From Broke to World Cup: Jamaica Qualifies Again

SOUTH FLORIDA – Any football-loving country would dream of their national team making it to the prestigious World Cup. It gives us great pride, as one of the official news websites for Caribbean news, to announce that Jamaica has that honor!

The women’s football team in Jamaica, Reggae Girlz, will be heading straight to the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after finishing in the top four at the CONCACAFW Championship

Jamaican Women World Cup

What This Means for Jamaica

Jamaica was the first Caribbean team to make it into the World Cup in 2019, a huge honor. Jamaica was the first stop of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy tour in 2019. And that was a night for the ages. 

Now, this huge milestone is upon our island again. 

But more than the team’s success over the last two consecutive World Cups, it is their journey that makes this milestone more meaningful for the Reggae Girlz. 

Funding Has Plagued The Reggae Girlz in the Past

Just 6 years ago, the team that has made Jamaica so proud was struggling to find funding and support. 

When the original Reggae Girlz team failed to qualify for the 2007 World Cup and 2008 Olympics, it was disbanded. 

But in 2014, Bob and Rita Marley’s eldest daughter Cedella decided to give the girlz another chance. She resurrected the women’s national football team. 

Thanks in part to Cedella’s family name and influence, the team started to attract fans from around the world, even in-spite of not qualifying for the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

Funding issues continued.

The women’s national football team didn’t really get enough funding from the Jamaican federation despite its hard work. Cedella Marley continued to work hard to give the Reggae Girlz their much-needed opportunity, looking for sponsors, holding fundraisers, and even setting up a GoFundMe at one point to help Jamaica train football players.

Maybe one day, these ladies will join the ranks of some of the highest earning soccer players

The Ups and Downs Continued

Unfortunately, the team has not been immune to controversy over the years. Coach Hue Menzies resigned after a pay dispute with the federation and was replaced by Hubert Busby Jr. who was also dismissed after being accused of sexual misconduct. 

What really kept the team going is unity. 

Forward Kayla McCoy explained: “I think the important thing for us as a group is that we stuck together through everything and we overcame those challenges. The women on this team have had each other’s backs from the start and from the beginning, I think the group that we have, and the family that we have is what has kept us going through all of this and what has kept us kind of overcoming those obstacles.”

Passing The Ball Forward

Today, the Reggae Girlz have proven that they deserved the second chance they got and are now making their mark in the world of women’s football after their two consecutive qualifications to the women’s World Cup. 

McCoy said: “There’s so much higher levels that we can reach with even more investment from back home. So, we’re kind of excited to see what comes from us qualifying again, because not a lot of people thought we could do it again. I think it kind of solidified us into this position and now people know that we’re for real and will begin to invest a bit more.”


South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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