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Crowdfunded Jamaica Beats Odds, Hits Jackpot at Women’s World Cup

  • Jamaica qualified for the knockout stage at the Women's World Cup for the first time ever.
  • The team used crowdfunding measures for support ahead of the tournament.
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Jamaica advanced from the group stage at the Women’s World Cup for the first time in its history — despite facing staggering financial disadvantages compared to the island nation’s competitors.

Due to a lack of funding from the Jamaican Football Federation — which reported a defecit in 2022 — the women’s team relied in part on two crowdfunding campaigns that have now garnered more than $100,000 to help pay for food, jerseys, equipment, and more. Jamaica’s men’s team didn’t qualify for the most recent men’s World Cup in Qatar.

On Wednesday, Jamaica sealed a spot in the knockout stage after gutting through a scoreless draw with Brazil, which is leaving the World Cup empty-handed even though its soccer federation brought in more than $200 million in revenue last year. While questions remain about overall funding for the women’s team, Brazil has promised to pay its male and female soccer players equally.

Group F winners France — with a national federation budget of about $290 million this past year — also struggled against Jamaica, tying 0-0. Jamaica earned its lone group-stage win against Panama, a similarly lower-funded soccer country, although exact financials are unclear.

Next up for Jamaica is a Round of 16 match against Colombia or Germany — both staples of international soccer with funding close to the likes of their respective continental counterparts in Brazil and France. Jamaica’s players are already guaranteed at least $60,000 each in prize for their performance thus far — totaling $1.38 million.

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