FIFA has played a key role in launching the first-ever U-15 women’s league in Jamaica. 

In partnership with the Jamaica Football Federation, world football’s governing body provided equipment and finance to support the inaugural championship.

Donations from FIFA included footballs, boots, clothing, bibs, goalkeeping gloves and bags to each team, as well as a USD 20,000 cash injection for additional assistance.

The formation of the league is a milestone of the JFF’s commitment to increase female participation in the sport and strengthen women’s football in the country. The first round of fixtures took place on Saturday 14 July, with the maiden JFF U-15 Girls Challenge Cup champions to be decided when the final takes place on 1 September 2012.

A total of 16 teams have been divided into four confederations, which will each play a round-robin format across four matchdays. Each side plays three games on each matchday.

The winner of each confederation championship will progress to the league semi-finals, where the two victors will qualify for the final. The two beaten semi-finalists will do battle for third place.

The tournament features its own set of idiosyncratic rules, including: 20 minutes playing time per half; no red cards; no offside. In keeping with the attempt to boost the number of girls taking part, at least one member of each team’s coaching staff must be female and the manager must be female.