‘Where would we be without you?’ - Wint full of praise for Marley after assistance to pay Reggae Girlz coaches
Bob Marley Foundation chief executive officer and Reggae Girlz benefactor Cedella Marley has come to the rescue of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the women's programme once again, after she paid up 80 per cent of contractual salaries owed to the team's technical staff for their work in 2019.
The move was also key in paving the way for new coach Hurbert Busby Jr to take charge of the team ahead of the upcoming final round of Concacaf Women's Olympic qualifiers which begin in Texas on January 28.
JFF general secretary Dalton Wint praised Marley for her assistance.
"Cedella has been very integral and important to the women's programme," Wint said. "She has done so much and continues to do a lot. Without her, I don't know where we would be, as without her we wouldn't qualify for the World Cup."
There was tension between the Federation and former head coach Hue Menzies, who qualified the team for the FIFA Women's World Cup in France last year, mainly because of outstanding salaries, and Wint said this latest intervention from Marley will ease some of the financial burdens of the JFF, who is responsible for the other 20 per cent of the sum owed.
"It (debt settlement) is very important as it will create a little cushion for us as it relates to our financial burden and taking care of the coaches," he said. "Her stepping in and giving us the support, and 80 per cent of what was owed to the coaches is tremendous. The JFF will have to find the other 20 per cent and we are waiting on some funding from FIFA. But it's much pleasing."
But Wint says that although the JFF takes her recommendations and suggestions very seriously, she is not one to interfere and usually allows the JFF to handle their administrative matters.
"When you have people like Ms Marley, you have to listen to her," he said. "But if you know the type of person she is, she doesn't get involved. She allows the JFF to do their work and she gives the support."
A release from the JFF said: Marley said she was "extremely concerned about the extraordinary delay in the start of preparations for the teams for the Olympic qualifiers and decided to step in."
"These Girlz need to be provided with the best opportunity to represent the country to their best abilities. It is our collective duty to facilitate this," the release quoted Marley as saying.