Senior men challenged to follow in women’s footsteps

The Reggae Boyz last qualified for the World Cup in 1998

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica’s national men’s football team has been told to replicate the efforts of the women and qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

The challenge has been issued by Sports Development Foundation (SDF) general manager Denzil Wilks, who has said he would love to see the men qualify for their second World Cup.

The Reggae Girlz created history on Wednesday when they defeated Panama 4-2 on penalties to finish third in a CONCACAF qualifying tournament and book their place at next year’s Women’s World Cup in France.

“I throw out a challenge to the entire coaching staff and players: You will not wait so long to qualify for a second World Cup.

“I am sure. We’ve been waiting. This now, I think, will spur the men on to say ‘Listen, it’s been way back in 1998,’ some people won’t even remember, some weren’t born, but this is just a wonderful thing,” Wilks said during an official welcoming ceremony for the local-based delegation of the senior women’s football team.

Wilks, who presented the Jamaica Football Federation with a $5 million cheque at the event, said while the SDF had been backing women’s football for a number of years, he wanted to see more investors get behind the team.

“The Sports Development Foundation has been in the trenches for a long time. For those who don’t know, football, in spite of the criticisms, is in our blood. It’s our most popular sport without any doubt,” Wilks insisted.

“It can’t just be men’s football (that gets attention) because the women have now done what the men did in 1998. We spend quite a bit of money on football and sometimes we take flack for it because people are saying ‘Nutten naa gwaan,’ but what more can we say?”

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