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JOA president calls for greater support of Reggae Girlz

Published:Saturday | September 30, 2023 | 12:08 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Jamaica Olympic Association President Christopher Samuda
Jamaica Olympic Association President Christopher Samuda

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda has called for greater support of the national women’s football team following their loss to Canada in the two-way Olympic Games play-off.

The Reggae Girlz lost 4-1 on aggregate to the Canadians. They were blanked 2-0 at home last Friday and beaten 2-1 in the return leg in Canada.

“The Olympic dreams for the Reggae Girlz ended at BMO stadium in Canada amidst a throng of chanting Canadian supporters. The end gave Jamaica new hope and has signalled the beginning of transformation in female football in Jamaica,” Samuda stated.

The JOA president believes the support which was shown by the Canadian supporters for their return leg at the BMO stadium made a vast difference. While he’s aware that it takes cash to care, Samuda is of the opinion that moral support is almost as critical in helping to support the national female team.

“Jamaica we’ve got to support more of our girls, as well as our boys as the Canadian supporters came out with a mission to inspire their team and it made a difference. Money is critical, but moral support is foundational to the character of play and a sense of victory,” he added.

Samuda further shared that the Reggae Girlz’s performance across both legs, more so in Canada, showed the resilience the team has collectively and the fan support shouldn’t be taken lightly. Samuda believes fans are a critical part of any sports team’s success and is very much integral towards their growth and development.

“It was a privilege to see our girls play with heart and soul and it was an honour amidst a sea of Canada supporters to know that we ‘little but tallawah’. Fans constitute critical stakeholders of sport and fan engagement is fundamental not only to the business and commercialisation of sport, but perhaps more importantly the gold medal success and history making of sport,” Samuda said.