Wint: We are putting in the right systems for long-term success
Jamaica's senior women's football team's abysmal display in their failed attempt to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games is another signal that the women's programme may not capitalise on their historic qualification and participation in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
The Reggae Girlz were edged 1-0 by Mexico and annihilated by Canada 9-0 before whipping lowly Caribbean rivals St Kitts and Nevis 7-0 in their final game.
After their historic qualification to the women's World Cup in October 2018, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts told The Gleaner that he and his administrators will work on a programme to continue the legacy of the Girlz's achievements. But the legacy so far has been rife with conflicts between the administrations, players and the previous coaching staff as well as poor displays on the field.
Their poor display at the Olympic Qualifiers comes on the heels of the departure of Hue Menzies and Lorne Donaldson, the two coaches who are credited with setting the target of participating in women's football flagship tournament and achieving it, walked away from the programme because of irreconcilable differences with the Jamaica football federation.
Menzies quit in December after, according to him, growing weary of the JFF ignoring his request for an update on his future with the team following the expiration of his contract in August of last year, as well as their failure to reimburse him for personal funds used during the team's successful 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification campaign in addition to unpaid salaries.
Donaldson made his exit on January 13, describing the local football administrators as unprofessional and Hubert Busby was appointed the head coach shortly after.
Three months before the departure of Menzies and Donaldson, a rift between the administration and the Girlz made international headlines with "No pay, No Play' as the Girlz launched a social media protest to demand payment for their participation in the World Cup.
But despite the many controversies, general secretary of the JFF, Dalton Wint, believes that the administration has been putting systems in place to continue the Girlz's legacy. "I think we have been putting the necessary things in place to continue the legacy. We have Miss Elaine Walker- Brown as the chairperson among other things. We have the women's premier league," Wint said. "We didn't play badly against Mexico but we still lost. We have to just continue with the programme."
When asked whether he believes the Girlz's under par performance during the Olympic qualifiers could be a result of the departure of Menzies and Donaldson, this is how Wint responded. "They didn't perform well in the Pan American Games and they were still in charge," he explained.
He continued: "In every relationship there will be differences and if the differences cannot be worked out there will be separation. There are certain things about that relationship that I will not reveal.
"But, I do not think that these will destroy the legacy of our girls and we are putting in the right systems in place for us to have long-term success."