GFF President confident Golden Jaguars can advance in World Cup Qualifiers

- Venue for Puerto Rico game to be confirmed soon

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President of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, is confident Guyana’s senior national Men’s team, the Golden Jaguars, can progress beyond the current stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

In an exclusive interview with News Room Sport, Forde also revealed that the local based players have resumed training at Providence, East Bank Demerara.

In their opening games in Group F action in March this year, the Golden Jaguars suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago, before rebounding to inflict a 4-0 drubbing on the Bahamas.

The Guyanese will now face St. Kitts on June 4 and Puerto Rico on June 8, and the aim is to close the group with back-to-back victories and hopefully advance to the next stage.

GFF President Wayne Forde

“We’re obviously in a must-win situation if we are to advance, which is one of the key goals that we set ourselves. All things being equal, I still feel confident about our chances to progress into the next round,” Forde told News Room Sport this week.

Forde noted that the local contingent has resumed training at the National Training Centre at Providence, with the aim of getting into peak condition for the upcoming games.

Currently, the players are engaged in training three days per week.

“We’re very pleased with the work being done by Assistant Coach (Charles) Pollard and his local support team, and I’m sure Coach (Marcio) Maximo is going to now take that up to another notch, and we will be ready,” Forde related.

“We’ve all seen the impact our local boys had on the games that we played, and we’re very optimistic about the future and the reshaping of the national team.”

It is likely both upcoming games would be held in St. Kitts as the Puerto Rico match, which was supposed to be held in Guyana, will have to be held overseas due to the COVID-19 situation here.

“There is no indication that we can host that game in Guyana,” Forde commented.

“I think as the numbers continue to show troubling signs of the pandemic, I don’t think the GFF or the Government of Guyana wants to trouble themselves in managing the influx of a new team.”

“There are so many protocols that FIFA will dictate, but outside of that I would have said earlier, the trouble with our international players, who will have to return after those games and the requirement for them to quarantine for two weeks at a time, would be very challenging.”

“Their clubs would be very hesitant to release them, so we’re working to confirm the venue for the Puerto Rico game, and that should be announced very soon.”

The victory over the Bahamas pushed Guyana to third on the table on three points. Trinidad and Tobago sit second on four points, while St. Kitts and Nevis lead the table with the maximum six points from two matches.

Puerto Rico (one point) and the Bahamas (zero) complete the table. Only one team would advance from this group to the next round.

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