U17s could benefit from Anguilla, Grenada withdrawal, says JFF
Dennis Chung, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), says the country will not be negatively affected by Anguilla and Grenada’s withdrawal from Group E of the 2023 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, scheduled to take place on home soil.
Given the absence of those two, Jamaica and Panama are the only teams left in the group. As a result, Jamaica’s young Reggae Girlz and Panama are to compete at Sabina Park in Kingston on August 25 and again on August 27 to determine the group winner.
The chance for competitive matches at this level is always appreciated, according to Chung, whether it is all teams participating or if the competition is whittled down to a two-match play-off.
“It has no effect on us. In fact, if the three teams were here, Jamaica would still have played two games. So we are playing the same number of games,” Chung told the Jamaica Observer.
“Any tournament we can play at this level is good for our development, especially since at that age, there are not enough competitions being played for girls,” he further stated.
Chung believes the Hugh Bradford-coached Under-17 women’s team has an improved chance of progressing.
“This does enhance our chance in that it is now a 50 per cent probability as we have fewer teams. But Panama we do consider a good opponent.
“These are the future Reggae Girlz who will no doubt build on what we have achieved so far. So we want to have them in action at every opportunity,” the general secretary said.
The remaining five groups will contest their qualifiers between August 26 and September 3 as scheduled.
The six group winners will advance to the 2023 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, joining the top two-ranked nations, Mexico and the United States, who have been seeded directly into the Championship’s group stage.
Group A: El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, Cayman Islands, and Martinique
Group B: Haiti, Cuba, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Martin
Group C: Costa Rica, Guatemala, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos Islands, and St Vincent and the Grenadines
Group D: Puerto Rico, Honduras, Nicaragua, US Virgin Islands, and Guadeloupe
Group E: Jamaica and Panama
Group F: Canada, Bermuda, Guyana, and Dominica