(CMC) – Head coach of the Jamaica women’s national football team Hue Menzies has said the sacrifice and hard work of the players and coaching staff led the team to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in France.
The Reggae Girls defeated Panama 4-2 in penalties on Wednesday to finish third in the CONCACAF qualifying competition and book their spot at next year’s World Cup.
It marks the first time any Caribbean team has qualified for a senior Women’s World Cup.
“I’m telling you the amount of sacrifices we’ve made – the staff, the players – for the country, we’re going to change the culture back home. How they perceive women, it’s changed.
“It’s a big sacrifice. And you know what? Those 20 girls decided they were going to make the change. It’s amazing right now. Not too many words can be said,” Menzies said following the victory in Texas.
Describing the win as more than football, the coach said there would be huge celebrations back home on the team’s arrival.
Menzies thanked Bob Marley’s oldest daughter, Cedella Marley, who played a crucial role in helping to restart the women’s football programme in Jamaica.
“This is way more than football. Big up to Cedella Marley for putting the neck on the line for us. The thank-yous can’t stop. The sacrifices will still keep plugging, the adversities will always be there, but I’m telling you it’s a lot more than football. This is just a statement.
“We’re going to go back home and celebrate. There’s not a whole lot of space on that island, but we’re going to find every inch to celebrate on because it’s history,” an overjoyed Menzies declared.