Menzies holds firm on ultimatum

September 26, 2019
Head coach of Jamaica’s senior women’s football team, Hue Menzies (left), and his assistant coach Lorne Donaldson.
Head coach of Jamaica’s senior women’s football team, Hue Menzies (left), and his assistant coach Lorne Donaldson.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and Reggae Girlz head coach, Hue Menzies, appear to be on the path to crash course after both parties gave conflicting reasons why he will not join other technical personnel for Concacaf Women's Olympic Qualifiers on Saturday, when the team convenes.

Menzies says the JFF promised to pay monies owed to him, for both personal expenses and contractual payments for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup tournament. He said the Federation has committed to paying him by tomorrow, and if the body stays true to its word and deliver his payment, he will be in the island on October 2 to take charge of the team for their first-round Concacaf Olympic qualifiers.

However, Menzies says based on conversations he has had with JFF president, Michael Ricketts, and Sport Minister, Olivia Grange, he is optimistic the commitment to paying him will be fulfilled this weekend.

"Lorne (Donaldson, assistant coach) and the staff will be there," he said. "My situation is a bit different. Because it has been [about] personal expenses from France. So if they don't reimburse me, I won't be coming.

"The contract is totally separate, but we are willing to wait for the FIFA money for them to pay that, which they say they are going to pay us when they get it."

Menzies said he incurred great loss using personal funds to assist the team during the World Cup, and as a matter of principle, he is seeking reimbursement.

"You have to draw the line somewhere," Menzies said. "You can't build up that much money without payback, it's the principle of it. We are making sure that we hold them accountable. You cannot just put yourself out there and there is no accountability. You have to draw the line somewhere. If it's not sorted, I will not be there. Period!"

However, JFF general secretary, Dalton Wint, said Menzies had signed an agreement to make himself available on September 28, but because of 'a prior commitment' he will join the squad at a later date.

"We have indication that the coaches will be coming,." Wint said. "They have reached out to us that they will make themselves available, based on the terms we have given them.

"Mr Menzies indicated that he has a prior arrangement that makes him unavailable until the second (of October). I don't know [of] Mr Menzies saying that (he will not make himself available until paid). We have committed to Mr Menzies and he agreed in writing that he will work with the terms we have stated.

"He should have come in from the 28th (September) but we expect he will be here for the second (October)."

Assistant coach Lorne Donaldson will take charge of the team until Menzies' situation is resolved. Jamaica play Cuba in their opening game on Monday, then Barbados next Friday, St Lucia on October 6 and the US Virgin Islands on October 8. The group winner will advance to the Concacaf final round.

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