Strike Hard! Hard! STRIKE - Girlz vow not to represent Ja again until they are paid in full

Jamaica’s senior women’s football team, the Reggae Girlz, has remained resolute that they will not represent the country until they have been paid, in full, the money owed to them for their historic participation in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June.

After the Girlz launched a protest on social media with the hashtag #NOPAYNOPLAY to voice their frustration yesterday, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Michael Ricketts said that the Girlz had baan paid half of the money and would receive the remaining half at the end of the month, when FIFA is scheduled to pay over the prize money to the federation for the country’s participation in the tournament, which took place in France.

But ace striker Khadija Shaw and midfielder Lauren Silver, told The Gleaner that they had not received any money up to yesterday and will not play for Jamaica again until all members of the team had been paid the full amount of what was promised to them.

“No one on the team, to my knowledge, has been paid and I am standing with my teammates, and I will not be participating if I get paid 50 per cent, or even 100 per cent, if other girls have not received the money because it is not fair for only some of us to be paid and others aren’t,” Silver said in an interview yesterday.

“Nope!,” was the response from Shaw, when asked if she would take part in the upcoming Olympic qualifiers if she received half of the money before the end of the month.

Silver argued that the JFF violated an agreement to pay them by August 30.

Terms of agreement

“In our agreement, the money was supposed to be paid by August 3,0 and today (yesterday) is September 2. So in any legal contract, that is technically a breach, and up to now, I have not received any money at all,” Silver said.

Jean Nelson, who served as the team’s manager during the tournament, has been trying, without much success, to broker an agreement between the girls and the hierarchy of the JFF.

“When we came back from the Pan American Games, I asked the president to do something for the Girlz in the meantime since the FIFA payment will not be due until the end of September,” Nelson explained.

“And I was happy when the president told me late last week that they have received some money for the Girlz.”

Nelson said that half of the money owed to the Girlz was sent to their accounts last Friday, August 30, but she suspects it will take at least two working days for those payments to be reflected in their accounts.

“I have been talking to them (the Girlz) all weekend and I said to them the worst case is that the next half of the money will be paid when the JFF receives the money from FIFA at the end of the month,” Nelson said.

“Some of them agreed to play, but the Swaby sisters (Allyson and Chantelle) said that they will stand with their teammates with the agreement not to play until they are paid. I was not able to reach Shaw”

Meanwhile, Ricketts said that he was extremely disappointed with the position being taken by the Girlz.

“I am very disappointed because all of this is just unfortunate because these comments are not fair,” Ricketts said. “We just did an audit at the JFF and it came back fine, and it will be made public.”

He continued: “I think people must understand that this is an organisation that depends on sponsorships, and so, too often, we do not have enough money to take care of our business. But we are working to change that because the new JFF must generate income.”

Reggae Girlz head coach Hue Menzies refused to comment when contacted by The Gleaner.

Last year, the Reggae Girlz became the first women’s team from the Caribbean to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

This is the latest episode in a string of disputes between the JFF and the Reggae Girlz.

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