GFF, Sport Minister commit to working together

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Guyana will play its first and second match in the Concacaf Qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 away to Trinidad and Tobago on October 8 and at home to Bahamas on October 13 respectively as it begins its campaign.

This was revealed today when the draw for the Concacaf Qualifiers was held and Guyana was drawn with St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas in Group F.

The draw was witnessed by the Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Mr. Charles Ramson Jr. along with GFF’s President, Mr. Wayne Forde, and other officials at a live viewing session held at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).

Following the event, President Forde said Guyana is in a competitive group but the country is up to the task, while calling for corporate and Governmental support. He added that football can serve to unify this country.

“We know this will not be an easy campaign, but we’re up to this task. We have a few weeks; if the October window remains open, we have a few weeks to prepare, we’re trusting that the COVID-19 situation can be brought under control and we can get our national team back into training. We take this opportunity to ask our stakeholders, corporate Guyana, Government of Guyana – once we complete our preparation plan – to come on board and give us all the support that they can to make all of Guyana proud and to give football the opportunity to bring this beautiful nation together at this opportune time.”

Minister Ramson Jr., while pledging the Government of Guyana’s support, said: “We want to be able to promote football in Guyana as part of the Government’s programme, working in a collaborative way.”

“Sport is important to the President of Guyana, sport is important to me and we don’t only want to say it, we want to show it and that’s why I wanted to make the time to be here with you when Guyana is being drawn and to know where it’s going to play.”

Ramson Jr. added: “You can expect hearing from me just as much as I expect to hear from you and, in as much as we can do, you can expect that as well. There’s a lot of things we’re facing at the moment but we are willing to explore innovative ways for partnership; we will work in a collaborative way, once the objective is to showcase Guyanese talent and develop Guyanese talent.”

Guyana’s final preliminary matches will be in the November FIFA window in St. Kitts and Nevis on November 13 and at home against Puerto Rico on November 17.

According to Concacaf, “The draw for the first round allocated the 30 lowest-ranked Concacaf teams to six groups, based on the FIFA World Ranking as of 16 July 2020.”

Guyana was placed in Pot 3 with Grenada, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Bermuda, and Belize.

Following the completion of each group’s single round-round matches, the winners of each of the six groups will advance to the Second Round of the Concacaf Qualifiers, scheduled to take place March 2021.

The Second Round will feature a two-legged tie between the six group winners, with the winner of Group A scheduled to play against Group F, Group B vs. Group E and Group C vs. Group D. The winners of these three two-legged ties will then advance to the Final Round of Concacaf the Qualifiers, beginning in June 2021.

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