Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Donaldson in bonus limbo

Former Reggae Girlz coach unsure he will be paid for achievements

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2023 | 12:11 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson.
Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson.
JFF general secretary, Denis Chung.
JFF general secretary, Denis Chung.

FORMER REGGAE Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson says the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is yet to deliver bonus payments for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which was held in Australia and New Zealand over the summer.

Donaldson insists that while he has never been overly concerned about his payment, he does want to ensure the Girlz get their due rewards.

The former national player took the country to unprecedented heights at the Women’s football showpiece when he qualified the team to the round of 16, the first in the region’s history.

Months later, Donaldson is through the door, his contract, which ended on September 30, was not renewed by the JFF.

Donaldson told The Gleaner that he was aware the funds were with the JFF, having been disbursed by FIFA. The coach also explained that a deadline for payment after having received the funds has long been breached.

“The coaching staff is owed money and I have never said anything about money this entire time. We know that the bonus money has come into the JFF because the president told me it was in.

“When I asked him about the money, he said US$1.5 million for the bonus has been paid and that FIFA held on to $300,000 but the money has been paid.”

According to Donaldson, his contract stipulates that he and his team get paid within 10 days of the arrival of the funds.

“It has been in for a long time and our contract says within 10 days when the money comes the bonuses need to be paid.

“But I rather they take care of the girls and their bonuses. Just do their due diligence. Take care of the players first and foremost. If they are to be paid, pay them. It is their sweat and blood out there,” he commented.

“When it comes to the money, I do not make a big issue. I make a big issue when we need to get to some place and we need to travel and we can’t get there the day or the day before.”

He pointed out that he also wanted the players, who participated in the earlier qualifying rounds, to receive some compensation for their part as well.

However, he said the federation was not receptive to the idea.

“Chinyelu [Asher] was a part of the World Cup campaign along with Satara Murray, and I have spoken about the players who didn’t make the final 23 and said they should be given something because they were a part of the early part of it and they said they cannot do anything for those players because the contract said the final 23,” he said.

“But I think the other players that were a part of it should also be given a small stipend.”

General secretary, Dennis Chung, said the bonus had been received, and that it was the prize money that was still outstanding.

He also explained that the $300,000 withheld by FIFA is for expenses the world governing body incurred on behalf of the Jamaica national team.

“The problem is the prize money. FIFA withheld some funds because of some expenses they paid on our behalf. So what they spent, they have withheld.

“We have not finalised the payment for the prize money as yet. What we have received is the net. They are working out tax deductions and such, but the bonus has been received and has been paid out.

“So it is just the prize money we are waiting on to be finalised and then the Girlz will get their percentage. But every day we call FIFA about it and as soon as it is finalised, we want to pay it out to them.”