JFF, Girlz settle dispute - Coaches yet to get paid, but Wint expects strong team for Olympic qualifiers
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) general secretary Dalton Wint says that all outstanding funds owed to the members of Jamaica’s national senior team – the Reggae Girlz relating to their World Cup contracts, have now been settled.
With that out of the way, Wint says the next step is to assemble a strong squad that will be focused and prepared for the first round of the Concacaf Olympic qualifiers, which will be hosted in Jamaica from September 30 to October 8.
However, Wint revealed that the payment situation with the coaches has not been fully resolved but he is optimistic that it will be cleared up before the September 25 deadline.
“Things have been settled for the most part. We have put in the thing for the young ladies, and deservedly so, and so we will be having a strong squad for the Olympic qualifiers,” Wint declared.
The Reggae Girlz, led by the talismanic striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw, recently launched a public protest, threatening to withdraw from the squad unless they were paid by the 25th of this month, as outlined in their contract.
The coaching staff led by head coach Hue Menzies subsequently indicated their unavailability.
“Some of the girls started receiving payments from last Friday and all settled by early this week. But the coaches (payments) are still outstanding, and we are working on things to see if we can meet their deadline for the 25th,” Wint explained. However, he cautioned that if things are still proving to be difficult with the coaches, they will look elsewhere for guidance for the Girlz through the qualifiers.
“If we can’t (resolve the coaches’ World Cup payment), we will have to prepare ourselves to go along without them (coaches). We hope it will be (sorted).
The president has been in dialogue with them, and, hopefully, we will see something definitive very soon,” Wint shared.
Wint added that they now have a full list of players available for selection and noted that a final squad would be named from a provisional list of 50 players.
“We have a provisional squad, and the team will be selected from that. The squad possibly will be named by this Friday (tomorrow) or over the wekend,” he revealed.
“But the early indications from the girls show how upbeat they are. After receiving the communication from us, for the most part we haven’t received any negatives from our ladies, so everything should be good going into the first game, and that’s what we want – for them to be happy and focused going into this tournament,” Wint said.
A JFF release yesterday stated that Shaw and 15 other players who were either part of or trained with the country’s World Cup squad have been called up and have already confirmed their participation.