Craig Butler Speaks Out in Support of the Reggae Girlz after JFF Announces Suspensions

Saturday, October 21, 2023, 5:55 PM

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has announced the suspension of several members of the Reggae Girlz following the revelation that they would be unavailable for the upcoming CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers.

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It was recently revealed that a number of players from the Girlz 2023 World Cup squad had said they were unavailable for the Gold Cup qualifier matches against Panama and Guatemala. Their unavailability was the consequence of multiple issues, such as the lack of essential coaching and backroom staff and the non-payment of their World Cup bonuses.

JFF later expressed that the organisation was left uncomfortable after player representatives did not attend a meeting, which was scheduled for Friday. The JFF was also displeased with the response of the players, who, as a group, had come to the decision to reject the federation’s invitation to be a part of the Gold Cup squad.

The JFF emphasised that concerns regarding player contracts should be discussed while at the negotiation table to allow the organisation to address them as it is eager to clear them up. According to the JFF, the suspensions were made due to these contract issues and will not be lifted until they are resolved.

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Following the suspension of the members of the senior team, the JFF has announced the 23-member Reggae Girlz squad for the upcoming qualifiers. The squad list has been receiving criticism from members of the public due to the absence of players from Jamaica’s historic World Cup squad.

The founder of the Phoenix Football Academy, Craig Butler, has since spoken out in support of the suspended players. Butler expressed that he will not attend upcoming matches, which excluded the players.

“In support of the reggae girls and in acknowledgement of what they have acheived for our country. I will not be going to the games that have ommited them,” Butler wrote in response to the JFF’s squad list.

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