JFF, Marley Foundation mending fences - Ricketts JFF, Marley Foundation mending fences
After the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) recent public spat with women's football ambassador, Cedella Marley, President Mike Ricketts said the federation is making every effort to mend the broken fences between the two parties. Ricketts, who was at the JFF press conference on Monday to introduce the public to the Reggae Girlz squad for the upcoming Pan American Games, said he had to be there to show his solidarity with the Reggae Girlz major sponsor.
"We had some misconceptions recently but we are on the path to repair the damage that was done," Ricketts told STAR Sports. "We have been very cordial and we have a decent relationship. That's why I have made every effort to be here, to give my support and solidarity."
Head coach Hue Menzies was pleased to see the major stakeholders working on harmony for the success of the women's football programme.
"At the end of the day, we are doing it for the Girlz. So we should be able to put our differences aside, as adults, and we should be able to handle things. Being at the World Cup was an unbelievable experience and we want to get back there, so let's figure a way to get back and we have to work together to do it. Not just those three (coaches, sponsors, and federation) but more people on board and once we have eliminated all the adversities, most people will be jumping on the bandwagon to try to push us through," he added.
Bob Marley Group marketing manager Sabrina Webster said they just want to keep on supporting the Reggae Girlz.
"The Bob Marley Foundation and the Alacron Group have joined forces again to ensure that our network supports the Girlz as best as they can," she said. "We saw the need for the girls to have camp before the Pan Am Games, so we pooled everybody together and just made the camp happen, so going into Pan Am, we expect them to be themselves and just outshine everybody else. But we haven't finalised plans as yet, so we don't know if we will be in Peru just yet, but if not, we will be here cheering them on and we will be looking for them to do their best."
Marley and the Federation have been at odds since the FIFA Women's World Cup in France, after the Reggae Girlz ambassador, whose accreditation prevented her from having direct interaction with the team was seen in a video on social media, speaking to the players through a fence at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble after their game against Brazil. The tension between the parties escalated even more, recently, when Marley condemned the JFF for requesting that all sponsorship funds for the team be made to the body.