25th February, 2016; Georgetown: Guyana will participate in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Men’s Cup scheduled from March 2016 – May, 2017. Guyana has been placed in Group five (5) of seven (7); countries in Guyana’s grouping include Anguilla and Puerto Rico.
Guyana’s first match will be played against Anguilla on March 23, 2016 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence at 19:00hrs. The second will be played against Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico on March 29, 2016. Anguilla will play Puerto Rico on March 26 at the Raymond E, Guishard Technical Centre, Anguilla.
National Coach Jamaal Shabazz says there are no more easy teams in football. Speaking about the CFU draw that pits Guyana against Anguilla and Puerto Rico, “there are no more push-overs in international football. The ball is round and the field is rectangular for everyone. How well we prepare is critical. The ability to get the Federation, the staff, the players and the fans to sing the same song from the same book is vital.”
Shabazz intends to have a one five-day camp before the games against Anguilla and Puerto and also hold one session a week with the main core of locally-based players. “We must work to raise the level of players and add to the good work done in the clubs. We are nothing without the club coaches; they do all the work with the players week in, week out. We only have the team for short periods so we must work together, stated Shabazz.
The Technical Staff is expected to name a squad of thirty (30) players by mid-March.
The competition will be played in two phases – the preliminary phase and the final phase. (please see details below)
Round 1 will be played from March 21-29; Round 2 May 15-21; Round 3 October 3-11; Fifth Place Playoff November 7-15; and the finals are scheduled for May 2017.
Among the other teams participating in the tournament are Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, St. Maarten, United States Virgin Islands, Cuba, Bermuda, French Guiana, Barbados, Curacao, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Suriname, Martinique, British Virgin Islands and Dominica. Games will be played in twenty-one countries.
ORGANIZATION OF THE CFU TOURNAMENT
The competition will be played in two (2) phases:
The Preliminary Phase:
- Group Stage Round 1
- Group Stage Round 2
- Group Stage Round 3
- Group Stage
- Third Place Match and Finals
- The Preliminary Phase:
- This will be played through three Group stages
- All registered teams shall be incorporated into the three Group Stages of the preliminary phase
- Group Stage – Round 1
- This stag shall comprise of all participating countries (21), except the four 94) FIFA World Cup Qualifications participating teams, comprising of seven (7) of three (3) teams
- Each team shall have one home game with the top two teams of each group advancing to the next round.
- Group Stage – Round 2
- This stag shall comprise a maximum of fourteen (14) teams from Round 1 plus the lowest-ranked WCQ team (St. Vincent & the Grenadines) in five 95) groups of three (3) teams (15 teams)
- Each team shall have one home game with a maximum of nine (9) teams advancing to the next round (five group winners along with the four (4) best runners-up)
- Group Stage – Round 3
- This stage shall comprise a maximum of nine (9) qualifying teams from Round 2 plus the 3 remaining WCQ teams drawn in four (4) groups of three (3) teams
- Each team shall have one home game with the winner of each group advancing to the finals.
- The Final Phase:
This shall be played in two stages: a Group Stage and a Knock-out Stage
- The Play Off
- This stage shall be comprised of the best three (3) third-place finishers from Round 3 placed into one group of three teams
- Each team shall have one home game with the winner of the group qualifying as the fifth-place team
- This shall be comprised of the four group winners from Round 3
- A draw will be used to determine the pairing of each team. The two losers shall play for the 3rd and 4th place spots. The winner of each pairing shall advance to play the grand final.
To avoid any issues with possible tie breakers, all games will end in a result (extra time and penalties if needed)