Jamaica's Reggae Girlz Are the First Caribbean Team In History to Qualify for the Women's World Cup
Jamaica's senior national women's team are headed to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
Jamaica's national women's soccer team, known as the Reggae Girlz will take their talents to the senior Women's World Cup in France next year for the first time ever, making them the first Caribbean women's team ever to qualify for the games, according to FIFA.com.
It's been a long road to success for the Reggae Girlz. The team folded in 2010, but were brought back in 2014 due to the fervent support of Cedella Marley—the first-born daughter of Bob Marley—who has helped sponsor the team through the Bob Marley Foundation, reports Huffington Post.
BREAKING: Jamaica @ReggaeGirlz 🇯🇲 have qualified for Women’s #WorldCup in France 2019. 20 years after the men’s tea… https://t.co/II9eSZztOz— Team Jamaica (@Team Jamaica) 1539822028.0
"That support from the Bob Marley Foundation has been so important to us," head coach Hue Menzies told FIFA last month about Marley's sponsorship. "Bob Marley loved football, of course. Cedella has continued that passion and she really wants to help women's football develop in Jamaica."
Following the Reggae Girlz' close, but triumphant penalty shootout win against Panama on Wednesday, Marley told BBC Sport that her father, known as a passionate soccer lover, would have been proud of her and the team's history-making accomplishment.
"I went outside and started to meditate," she said. "By the time the last penalty went in we were all on the floor. Daddy would probably not be surprised, when I put my foot into something stuff happens. He'd be like, 'that's my girl'."
To add even more significance to the moment, the team's win comes on the 20th anniversary of the Jamaican national men's team, the Reggae Boyz, qualification for the FIFA World Cup in 1998, which was also held in France.
The moment is a major win for women's sports on the island nation and the Caribbean as a whole, congrats to the Reggae Girlz!