Women’s pro league ap­proved by JFF board

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - LIV­INGSTON SCOTT STAR Writer

Ja­maica Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (JFF) tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee chair­man Ru­dolph Speid says es­tab­lish­ing a pro­fes­sional women’s league, after the Reg­gae Girlz’s his­toric qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France last year, is crit­i­cal to the con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment and progress of the women’s game lo­cally.

At a re­cent JFF board meet­ing to ap­prove changes to the lo­cal foot­ball struc­ture, rec­om­men­da­tions were ap­proved for the start of a women’s pro­fes­sional league, a sec­ond tier com­pe­ti­tion, and a na­tional un­der-15 tour­na­ment.

But while the sec­ond tier and un­der-15 com­pe­ti­tions would be funded by the JFF, it is still search­ing for a spon­sor for the women’s top flight com­pe­ti­tion.

WOMEN’S LEAGUE DE­VEL­OP­MENT

“We need to have a legacy pro­gramme, so that is what we are putting in place so we can con­tinue the de­vel­op­ment of the women’s league in Ja­maica, and so that we pay the play­ers and can con­tinue our de­vel­op­ment,” Speid said. “We don’t want what hap­pened to the males to hap­pen to them, in that they went to the World Cup and never went back after more than 20 years.”

Start­ing a pro­fes­sional women’s league, in some shape or form, is very sig­nif­i­cant, he said while not­ing that they would be us­ing the ex­ist­ing struc­ture as a base to launch the com­pe­ti­tion. How­ever, he said that the JFF would take the re­spon­si­bil­ity for funding the sec­ond tier and youth com­pe­ti­tion. How­ever, they still re­quire more sup­port to make the tier one pro­fes­sional women’s league a re­al­ity.

“We are go­ing to ap­proach the women’s league as a legacy project,” Speid said. “We have some help al­ready, but we need a lot more. We have seen pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tors that peo­ple will come on board, but it may not start un­til next year. But once we get ev­ery­thing in place, we have the green light.

“The JFF has com­mit­ted to funding Un­der13, and Un­der-15 boys and girls, and they have com­mit­ted to funding the tier two fe­male com­pe­ti­tion that we will have. The JFF will look at help­ing tier one (women’s league) in the same way. So it would be bet­ter to start the tier two women’s league, be­cause the funding will be there.”

FILE

Water­house Women FC cel­e­brate with their JFF Women’s League Mid Sea­son fi­nal tro­phy after de­feat­ing Ar­nett Gar­dens 2-1 in the fi­nal on Sun­day, Au­gust 19, 2018.

SPEID

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