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Speid laments absence of women’s league

Published:Thursday | September 16, 2021 | 12:10 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
GILBERT
GILBERT
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SPEID
Arnett Gardens’ Shanel Spence (left) tries to get by Waterhouse’s Nevillegail Able during their JFF Women’s Football League mid-season final at Winchester Park in Kingston on Sunday, August 19, 2018.
Arnett Gardens’ Shanel Spence (left) tries to get by Waterhouse’s Nevillegail Able during their JFF Women’s Football League mid-season final at Winchester Park in Kingston on Sunday, August 19, 2018.
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Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Technical Committee Chairman Rudolph Speid is lamenting the stagnation of women’s football because of the absence of the local leagues.

There have been numerous calls from the local fraternity for the return of the women’s football competition, which was last played in 2018. Spied said the women’s league forms a crucial part of the development of the sport.

“I am feeling very bad that we haven’t been able to play any women’s football for two years,” Speid told The Gleaner. “We must start, and we must find a way to start because if we don’t, then the development will be affected.

“We have World Cup qualifiers coming up in November, and we need to get women’s football on the front burner.

“I hope that we can find players because with the ladies being idle for so long, I am sure some of them would have moved on.”

Speid says the COVID- 19 pandemic is also making it difficult for the women’s league to get started because the approval from the Government for the competition is hard to attain.

“I am not going to say it is a sponsor’s problem at the moment because the biggest problem I think is to get the permission, but we haven’t applied for it as yet, so I am not blaming anybody,” he said. “The biggest problem is really to get the permission and come up with what the format is going to be for the competition.”

National Under-20 women’s team head coach Xavier Gilbert agrees with Speid.

“It has gotten a huge blow,” Gilbert said. “Unlike the boys who have been doing some of the playing, whether in their communities or on their corner, it is not happening for the girls because girls only play organised football.

“There is no football at the high-school level or at the club level, so this is a massive blow for the development of the women’s game in Jamaica.”

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com