Host Jamaica posed for a team photo prior to its CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship semifinal against Canada on November 7, 2013, at the Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- The CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship has been deemed a success.
In a post mortem of the tournament and its impact on the economy of host city Montego Bay, the President of the Jamaica Football Federation and CONCACAF Vice-President Captain Horace Burrell said a lasting legacy has been created.
Additionally, he saluted the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) headed by the Mayor of Montego Bay, Glendon Harrison, and major sponsors Digicel and the Jamaica Tourist Board for their unwavering support.
“This tournament was a success in more ways than one, and this is a sentiment that has also been echoed by the President of the CONCACAF, Jeffrey Webb,” Burrell told CONCACAF.com. “The President personally told me that he received telephone calls from all parts of the world by people expressing their satisfaction with the product as a television item, the quality of play and the atmosphere inside the stadium.
Burrell, who along with Webb took part in the presentation at the end of the final match between first-time winner Mexico and runner-up Canada, stated the CONCACAF tournament is estimated to have brought direct inflows into Montego Bay’s tourism-driven economy of US$1 million (Jamaican $100 million) in fewer than two weeks.
“The figures at this time are showing that some Jamaican $100 million has flowed into the city, and that’s a big boost to the tourism product here (Montego Bay),” Burrell noted. “The hotel sector benefited as families of the seven visiting teams booked rooms, tour operators also benefited, eateries, bars, the taxi man and even peddlers of small items also had a boost in their businesses.”
He suggested that the intangibles could be even more pronounced.
The game, Burrell argued, would have stood up to its social responsibility by touching the lives of so many Jamaicans and “for that we are particularly proud.”
The football executive said with the matches being beamed throughout the world live via Fox Sport, brand Jamaica would have gained priceless exposure to tourism markets overseas.
Burrell stated that another important legacy of the championship is its effect on women’s football in the country.
“There is no doubt that the awareness of the game has gone through the roof as many Jamaicans before didn’t realize how exciting and interesting international women’s football could be,” he expressed. “For our women’s program a number of lessons have been learnt. Certainly the support of the fans and the fact that our girls did their best to reach the semifinals, will be an enduring impact.
“Our girls would have also learnt the value of determination as they watched Mexico beat powerhouse teams like the USA and Canada on their way to being crowned champions.”
Mexico won its first CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 title last Saturday, overcoming Canada 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 regulation draw at the Montego Bay Sports Complex’s Catherine Hall Stadium.