Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts is hopeful that the Reggae Girlz will make it out of the first round at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“I personally want us to go beyond the first round,” said Ricketts when speaking to SportsMax.TV.

It will be a tough task for the girls who were drawn in Group F alongside powerhouses France and Brazil as well as either Chinese Taipei, Panama, Papua New Guinea or Paraguay. They kick-off their World Cup campaign against the French in Sydney on July 23.

Jamaica will host the Paraguayans for two friendlies in Montego Bay on Thursday and Kingston on Sunday. Ricketts says these games are designed to prepare the girls for the type of opposition they will have to overcome if they are to make noise in Australia and New Zealand.

“We play two games against Paraguay. One in Montego Bay and one in Kingston. It’s a part of our preparation process,” he said.

“We just want some good results. It’s not all about winning but the coaches certainly want to establish a philosophy and a style of play that would make them competitive when they go to the World Cup,” he added.

Ricketts also said that we can expect more friendlies to be scheduled for the girls in the new year.

“We will have discussions with the coaches when we get to Montego Bay just to get an idea of exactly who they would want to play or which teams they would want to engage and then we’ll be having discussions with teams coming up for the February FIFA window.”

The Catherine Hall Sports Complex will play host to the first Paraguay friendly at 8:00pm local time while the second game kicks off at 6:00pm on Sunday at the National Stadium.

 

 

 

JAMECO Equipment Company Limited (JAMECO), a subsidiary of the Stewart’s Automotive Group, sponsored a 27-seater bus to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in response to the recent call from President Michael Ricketts for more corporate support.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at the Jaguar Land Rover Showroom on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston, the King Long bus, valued at JMD$7.3 million and branded in the national colours, was handed over to the JFF.

In attendance were JFF President Michael Ricketts, General Secretary Dennis Chung as well as JAMECO General Manager Brian Pengelley.

JAMECO becomes the exclusive official transportation sponsor of Jamaica’s National Football Teams through this arrangement with the JFF. With the largest fleet in Jamaica, the management company is the preferred, top-tiered, full-service supplier of motor vehicles, construction equipment and consumables for many consumers.

“The JFF had lost their last bus and they didn’t have anything to transport the teams. We became aware of their appeal to Corporate Jamaica to support the teams and we had a vehicle here that we thought would suit their needs,” said  Pengelley.

This recent backing by Stewarts Automotive Group is the latest manifestation of its support to the JFF. Since 1998 when Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz historically qualified for the FIFA World Cup in France, Stewart’s Automotive Group has been providing transportation and financial support to the JFF.

In 2012, under a renewed and expanded sponsorship valued at JMD$30 million, Stewart’s Automotive supplied the JFF with two vehicles.

Newly appointed JFF General Secretary Dennis Chung highlighted that Stewart’s Automotive’s support of the JFF over the years has been key to the continued development of local football.

“Stewart's has always been a very strong supporter of the JFF and Jamaica’s football and has been, therefore, instrumental in our development over the years, to where the JFF is an iconic brand internationally,” he said.

For a year, JFF will provide a driver and fuel, while the bus will be fully insured and maintained by JAMECO with an option to renew.

Pengelley is hopeful that JAMECO’s gesture will inspire others in Corporate Jamaica to support national teams.

“We are hoping that the rest of Corporate Jamaica will see that we are jumping in to support and will bring to the party whatever they can. For us, it’s a matter of nationalism and playing our part in building Jamaica and its sporting fraternity,” he said.

Chung expressed his gratitude at the donation.

“The JFF is grateful to Stewart's for the donation of the bus, which they have also graciously fully wrapped in the JFF colours.”

This donation comes at an opportune time as this is an especially critical period as Jamaica’s Senior Women’s team has qualified for their second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup and will be facing Paraguay in two international friendlies in the coming days.

“This will get a far way in assisting the various national football teams as transportation is one of the most important ingredients in developing a successful football programme. Immediately, this provides assistance to the senior women's team, which has two matches against Paraguay on the 10th and 13th of November, as they prepare for their historic second consecutive qualification for the World Cup next year.”

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The technical staff of Jamaica’s Senior Women’s football team have signed one-year contracts with the Jamaica Football Federation.

Goalkeeper Andre Blake has been added to the Reggae Boyz squad selected to play Argentina on September 27.

The 31-year-old Reggae Boyz’s captain exclusion from the squad had prompted speculation that the players’ remarks on social media suggesting that the hiring of a new coach would change nothing for the current administration.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) announced on Saturday that it has joined forces with sportswear giants Adidas.

“The Jamaica Football Federation is proud to announce that sportswear giant Adidas will equip all Jamaican National Football teams beginning in January 2023. The partnership, which is built on cultivating and supporting talent and the joy that football can bring, will include major tournaments such as the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2024 Summer Olympics and the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” the JFF said in a statement.

President of the JFF Michael Ricketts said, “We are incredibly proud to announce this unprecedented partnership with Adidas and are looking forward to achieving great things together.”

“The partnership will support the JFF’s effort to develop Jamaica’s football at all levels and will facilitate further success at the professional level in the years to come. The JFF is now a part of the Adidas portfolio of international federations, joining giants such as The DFB (Germany), RFEF (Spain), AFA (Argentina), FIGC (Italy) and the RBFA (Belgium),” Ricketts added.

General Manager of Adidas Global Football Nick Craggs said “We are delighted to be announcing this long partnership with the Jamaica Football Federation.”

“The country’s potential on the pitch-of which the consecutive World Cup qualifications of the Women’s team is a testament-along with the richness and global relevance of its culture, which resonates far beyond football and Jamaica’s borders, make it a great fit to join our Adidas International Federations family. We look forward to celebrating many achievements together while contributing to the progress and future of Jamaican football at all levels of the game,” he added.

“The past doesn’t equal the future, and the future of Jamaican football is looking bright,” said CEO of Business 2 Sports Group Marlon Gilbert-Roberts who, alongside sports lawyer Jonathan Himpe and Fitzroy Simpson, was one of the architects of this historic deal.

Jamaica’s senior men's football team, the Reggae Boyz, is set to play Morocco, Qatar and Ghana in a four-team tournament to run from August 20-26, 2022.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) issued a statement on Tuesday congratulating the Reggae Girlz on their qualification to a second consecutive World Cup.

The Girlz secured their spot in Australia and New Zealand next year with a 4-0 win over Haiti in Mexico on Monday.

“The Jamaica Football Federation wholeheartedly congratulates the Senior Women’s National Team, the Reggae Girlz, for their qualification to successive FIFA Women’s World Cups,” the Federation said to start the statement.

The statement continues: “Their creation of history, once again, has been due their unquestionable strength of purpose, character, determination, unity and patriotism. We commend and lift them up to Jamaica as living example of what is possible even when tremendous challenges abound. The JFF thanks and congratulates the entire technical staff, led by Head Coach Lorne Donaldson who had the team together less than three weeks before the start of the tournament. Finally, none of this would have been possible without our partners, the Bob Marley Foundation, the Reggae Girlz Foundation, the Ministry of Sports and all the well-wishers and supporters. We wish the team further success in their remaining games beginning with the semi-final fixture against Canada on Thursday, 14th.”

 

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts was candid in offering his thoughts on the tenure of former JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint which came to an end on Monday. 

Wint tendered his resignation in the wake of an administrative nightmare which saw the Reggae Boyz being stranded in Suriname after their Concacaf Nations League encounter on Saturday.

The team was expected to return to Jamaica on Saturday night for the return fixture on Tuesday but were unable to after the JFF had failed to make proper arrangements. The players ended up arriving in Jamaica at 7:15am on Monday. 

“In a meeting in Suriname, all the players gathered and briefly called Mr. Wint and myself and said that the situation as it is now is that they have gotten a mandate from all the members that they will not work with Mr. Wint and they’re insisting that he tenders his resignation,” Ricketts outlined in an interview with Nationwide Radio on Tuesday before pinpointing why the players wanted Wint gone.

“They cited incompetence and, for whatever reason, there seems to be a very strained relationship,” he added.

Players had also informed Ricketts that they would not play in Tuesday's game if Wint wasn't removed from his post.

“I think Dalton, like all of us, did have his shortcomings and my only problem with him is that I don’t think he would’ve learned as quickly I would’ve liked,” Ricketts said when asked to sum up Wint's tenure as General Secretary.

“He was strident, loyal, and committed to what he was doing but, like I said, there could very well have been some shortcomings that he would have, not with the level of urgency that I would’ve liked, learned, and been able to correct,” Ricketts added.

 

While also explaining how unfortunate it is for players to be able to essentially dictate staff members' job status, Ricketts ultimately said Wint did what had to be done.

“In the interest of the sport, the own players, and this nation, Wint has decided to offer his resignation,” Ricketts said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica Football Federation General Secretary Dalton Wint appears to have yielded to the demand of the Reggae Boyz that he resigns his position.

Wint has been the target of the players’ ire after being left stranded in Suriname on Saturday night, June 4, after their 1-1 draw with the host country. The JFF had failed to make proper arrangements for the players to return to Jamaica, an embarrassing situation that the players laid squarely at the feet of the beleaguered general secretary.

According to a statement reportedly coming from the players, “it was the straw that broke the camel’s back” and they refused to go on unless Wint resigned from his post. JFF President Michael Ricketts confirmed on Monday that the board had met to discuss the situation but up to later that day, there was no official word regarding the board’s position on the demand made by the players, who Sportsmax.TV understands refused to train in preparation for the return match against Suriname on Tuesday evening.

However, in a statement released late Monday night, the JFF signalled that an end to the impasse is in sight.

“The General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, Mr Dalton Wint, has given his unequivocal and irreversible commitment to submit his resignation from the post,” the JFF said. “The Board of Directors of the JFF look forward to receiving same soonest. Other relevant information regarding this matter, will be shared with the country in the coming days.”

Meantime, Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, revealed its part in getting the players home from Suriname early Monday morning.

Minister Olivia Grange revealed that her ministry intervened to facilitate the safe return of the irate players, who returned to Jamaica at approximately 7:15 am Monday.

“On Saturday, June 4, 2022, I was advised of challenges being experienced by the Reggae Boyz delegation in Suriname. I was made to understand that travel arrangements for their return to Jamaica, after the match against Suriname on Saturday, had been cancelled and my assistance was being sought,” the minister said in a statement.

 “I was told that because the players had to return in time for another match, normal flight schedules would not allow for their return. On my instructions, a number of steps were taken by my Permanent Secretary and the General Manager of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) to assist in addressing the problem.

 “A company was identified from which we could charter a flight in the short time frame. Reggae Boy Leon Bailey was instrumental in identifying the charter company.

“We were advised by the company identified that the charter flight would cost US$105,000.00 which had to be paid immediately in order for the aircraft which was in Mexico to be released to pick up the team in Suriname. Unfortunately, with this taking place over the weekend, the circumstances prevented the SDF from accessing the required banking services.”

 As a result, Minister Grange said, JFF President Michael Ricketts contacted Christopher Williams, CEO of PROVEN and Chairman of the Premier Football Jamaica League (PFJL) to assist with the identification of the required funds and the Government of Jamaica through the SDF committed to ensuring that the funds advanced would be repaid.

“Based on the commitment of the Government, Mr Williams put the necessary mechanisms in place to advance the payment for the charter flight, with the firm understanding that he would be reimbursed in the shortest possible time,” the minister explained.

“All the parties involved were aware of the urgent need to act, bearing in mind the risk of the Jamaican delegation being stranded in Suriname, and the players not being able to honour the fixture scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2022,” the minister continued, adding that she spoke directly to the players, who she said were upset with the JFF Administration which they blamed for the crisis.

The players, she said, then agreed to play the game in Suriname on schedule.

“The Under Secretary for the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) played a critical role in securing the landing and fly over permits. The team from the Ministries were in negotiations from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning to ensure that the permits were received,” the minister said.

  “I will be writing to the JFF requesting a detailed report on the matter and my team and I will continue to work closely with the JFF and the Reggae Boyz as we are also aware of other matters of concern related to the management of what is possibly the most popular sport in Jamaica.”

 

Lorne Donaldson has been appointed head coach of Jamaica’s National Senior Women’s team ahead of the CONCACAF Women Qualifiers set to begin in Mexico on July 4. He replaces Vin Blaine who resigned from the post in mid-May after a falling out with the players.

 After more than two weeks of searching for a replacement, the Jamaica Football Federation has decided that Lorne Donaldson, a member of the coaching staff that took the Reggae Girlz to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019, is the best person to lead the team into the qualifiers.

“We looked at all the dynamics involved, including the short period to prepare, and agreed that Lorne brings specific advantages to the position including familiarity with the regional football culture and knowledge of the players and is well placed to navigate the team through what will be a difficult qualifying exercise,” said Michael Ricketts, President of the JFF.

“The JFF will give all the necessary support to him and the team, and we are confident that they will make Jamaica proud in Mexico.”

Donaldson’s backroom staff will be named soon.

Donaldson resigned from the Reggae Girlz coaching staff in January 2020, citing a lack of integrity and professionalism at the JFF, and came mere weeks after head coach Hue Menzies resigned in December 2019.

The Concacaf W Championship will take place in Monterrey, Mexico, from July 4 to 18.

Jamaica is drawn into a tough Group A with hosts Mexico, FIFA’s number one ranked the United States and neighbours Haiti. Jamaica will meet hosts Mexico on July 4, the USA on July 7 and Haiti on July 11 in the preliminary round.

The teams in Group B are Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

The top two teams from the two groups will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the third-placed teams will qualify for the intercontinental playoffs.

In addition, the group winners will qualify for the 2024 Olympics and the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup while the second and third-placed teams will advance to the Concacaf Olympic playoff.

The United States are the two-time defending champions, having won the 2014 and 2018 tournaments.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have a series of international friendlies scheduled over the next six weeks as the Jamaica Football Federation looks to get the national senior side back on track after a disastrous failed World Cup campaign.

Two international friendlies are to be played in Spain against Catalonia on May 25 and the Basque Country on May 27, respectively.

According to the JFF, these matches will offer opportunities to look at new players, mainly from Europe. These new players, depending on the assessment of the technical staff, could play a role in the short, medium or long term plans.

 Crucial Nations League games against Suriname away on June 4, and then home on June 7, along with a June 14 home game against Mexico will be aimed at maximizing points for the 2023 Gold Cup qualification while the team continues to develop a style of play, improve its FIFA ranking as well as building team chemistry and a winning mentality.

An international friendly against Uruguay is set for June 11.

As they begin preparations for the CONCACAF Nations League tournament in June, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz has been confirmed for a friendly international against Catalonia at the Montilivi Stadium in Girona, Spain on May 25th.

Interim Coach Paul Hall, who has reportedly been offered the job full-time, and his staff will use this game as a warm-up and a further look at the players, who will lead the team into the very important Nations League tournament which starts in early June.

 Jamaica, now in group A, will play away to Suriname on June 4, host Suriname on June 7, and host Mexico on June 14 before rounding out group play on June 26 away to Mexico.

The game gets underway at 6:45 pm.

Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Most of the territory lies on the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, to the south of the Pyrenees mountain range. The capital is Barcelona and it has a population of 7.7 million.

As the Catalan Federation is affiliated to the Royal Spanish Football Federation as one of the several Spanish regional football federations, Catalonia cannot be affiliated with either FIFA or UEFA as a national member association and is therefore not allowed to participate in official competitions for national teams such as the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. Other than in certain cases where other nationalities are involved, Catalan players are full Spanish citizens who are eligible to play for Spain and often do.

Since 1904, the team has played nearly 200 games against various national, regional and club teams. International friendly games have been played more regularly since 1997. Among the teams they have played are Nigeria, Brazil, and Argentina.

Interim Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has named a 24-man squad for the final three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts is pleased with the ongoing increase in the number of qualified coaches in the country. He was speaking at an official ceremony at the JFF Headquarters this week where a number of coaches received their badges adding to the growing number of certified football coaches across the island.

“We certainly want to highlight the work of our coaches and the JFF is intent on ensuring that our coaches are always at a premium as it relates to exposure, and certainly, qualifications,” the JFF boss said while addressing the coaches and officials on Tuesday.

Ricketts, who took office in 2017 after the passing of Captain Horace Burrell, added that more and more coaches across the country are earning their C and B level coaching licenses.

“When we got into office, there was not a single B-licensed coach and Jamaica now has 27 and I understand that there’s no other Caribbean country that has more than five.”

According to Ricketts, initiatives are already in place to ensure that the numbers continue to grow.

“Jamaica has 27 B-licensed coaches. There were 1264 primary schools that were playing without certified coaches when I got into office and we’ve started the B-license coaching seminar. St. James, St. Catherine, KSAFA, Manchester and St. Elizabeth have already been covered in recent times and we certainly will be looking to do the other eight parishes,” Ricketts says.

Ricketts also emphasized the importance of coaches getting these qualifications as early as possible.

“We are intent on ensuring that our coaches are of the best quality," he said.

"We have nine coaching educators and these are tasked with the responsibilities of preparing our C-licensed coaches and they have, for the last two or three months, been going around ensuring that coaches at the lowest level are so prepared that they can prepare players from 12 years and under to get into high schools, get scholarships, get into premier league teams, play overseas and, of course, to ensure that the social impact on our little boys and little girls is at a premium.

“I believe it is important that the best coaches should be at the 12 and under level because they represent the future of our football.”

 

 

Coaches, schools and referees were recognized at the first-ever Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Awards and Presentation Ceremony at the JFF headquarters in Kingston on Tuesday.

Members of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), principals, members of JFF staff, and members of the media were on hand to see the presentation of plaques to the schools that won trophies in the recently concluded schoolboy football season and FIFA referee badges to the new crop of FIFA referees.

“As I congratulate these schools, I want to also extend congratulations to the staff members and principals because if they didn’t support these programs, the schools wouldn’t be doing very well,” said JFF president Michael Ricketts while addressing the gathering.

“Once again, I want to say a huge congratulations. I’m just absolutely excited at the prospects that I’m seeing after not playing for such a long time and the quality of play, I think, was at a premium,” he added.

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda also commented on the importance of ceremonies like these to highlight the outstanding performances of individuals while they are with us.

“We have a habit of recognizing people when they pass on, or when they have transitioned to another career. On behalf of the Jamaica Olympic Association, we want to congratulate the Jamaica Football Federation and all its stakeholders. This an event that should not perish and I have every conviction that it won’t,” he said.

The schools recognized were Manning Cup and Olivier Shield winners Kingston College, Walker Cup winners St. Catherine High, ISSA Champions Cup winners Clarendon College, DaCosta Cup winners Garvey Maceo High School and Ben Francis Cup winners Edwin Allen.

The referees awarded were Melvin Reid, Jermaine Yee Sing, Damian Williams, Richard Washington, Steffon Dewar, Neressa Goldson, Nicholas Anderson, Princess Brown, Ojay Duhaney, Odette Hamilton, Jassett Kerr, Oshane Nation, Damion Parchment and Stephanie Yee Sing. Eight of the 14 referees are currently on assignments overseas.

 

 

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