Former Reggae Girlz head coach, Lorne Donaldson, has strongly denied the reasons given by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) for his separation from the team. The JFF had earlier confirmed the non-renewal of Donaldson’s contract, which is set to end on September 30, 2023.
Contradicting the JFF’s statement of an “extended discussion” leading to the decision, Donaldson revealed that the meeting with JFF General Secretary Dennis Chung and his assistant, Susie-George Gayle, lasted less than five minutes. During a radio sports call-in program on KLAS FM, Donaldson expressed surprise at the abruptness of the decision, stating that there was no in-depth discussion regarding his contract. He recalled Chung informing him that his contract would not be renewed and that was the extent of their conversation.
Donaldson’s denial raises questions about the transparency and communication within the JFF regarding his separation. The former coach emphasized that there was no opportunity for dialogue or negotiation, as the decision seemed final and predetermined. He expressed disappointment with the lack of open discussion regarding his future with the team.
Donaldson was an assistant coach under Hue Menzies when the Reggae Girlz made history by qualifying for their first FIFA World Cup in 2018. His departure comes as the JFF prepares for the upcoming CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers.
Following Donaldson’s separation, the JFF expressed gratitude for his efforts and stated its intention to swiftly appoint competent staff for the important competition. However, Donaldson’s denial raises concerns about the timing of the decision, as the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers are rapidly approaching.
The JFF’s statement suggests an amicable parting of ways after an agreement. Still, Donaldson’s assertion of a brief and one-sided conversation highlights a disconnect between the coach and the federation. The lack of transparency regarding the separation and the swift replacement process raises questions about the JFF’s management and decision-making processes.
As the controversy unfolds, it remains to be seen how the JFF will address these concerns and ensure a smooth transition for the Reggae Girlz team moving forward.