There will be a women’s 2022-23 football season, says Speid

August 03, 2022
Rudolph Speid
Rudolph Speid
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
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Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) technical committee chairman Rudolph Speid says there will be a women's premier league competition this year.

Speid said there are plans to make the women's league a stronger product and revealed that the technical committee and JFF board have signed off on the proposals for the upgraded competition and it is now for the competitions department to set a date for the 2022-23 season.

"There is a report that we will not be playing women's football (this year) but that is not true. There was supposed to be an abbreviated version for 2021-22 but the decision was made to hold a full 2022-23 season," Speid said.

"The football season ends in June, so instead of having just one round of an abbreviated version we decided to start this year and go two full rounds with a really good competition to restart the women's league," he said.

He added that it is the intention of the federation to get the women's game on a professional level, so local females can actually make an earning from the game.

They are also trying to put a team of independent directors for an organisation similar to the Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) that will organise and commercialise the women's game.

" We are looking to get things professionalised. Our aim is for the women who are playing to get a stipend. We are aiming at forming a company just like the PFJL with independent directors to help us run it and give it its own life, " Speid said.

According to Speid there are already funds in place to kick-start the 2022-23 season and he urged the teams to continue training.

"We haven't deserted the women, we are just trying to get it better. We'll be able to get sponsorship and the women will be able to get a salary. It might not be as much as the men but we want a basic salary."

He said eight teams would be enough to start the season but revealed that club licensing remains a major obstacle.

"We had 14 potential teams but because of club licences some were not allowed in, we will not relent with that."

One area which needs upgrading is the fields.

"We cannot just allow them to play on any field. We want our ladies to play on top fields at good venues. So even if you have a good team, if your organisation is not in place we will not allow you to play, as we are really trying to lift the standard," he said.

Since Sherwin Williams ended their 14-year sponsorship of the women's league in 2015, the competition has not been played consistently. However, since the back-to-back World Cup qualification by the Reggae Girlz, calls have increased for the federation to put a proper women's competition in place.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com

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