The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will pump $25 million into the Reggae Girlz’s 2024 Olympic Games qualification campaign.
The Reggae Girlz will face Canada in a two-way tie on September 22 and 26 with the winners set to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, France. If successful, Jamaica will become the first Caribbean country to qualify to the Olympic Games football tournament.
President Christopher Samuda said at the offices of the JOA yesterday that the financial investment is a contractual obligation that his team takes very seriously.
“We have a business and social contract with our member associations and we deem our contractual obligations very important and this is simply a demonstration of the obligations that we have. This is for the girls, this is for football development and this is to kindle the aspirations of the younger girls who are looking on and are saying one day I want to be on that global stage.
“Fifteen million dollars will be going upfront in order to front part of the campaign to the Olympic Games and $10m will be towards bonuses,” Samuda explained.
The world number 37th ranked Reggae Girlz will play the opening leg of the tie at the National Stadium on Friday and president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Michael Ricketts, shared that as a country, we have a lot to be proud of with regard to the achievements of the Reggae Girlz.
“We are on the cusp of another historic exercise as no football unit as ever qualified for the Olympics. We are one step away and if we can get past Canada, then we will be in the Olympics. We have a lot to be happy about and I just want to be that leader who stays humble, respectful and ensure that the work is done,” he said.
President Ricketts added that with most of the financial burdens out of the way, it’s now down to the team to execute properly over their two-leg affair.
”We are looking forward to executing on these two dates, September 22 and 26 and hopefully, we will be in Paris in 2024,” Ricketts said.
Elaine Walker-Brown, chairperson of the JFF’s Women’s Committee, in her response, shared that the current footballing world expects Jamaica to now be a part of all global affairs.
“The world adores us and they are looking forward to us being part of any activity because we are such loving and entertaining people. This opportunity is to develop other young females who want to become footballers. These girls have set the stage and we want them to go to the highest of highs and if you notice the contracts they’re getting now, this is what we wanted,” Walker-Brown said.