No friendly matches for Golden Jaguars ahead of WCQ

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Guyana’s Golden Jaguars will head into the Concacaf leg of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers without any pitch time as a group, since efforts by the Guyana Football Federation to organise friendly matches have proven futile.

Pitted in Group F of the Qualifiers, Guyana will play Trinidad and Tobago on March 25 and the Bahamas on March 30 in the Dominican Republic.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, President of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, said: “We have worked extremely hard in recent months to organise friendly matches against suitable national teams. We had discussions with two Concacaf members and had made provisional arrangements with them.

“Unfortunately, however, these fixtures have had to be postponed due to ongoing challenges created by restrictions on international travel and COVID-19 regulations.”

He added: “Despite this outcome, we are confident and expect that our players will be 100% physically, psychologically, technically and tactically ready for battle. Our game against Trinidad and Tobago, in particular, is going to be as competitive as any regional derby gets. We look forward to a hard-fought fixture, with our players leaving absolutely everything on the pitch as proud representatives of our nation. We also demand the same level of spirit and performance against the Bahamas, whom we shall not underestimate.”

Wayne Forde- President of the Guyana Football Federation

Forde used the forum to call on Guyanese to rally behind the Jaguars as they go head-on with some of the best teams in the region.

“I would also like to urge the nation to unite as one behind the Golden Jaguars as they take to the international stage to represent the Golden Arrowhead and strive to make Guyana proud. You are, as ever, our “12th man” out there and we thank you in advance for your support and positivity.”

The Jaguars will face Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas in their first step to possible World Cup qualification.

A group of 27 domestic-based players have been in training under Head Coach Marcio Maximo five days a week since January 10 with ongoing weekly COVID-19 testing.

The latest test results from March 4 showed that all staff and players were in the clear, Forde reported.

The final squad would be announced on March 17, the same day the team and staff will depart for the Dominican Republic.

The Federation has secured corporate support from Banks DIH Limited, Ansa McAl Trading, Muneshwers and Broadway Hotel to get the team up and ready for the all-important engagements.

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