Wed | Oct 20, 2021

Bob Marley Foundation's Bell aims to bring better relationship between JFF, Reggae Girlz

Published:Saturday | April 10, 2021 | 12:07 AM
Reggae Girl Khadija Shaw (left) in action against Australia's Karly Roestbakken at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France during the FIFA Women's World Cup on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
Reggae Girl Khadija Shaw (left) in action against Australia's Karly Roestbakken at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France during the FIFA Women's World Cup on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Onaje Bell, Bob Marley Foundation's (BMF) Marketing and Development Strategist for Jamaica's senior women's football team, says his goal is to ensure it receives respect from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). Bell, who was designated the...

Onaje Bell, Bob Marley Foundation's (BMF) Marketing and Development Strategist for Jamaica's senior women's football team, says his goal is to ensure it receives respect from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Bell, who was designated the official liaison between BMF and the JFF, says that the JFF's handling of the women's programme and its relationship with his employers has not always been the best. As such, he says his role is to prevent any future administrative mishandling through proper and timely communication.

"The first thing is to establish the fact that the Reggae Girlz is a world class team that is highly ranked internationally, and therefore deserves first class management," Bell told The Gleaner. "So we have to get that type of acknowledgement.

"They must understand that the Reggae Girlz is a big international brand, a World Cup qualifying team that is on its way to qualifying for another .

"So the usual [cutting of] corners and [doing] things they are not supposed to do, no, we don't want that any more. We are responsible for a World Cup qualifying team and we must all appreciate that and give them the support to continue their success."

Since the Reggae Girlz's FIFA Women's World Cup qualification in 2018, there has been tension between the JFF and BMF regarding administrative issues. However, Bell says the plan is to now have both parties leading by example.

"We all need to understand that this is not a me against you thing," he said. "[Reggae Girlz] Ambassador [Cedella] Marley said they needed somebody to be constantly looking out for [the Girlz], as we will be trying to qualify for the World Cup and some of the things that have been done were not ready administratively.

"They (JFF) are currently having issues with the [Reggae] Boyz, and they have had issues with the Girlz, so let us avoid those mistakes going forward. We will be looking at what can be discussed and what can be done to take the programme forward."

The Reggae Girlz start their World Cup qualification campaign in November and Bell says he will be working to ensure that they do all that is required to give them the best chance of success.

"I just want to make sure my team is prepared to support the Girlz, and the Federation every step of the way," he said. "We are looking forward to the World Cup again. We are going to Australia (venue for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup) and we want to have the type of organisation that leads by example so that the Girlz can do their best."

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