How Bob Marley helped Jamaica reach the Women's World Cup | OneFootball

How Bob Marley helped Jamaica reach the Women's World Cup

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OneFootball

Lewis Ambrose

There will be four countries making their Women’s World Cup debuts this summer.

Chile, who beat Argentina 4-0 in the Copa América Femenina final to book their place in France.

South Africa, who not only secured qualification, but equal pay from their association.

Scotland, who came from behind to win in four of their seven victories in qualification.

And, finally, Jamaica.

The Jamaican national team stopped receiving funds from their association eight years ago and could not even play official rankings for three years, meaning they were not even included in Fifa’s official rankings.

The Reggae Girlz’ story changed in 2014, when the national team came into contact with Cedella Marley, one of Bob Marley’s daughters.

Marley helped the team receive the sponsorship they needed to stay alive. She raised $50,000, and matched each dollar with $100 of her own money, putting the funds towards facilities and coaching.

Then there was the single “Strike Hard”, released by Cedella and her brothers, Stephen and Damian, with the aim of creating a buzz around the team.

But it wasn’t enough. In 2016, when the federation cut funds again, and the Alacran Foundation had to step in. Based in the US, they are committed to providing financial aid to sporting and musical activities for communities in difficulty.

In their own words, they aim to aid “international collaborations, provides funding and invests in art, music, sports and social initiatives that increase education and inclusion for youth and communities.”

Not only has Cedella Marley inherited her surname from her father Bob, but she has also inherited his passion for football. With that, she managed to convince American coach Hue Menzies to breathe life into her pet project. To help provide the female population of the Carribbean island with the chance to dream big.

And now here they are.

On 17 October 2018, with three years of complete inactivity in the recent past, Jamaica beat Panama. They won on penalties in the CONCACAF play-off and will be the first Caribbean team to ever feature at a Women’s World Cup.