Donaldson blames JFF for the GoFundMe saga

October 03, 2023
Lorne Donaldson
Lorne Donaldson

Former Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson has distanced himself from the crowdfunding saga which marred the Reggae Girlz's second appearance at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July.

Donaldson guided the Reggae Girlz to an unexpected qualification to the knockout phase of the women's football showpiece.

The narrative, however, which dominated the international media was the Girlz needing a GoFundMe account to fund their World Cup campaign, which was not factual.

Donaldson mainly stayed silent during his time at the World Cup and is now clearing the air about his quietness. Some football pundits and fans blamed him for the controversy.

"Somebody asked me about the GoFundMe and why I didn't step into the GoFundMe (argument). I was busy preparing the team. I was there. I got blamed for it when the JFF endorsed it. Not me," he said.

"Everybody thought I should have come out and say something, but I tell them I am coaching. I am getting a team ready to play France, Brazil and Panama. I have work to do.

"The coaching staff have to concentrate and make sure we are focused on the game, so I just want to make it clear that the GoFundMe stuff, I had nothing to do with it. I was just in Australia to play football and focus on the girls," Donaldson said.

JFF general secretary Dennis Chung, at the time, explained that when the GoFundMe creator contacted the JFF, he said the federation would welcome any assistance they could get. There were transparency issues, and the JFF disassociated from the fund.

Donaldson said it was their burden as he had no part in it.

"They endorsed it, so they had to deal with it. I was in Amsterdam and Australia, and hearing about GoFundMe, and every question I was asked about GoFundMe, I said I knew nothing about it.

"One thing you must realise is Lorne Donaldson didn't do a GoFundMe. Lorne Donaldson has never endorsed the GoFundMe. Lorne Donaldson has never said that GoFundMe helped us to get to the World Cup.

"I have always said (it was) Cedella Marley, the JFF and the government, but the GoFundMe was endorsed by the JFF. I do not know anything about it," he insisted.

Donaldson's contract as Reggae Girlz coach, which ended on Sunday, was not renewed by the JFF, despite him leading them to unprecedented success by taking them to the round of 16 at the Women's World Cup.

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