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Rapinoe, Morgan stand with unpaid Jamaica players

Rapinoe, Alex Morgan stand with Jamaica's unpaid Reggae Girlz

September 3, 2019 By Ali M.
The Reggae Girlz have launched a 'No Pay No Play' campaign in which they will go on protest until they are paid for the recent Women's World Cup campagin.

Nearly three months ago, the Jamaica national women's team embarked on their FIFA Women's World Cup campaign, setting a record as the first Caribbean team to qualify for a World Cup. Fast forward to today and the ladies that represented their nation with much pride are now facing a nightmare as they are in the midst wage dispute with their FA.

The Reggae Girlz hands have been forced and they have now embarked on a protest. The reason: they have not been paid for the recent campaign in France and have vowed not to play again for Jamaica until they are salaries are remunerated.

Members of the Jamaica women's national team united together and announced their fight on social media, launching a "No Pay No Play" campaign on the likes of Instagram and have received the backing of mega superstars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, the faces of USWNT's push for equal pay.

"First Caribbean team to qualify for a World Cup. We have made a lot of sacrifices to wear the colors of Jamaica," star player Khadija "Bunny" Shaw wrote on Instagram

"We have respected and worn the colors with pride. We are in a position where we are literally fighting just to get paid by legal agreements. 

This ain't just about money, it's about change, change in the way women football is viewed especially in Jamaica. We deserve more and they can do better. For this reason, I along with my teammates won't be participating in any future tournaments until being paid." 

And it's an understatement to say that the Reggae Girlz made sacrifices to qualify for the 2019 Women's World Cup. The minnows did not make it out of the group stage, losing all three games, but their qualification was a major achievement in itself given the obstacles they faced.

Financial backing, or the lack thereof, was the biggest hurdle. Twice was funding was cut off by the FA, meaning there was no help for jerseys and training gears, just to name a few. Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley, jumped in to aid the ladies with the help of a philanthropist. 

The Jamaica FA have denied these allegations, however. President Michael Ricketts insists he was caught off-guard by the protest, claiming that half of the $120,000 owed to the players was paid last week, with the remainder set to be wired once the $750,000 prize money from FIFA arrives at the end of September.

It didn't take long for the players to deny Ricketts' statement, with Laurent Silver saying: "My teammates and I have not received any money. Our agreement ended on August 30 and today is September 2 and there is nothing pending."

The Reggae Girlz have received backing from two powerhouses of the women's game

Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Jamaica Women's National Team

This comes in the wake of the U.S women's team's lawsuit against their federation in which they accuse the organization of paying them less on the basis of gender discrimination. Their equal pay campaign has been growing in popularity and Jamaica's unfortunate controversy will only shine a light on the need for more support in the women's game.

 


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