Guyana drawn with Jamaica, St Kitts & Dominica for Olympic qualifiers
By Akeem Greene
The draw for the 16-team CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifiers occurred Wednesday in Miami where it was revealed Guyana will be looked in a Group A battle alongside Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis and Dominica.
The tournament caters for Under-23 players and the initial round of qualifying in the Caribbean phase will take place from July 17-21 across four different venues.
Even though the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has not made public their plans for the event, which if successful, can land a spot at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it can be expected the cream of the crop comes from players who participated at the CONCACAF Under-20 championships in Miami 2018.
Immediately after the draw, News Room Sport reached out to Ian Greenwood, GFF’s Technical Director, who affirmed that active Under-20 footballers and those within the age group in the national set-up are possible candidates for selection.
“Competing in the Olympic Qualifiers highlights the GFF’s commitment to developing our national teams at all levels. We have an unprecedented amount of national team activity, offering vital exposure to all of our players. We have got an exciting group of players at the Under-23 level both based here in Guyana and internationally”.
Greenwood added, “several of our key players for the Olympic qualifiers are currently active and involved with the senior national men’s team who feature in the Gold Cup. The pathway for selection of locally based players will come via excellent performances in the Elite League and talent identification in our ground-breaking nationwide KFC U-20 tournament that is about to launch”.
Group ‘B’ consists of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Cuba and U.S. Virgin Islands; Group C: Haiti, Suriname, Grenada and Cayman Islands, and Group D: Antigua & Barbuda, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and Puerto Rico.
Upon the completion of round robin play, the group winners will advance to a final play-in match, with the two winners of each play-in match advancing to the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
The winners of the three series, scheduled to take place during the first three weeks of July, will also advance to the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
In Central America, qualifying will be held in three individual home-and-away series, with the three series winners advancing to the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
The six participating teams in Central America are (in order by ranking): Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Mexico, Canada and the United States are set to participate as the North American representatives.