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Reggae Girlz World Cup squad and former boss reinstated ahead of Brazil friendlies

Rebecca Spencer celebrates as Jamaica scores in the CONCACAF W Championship in Mexico.

Following a months-long standoff with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) over unpaid wages and bonuses, the Reggae Girlz 2023 Women’s World Cup squad gets reinstated ahead of upcoming friendlies in Brazil.

The JFF confirmed the squad for the Brazil friendlies on Saturday. Some returning names include Tigres UANL star and former captain Konya Plummer. Rebecca Spencer, the Swaby sisters (Allyson and Chantelle), and Drew Spence also feature. Meanwhile, recent Florida State graduate, Jody Brown, Real Betis forward, Tiffany Cameron, and full-back Deneisha Blackwood return.

The return of the World Cup squad is a welcome sight for fans. During their salary dispute, the players made themselves unavailable for Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers last year. The Girlz alleged they hadn’t received their World Cup bonuses and wages for friendlies ahead of the tournament. The Girlz made history at last year’s showpiece event in Australia, becoming the first Jamaican national team to reach the knockout phase of a World Cup at any level.

Hubert Busby Jr. Also Returns Following Controversial Exit

Additionally, Hubert Busby Jr., who managed the Girlz from 2020 to 2021, is back in charge of the senior national team. Busby Jr., formerly Hue Menzies’ assistant when the Girlz qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, was removed from his post amid accusations of soliciting sex from then-Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Malloree Enoch while in charge of the club in 2011. FIFA recently cleared Busby Jr. of wrongdoing, creating the pathway for his reinstatement. “Based on his vast experience and knowledge of the squad, we think he is the perfect individual to take the team through the next stage of its development,” the JFF said in a statement.

The Reggae Girlz will visit Brazil for a pair of friendlies on Jun. 1 and Jun. 4 in Recife and Salvador respectively. Jamaica drew Brazil 0-0 at last year’s World Cup to clinch a Round of 16 berth. Though much of the World Cup squad returns, captain and all-time leading scorer, Khadija Shaw, is out. Shaw is sidelined due to a broken foot she suffered while playing for Manchester City in the FA Women’s Super League.

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Written by Jodee Brown

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