Action from the CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship's third-place match between the United States and host Jamaica on November 9, 2013, at the Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- The recent staging of the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship in Montego Bay has changed many people’s opinion of the female game in Jamaica. And Devon Thompson is an unapologetic convert.
“I never knew that I could enjoy football like this…to see the girls playing football of such a high-quality, leaves me to think that maybe they are better than the men,” said the construction worker, after having watched most of the games. “The first time I came, I did so because it was free to come in, but when I see how well the girls played and how entertaining it was, even if there was a charge after, I would have paid and come in.”
Linette Anderson is a school teacher, who confessed of hurrying from her classroom to catch the action.
“As a woman, I felt very good to watch the girls applying themselves the way they did,” she said. “I was particularly proud of the Jamaica players, but Mexico, Canada and the USA also played at a very high level. It was amazing.”
Montego Bay Mayor Glendon Harris, who chaired the Local Organizing Committee of the 10-day tournament, said he is sold on women’s football forever.
“My opinion of women’s football has been revolutionized by the hosting of the tournament,” he expressed. “I totally enjoyed watching the girls play football.”
Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell shared that many people have come up to him, expressing satisfaction and delight at the quality of play during the championship.
“A lot of Jamaicans did not think much of women’s football, but now they have a new point of view, especially with what our girls have done in their historic achievements,” said the CONCACAF Vice President. “People have expressed surprise at the level of technical ability of the players and for the entertainment value of the women’s game, so certainly the awareness and profile of the female version of the sport here in Jamaica have been lifted.”
Enthusiastic and large crowds turned out to watch the games at the Montego Bay Sports Complex’s Catherine Hall Stadium from October 30-November 9, a source of great satisfaction for organizers of the tournament.