As we’ve noted before, the struggle for equality in women’s football is ongoing and a few of the AC Milan players are at the forefront of the movement.
One of those players is Milan defender and Jamaican international, Allyson Swaby. Swaby and the rest of the Jamaican team recently posted a statement to social media where they spoke about the mistreatment from the Jamaican federation.
As per the players’ statement:
“It is with great disappointment we share that the 2023 World Cup roster will not be participating in the upcoming October international window for the first ever Women’s Gold Cup Qualifiers.
“While this has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make, we feel it is necessary to take such a drastic stance to put an end to the constant mistreatment we receive from the Jamaica Football Federation.”
Their ‘drastic stance’ has manifested itself in the form of a protest, as the senior team members who played for Jamaica at the last Women’s World Cup have refused to play for the nation again during this international window.
The players’ statement goes to to say, “As always, it is an honor and a privilege to represent Jamaica. […] Due to the current circumstances the Jamaica Football Federation has put us in, we would not be able to do our job. We have yet to receive full and correct payments for our historical performances at the World Cup and the numerous outstanding bonuses for qualifying in the summer of 2022.
We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management, and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again. For these reasons, we take our stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment.”
Jamaica did play a match during this international window without the senior members of the women’s team. The team was on the receiving end of a 7-0 shellacking from Mexico. It should also be noted that the Reggae Girlz had to hold a fundraiser in order to play at last summer’s Women’s World Cup.
Fortunately for Swaby and her teammates, they are not alone in their fight. Recently, AC Milan expressed their support for Swaby via social media. The team has stated that they stand with the defender and hopes that both the team and the JFF can find a “constructive dialogue” to “continue playing and let the fans dream.”
We stand by Allyson and all the ‘Reggae Girlz’ in this difficult and delicate dispute with the Jamaican Federation. It is important to find a constructive dialogue to continue playing and let the fans dream. #ForzaAllyson #ForzaReggaeGirlzhttps://t.co/qUKWD5wInZ
— AC Milan (@acmilan) October 25, 2023
By putting the spotlight on the issue involving one of their players, Milan have brought awareness to this issue and have amplified the Jamaican Women’s cause.
Whether this will lead to constructive dialogue with the JFF remains yet to be seen.
In the meanwhile, Serie A Femminile is currently on hiatus for the international break. Several Milan players were in action on October 27th, including Kosovare Asllani’s Sweden, who beat Switzerland 1-0. Valentina Bergmaschi and Laura Giuliani’s Italy played against Spain that day, with Spain’s Jenni Hermoso scoring the winning goal after her brief hiatus from the team. The goal marked her triumphant return to the team after she was forcibly kissed by former RFEF president, Luis Rubiales.
Once Serie A Femminile returns, Milan will be in action against ACF Fiorentina. The match will take place on November 4th and kickoff time will be at 16:00 CEST.