Jamaica lines up for the national anthem prior to its CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship semifinal against Canada on November 7, 2013, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica --- The President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell, says despite falling short in its bid for an historic World Cup qualification, he was proud of the Jamaica Under-17 women’s team.
“What can I say, these girls have done themselves and their country proud,” he said. “They have flown their nation’s flag high and with honor with the quality and passion of play.”
Burrell, who is also a CONCACAF Vice President, stated that the exploits of the Reggae Girlz, who topped their group and reached the semifinals of a tournament at this level for the first time, made a strong statement that women’s football in Jamaica is on the rise.
“There is no doubt that awareness of the women’s game has now been heightened…people, including the private sector, now see that Jamaica’s football in all areas is on the up,” he expressed. “When you look at how the people in Montego Bay turned out in their numbers to cheer the girls on speaks volume that the women’s game and the performance of this team in particular have appealed to them.”
Corporate Jamaica, he signaled, “will have to take notice” that women’s football is no longer the Cinderella of the global game.
“Women’s football is growing everywhere in the world, and while it struggles to gain the kind of corporate support that will take it further, it continues to grow and appeal to lovers of the game.”
The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) joined in saluting in the young Reggae Girlz for their performance in the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship, which concludes with the third place match (USA v Jamaica) and final (Mexico v Canada) on Saturday at Catherine Hall Stadium.
“We are assured that while Jamaica might be small in size and accomplishments in women’s football, you are tallawah (large) in heart and fight,” said CFU President Gordon Derrick.
Jamaica was defeated 5-0 by Canada in the semifinals of the World Cup Qualifying tournament on Thursday, the same Mexico shocked powerhouse USA 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 stalemate.
Leading up to that, Jamaica topped Group A with seven points by defeating El Salvador (2-0) and Haiti (3-0) and, then, drawing with Mexico (1-1).
Mexico and Canada have booked their spots to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica next March.