Some Reggae Girlz get paid as tensions with JFF mount

By September 04, 2019
Sweatman said she got half the money owed to her by the JFF but she is not certain whether other players had been paid. Sweatman said she got half the money owed to her by the JFF but she is not certain whether other players had been paid.

Some of Jamaica’s disgruntled Reggae Girlz have begun to receive a portion of their payments from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), money that came due on August 30.

Several members of the Reggae Girlz squad, who are not playing in a collegiate programme signed contracts covering the period January to August 30, 2019.

However, the players did not receive payments from the JFF, prompting action from the disgruntled players who said they were not going to play for the country until they were paid what they were owed.

On Wednesday, midfielder Marlo Sweatman told Sportsmax.TV that she received payment from the JFF.

“I have been paid half of the amount, though it was not until after all the social media posts were made and after the article released saying they had paid us, when in fact they didn’t,” she said.

“Though I believe not all of my teammates have received their half.”

JFF President Michael Ricketts said he had expected the players to be paid by Tuesday.

The matter came to light on Monday when several players launched a ‘No Pay, No Play’ social media campaign against the JFF that quickly went viral.

In it, the players said they were not going to play for the country until they were paid money owed on a contract they signed earlier this year covering the period January to August 30, 2019.

Jamaica’s women have Olympic qualifiers coming up at the end of September.

“My teammates and I have not received any money. Our agreement ended on August 30 and today is September 2 and there is nothing pending,” midfielder Lauren Silver told Sportsmax.TV on Monday.

JFF President Michael Ricketts said he was surprised by the action taken by the players considering that the JFF had communicated to the players that the cash-strapped were unable to raise the estimated US$120,000 owed but offered to pay about US$60,000 of the money owed until they were able to pay the outstanding amounts by the first week of October.

In a letter dated August 22 and over the signature of the JFF’s General Secretary Dalton Wint, the JFF communicated to the players that there would be a delay of the money owed on their contracts.

“Earlier this year, we entered into a contract with you for the period January to August 2019 in which we gave a timeline for payment. Regrettably, as at the date of this letter, the JFF, due to circumstances beyond our control, has experienced delays in our attempts to honour this agreement. For this, we sincerely apologize,” the letter stated.

“We understand your disappointment for not yet receiving this outstanding money and regret our poor communication with you on this matter. At the time of preparing the contract, we did not foresee any impediments in making full restitution to you and did not make any plan for such setbacks.

“Unfortunately, our plan to generate these funds internally has not materialized, which is now the result of us failing to make payment to you by the stipulated date. We will endeavour to anticipate and plan for these scenarios to avoid such delays for future contracts.”

Team manager Jean Nelson followed up that letter with an email to the players on August 29, advising that they would be paid 50 per cent of the money owed.

“On behalf of the General Secretary Dalton Wint with regards to your outstanding payments, instructions were sent to the bank to make payments of 50% to your accounts of the amount owed.

Your accounts should reflect this sum in a few days."

Irked by the advisory, the players decided to take action.

Meantime, the JFF has been making inquiries to when they will receive their money from the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Jamaica is owed US$750,000 from their participation.

On August 20, two days before they sent off the letter to the players advising them of the delayed payments, the JFF General Secretary sent a letter to Sarah Booth, Head of Women’s Football at FIFA, querying when that payment would be made.

 “Please allow me to use this medium to congratulate you and the FIFA team for producing yet another successful Women’s World Cup. As you are aware, Jamaica made its debut in the France-held competition with the participation of our Senior Women’s team (Reggae Girlz).

 “The occasion was a very good learning experience for us, one which we will certainly capitalize on for the future. In regards to the prize money, we would be grateful to be advised of the date when the Jamaica Football Federation will receive these funds,” the letter said.

 Booth replied on August 22 saying:

“We anticipate that the money will be issued by the end of September. However, before we can release the prize money to your federation we require you to complete the attached expenditure template indicating how the $480,000 preparation money was spent in preparing your team for the FWWC.”

It is unclear whether the JFF has met the criteria for the release of the desperately needed funds.

However, on Thursday, August 29, the JFF instructed Sagicor to begin the transfer of funds to the players.

Wint, explaining why the accounts of the players did not reflect any incoming funds from the JFF, said the bank was ‘having issues’ which delayed the payments to the players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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