Jamaica made its debut appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals in France in June of 2019. While Jamaica lost all its games, the
team was a tremendous fan favourite indicating how strong brand Jamaican continues to be globally and certainly in the sporting world.
Havana Solaun had the privilege of scoring the first ever goal for the women’s team at the World Cup Finals when she got a consolation goal in a 1-4 defeat to Australia. The other noteworthy achievement of the team was the tremendous support and interest it generated in Jamaica,
through the live TVJ coverage of the World Cup.
Our performances were hampered by two main things, which could be put under a single umbrella, lack of funding. Despite the efforts of the Marley family and others the women’s team remains extremely underfunded. The result of this is that Jamaica has played mainly games against fellow teams of the Caribbean zone of CONCACAF, most of whom are not very talented and have very low world rankings. What we need is to play consistently against the best teams in the world. That is how you improve. Unfortunately, that is an expensive proposition. Apart from the World Number one team (the USA), Canada, Mexico and some Central American teams all the best teams are either European, Asian or South American. This means that any games organised with these teams will entail tremendous travel expenses.
In France many of the players who had played in qualification were changed for players who, while they may be better players, had no experience with the team and could not therefore develop team chemistry. We must identify our international squad and find a way to organise training sessions and practice games with these core players.
To succeed in women’s football we must invest in women’s football. The nation and the team deserve no less!