twice would presumably serve as a significant incentive for investing in the local women's league. However, this expectation appears to have been unmet," the statement ended.

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