Dennis Chung, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), says as attention shifts to the Reggae Girlz for the first of two Olympic-qualifying play-off games against Canada, the Jamaicans deserve every bit of support as they look to build on their success from the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The game is set for the National Stadium on September 22, with the second leg of the qualifying play-off scheduled for September 26 in Toronto, Canada.
In their Australia/New Zealand exploits, the Reggae Girlz defeated Panama 1-0 in their first-ever World Cup victory, and kept France and Brazil to scoreless draws to advance from the group stages.
Jamaica became the first Caribbean nation — male or female — to compete in the World Cup knockout stages since Cuba in 1938. Th Girlz lost their round-of-16 match 0-1 to Colombia.
Though the National Stadium was nowhere near capacity for the senior Reggae Boyz’s two Concacaf Nation League games, the sizable crowd that turned out was vocal enough to provide the Boyz with much-needed motivation that helped them to overcome Honduras 1-0 on Friday and a come-from-behind draw 2-2 with Haiti on Tuesday.
Chung stated that given more preparation time, he anticipates a larger turnout of fans for the Girlz’s important match.
“The support for the Reggae Boyz for the two Nation League games, I think, was good. The support was better for the second match than the first game. I think the anticipation, and time we have for promotion, will result in a bigger crowd for the Reggae Girlz,” Chung told the Jamaica Observer.
“So we are preparing for a bigger crowd at the National Stadium for the Reagge Girlz, especially after their successful run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup recently,” Chung added.
The winner of the tie will represent Concacaf at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, alongside the United States.
“It would mean a lot to qualify for Olympics as this would be another first, and it will result in greater recognition of women football. It will also mean more young girls wanting to get involved. Football is a good tool for social mobility and advancement for young girls especially,” explained Chung.
The winner will also automatically qualify for the inaugural Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup which will take place in the USA between February 17 and March 10, 2024.
The loser will drop into a Women’s Gold Cup qualifying Group A which includes Panama and Guatemala. They would play home and away games against these two teams starting October 25, with an away game in Panama.
The winner of this group would qualify for the Women’s Gold Cup Group stage, alongside two other Group A winners. The second-place finishers in these three Group As (A1, A2, A3) will join three Group B (B1, B2, B3) winners in the W Gold Cup preliminaries to kick off the competition.
SQUAD: Sydney Schneider, Rebecca Spencer, Liya Brooks, Allyson Swaby, Chantelle Swaby, Konya Plummer, Deneisha Blackwood, Tiernny Wiltshire, Tiffany Cameron, Vyan Sampson, Drew Spence, Atlanta Primus, Khadija Shaw, Jody Brown, Solai Washington, Kameron Simmonds, Trudi Carter, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Cheyna Matthews, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Kayla McKenna, and Sashana Campbell.