Bob and Rita Marley Foundations pull funding for JFF women’s programme
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Following the resignation of Cedella Marley as the Reggae Girls’ Global Ambassador, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations have announced the discontinuation of their financial support for the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) national women’s program.
In a release on Friday, the foundations’ general counsel, Lecia-Gaye Taylor, stated that the decision came after a “long and meaningful partnership with the JFF over the years.”
Expressing pride in the growth of women’s football in Jamaica during the partnership, the Foundations revealed that evolving circumstances surrounding the team and the Federation necessitated a reassessment of funding priorities.
“In light of our revised focus and funding priorities, we have come to the conclusion that we can no longer continue our financial support of the JFF program.”
The foundations stated that they remain committed to the “empowerment of girls and the development of women’s football in Jamaica” and that it will continue to support these endeavours under the Football is Freedom initiative.
In a statement on Thursday, Marley cited the current state of affairs involving the team and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) as reasons behind her departure. She said she believes the federation is “neither receptive nor interested” in her “current manner of support.”
She expressed that after sharing a mutual vision with Captain Horace Burrell, she joined the team with an understanding that she would bring “help and support.” She further expressed that since coming to that understanding, the Bob and Rita Marley Foundations alongside a host of partners have invested some US $2.7 million into the growth and development of the women’s football team.
Marley then went on to express disappointment with how things have unfolded with the team in recent times. She expressed that especially after the Girlz’ historic run at the Women’s World Cup, she believed all parties would be working together for the benefit of the team but shared that the “ever-widening rift between the JFF and the team is very alarming.”
Meanwhile, the JFF, in a statement on Friday, said it is saddened by the decision of Cedella Marley to resign as Global Ambassador of the women’s football program.
The Federation said it is “eternally grateful for the support Miss Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation have given to the Women’s programme over the last decade, amidst the obvious gains, which have resulted in Jamaica achieving what no other Caribbean team has managed to do.”
Michael Ricketts, president of the JFF, said Marley’s “unfortunate departure” is “even more so as we are of the view that we had made significant progress in the discussions, and are just awaiting the World Cup players to come back to us and advise of their availability.”
“We want to assure her that the gains that have been made will be concretised as we move into the future,” Phillips said.