The Jamaica women’s national team that reached the knockout phase at this year’s World Cup announced on Saturday a decision to withdraw from two Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers next week due to “constant mistreatment” from their national governing body.
According to a statement shared on social media by members of the squad nicknamed the Reggae Girlz, the team have not received “full and correct” payment for their World Cup performance or bonuses for qualifying for that tournament.
The team also allege they received information about their coaching, medical and equipment staff in an “untimely manner and through unprofessional communication.”
Players said they only received confirmation of their head coach three days prior to their report date and through social media despite efforts to have direct communication with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).
“While this has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make, we feel it is necessary to take such a drastic stance to put an end to the constant mistreatment we receive from the Jamaica Football Federation,” the team said.
The JFF, in a memo sent to the team on Friday that was seen by Reuters, said the players would be suspended from selection to any national side until the issues are resolved and added that the way players indicated their non-availability was not consistent with the contract.
According to the memo, the JFF said the contract requires each player to explain their reason for not being available but did note it received one email from a player purporting to represent all players.
In the memo, the JFF also expressed its displeasure with the absence of any player representatives at a scheduled meeting early on Friday.
Jamaica are scheduled to meet Panama in Panama City on Oct. 25 followed by a match against Guatemala on Oct. 29 in Kingston.
In August, Jamaica reached the knockout phase for the first time in only their second Women’s World Cup after having lost all their matches in France four years ago.
“We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again,” the team said.
“For these reasons, we take our stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment.”