Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz are scheduled to kick off the Cup of Nations tournament in Australia on February 16 against one of the top women’s teams in world football, Spain. They will then play two other top ranked teams, the Czech Republic and Australia, respectively.
Football Australia announced on Wednesday that with the support of the New South Wales (NSW) Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, they will host the four-team Cup of Nations comprising of three double-header match days in Gosford, Sydney, and Newcastle.
The six-match tournament will kick-off at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on February 16 with FIFA number seven rank Spain playing Jamaica (44th) followed by Australia’s Matildas (12th) against Czech Republic (27th).
Three days later, the tournament will shift to Sydney as Jamaica and Czech Republic go head-to-head at the CommBank Stadium in Parramatta, followed by a blockbuster clash between the Matildas and Spain on match day two on February 19.
Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium will play host to match day three on February 22, where Czech Republic will take on Spain, and the Matildas, will meet Jamaica in the last game of the competition.
The highest-placed nation following the completion of all three match days will be crowned the Cup of Nations champion on February 22 in Newcastle.
Jamaica Football Federation president Michael Ricketts said the tournament is excellent preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2023 to be staged in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
“Engaging in tough games like these in World Cup venues in front of large audiences will help to prepare our team for their World Cup challenges in July,” said Ricketts. “The atmosphere will be similar to what can be expected come summer, so the coaching staff will be able to assess the conditioning and mentality of the players at his disposal. We are extremely happy that Jamaica has been invited to this prestigious tournament and we anticipate some outstanding performances.”
Jamaica will compete in Group F at the FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside France, Brazil, and Group C play-off winner to be determined in February.
Australia are scheduled to compete in Group B with Republic of Ireland, Nigeria, and Canada. Spain will compete in Group C against Costa Rica, Zambia, and Japan, while Czech Republic have not qualified for the World Cup.