Jamaica Reggae Girlz Advance To Knockout Round Of World Cup For First Time

Photo: Getty Images

Jamaica's Reggae Girlz are advancing to the knockout round of the Women's World Cup for the first time in history.

On Wednesday (August 2), Jamaica held Brazil to a 0-0 draw, earning the team, known as the Reggae Girlz, a spot in the knockout stages of the World Cup, per CBS News.

The team made history on Wednesday, not without obstacles. Over the past 15 years, the Reggae Girlz have been disbanded by the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) twice and fought to secure funding to keep playing.

The JFF initially stopped funding the women's team in 2008 over an alleged lack of finances, even though the organization was continuing to funnel money to the men's team. In 2014, Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's daughter, helped raise money for the Reggae Girlz, producing a single to fund the team and sponsoring the squad through the Bob Marley Foundation.

The temporary boost carried the team until 2016 when it was again disbanded by the JFF. Marley again stepped in to support the team, calling for change within the federation and providing more funds through her family's foundation.

Leading up to the 2023 Women's World Cup, the team was still struggling to receive financial backing from JFF. One player's mother set up a crowdfunding page called "Reggae Girlz Rise Up" that raised nearly $50,000 to help offset costs.

As the Reggae Girlz advanced on Wednesday, Jamaican midfielder Drew Spence shouted "We told you! We told you!" into the crowd when the final whistle blew. Coach Lorne Donaldson said Wednesday the team was "doing this for the country, and the country should be proud."

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