‘Live in the moment!’- Shabazz tells Golden Jaguars players ahead of FIFA Series


Moments after landing in Saudi Arabia to participate in the first-ever FIFA Series, Head Coach of Guyana’s senior national men’s football team Jamaal Shabazz has urged his players to ‘live in the moment.’

This is the first time a Guyana football team is touring the Middle East, an opportunity made available through a new initiative introduced by the world governing body FIFA.

The Golden Jaguars are down to play Cape Verde on March 21 and Cambodia on March 26, with both international friendlies slated for the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah.

Shabazz, speaking to the players upon arrival in Jeddah, touched on the significance of this moment for Guyana’s football and the importance of players understanding they are not only representing themselves, but an entire country and Concacaf.

“And I want you to keep that with you,” Shabazz urged the players. “Because it’s so easy to lose focus.”

“And when I say focus, I mean the here and the now. We have to live in the here and now.”

Chicago Fire FC Forward Omari Glasgow joined the squad on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia (Photo: News Room/Avenash Ramzan/March 18, 2024)

On Tuesday, the full squad had assembled with the arrival of Chicago Fire FC Forward Omari Glasgow, who scored for his side against Cincinnati FC in the MLS Next Pro on Sunday.

The international players had linked up with the domestic players in London during a brief stopover before heading to Saudi Arabia.

Shabazz is aiming for two full training sessions before that opening game, with the first session on Tuesday night.

“We will do a lot of video sessions because we won’t have enough time on the field to prepare as we would like, but we have selected a squad who understands how we want to play,” Shabazz highlighted.

Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) and Assistant Coach and former captain Sam Cox moments after arriving in Saudi Arabia (Photo: News Room/Avenash Ramzan/March 18, 2024)

The Golden Jaguars squad

Goalkeepers: Quillan Roberts, Akel Clarke and Jamaine Cumberbatch

Defenders: Jalen Jones, Quincy Adams, Colin Nelson, Curtez Kellman, Jeremy Garrett, Kevin Layne, Amos Ramsey, Liam Gordon, Marcus Simmons, Leo Lovell and Rashuan Ritch.

Midfielders: Darron Niles, Daniel Wilson, Ryan Hackett, Elliot Bonds, Nathan Ferguson, and Kadel Daniel.

Forwards: Ryan Kheedoo, Omari Glasgow, Deon Moore and Stephen Duke-McKenna.

Player/Assistant Coach: Sam Cox.

Golden Jaguars players pose after arriving in Saudi Arabia on Monday night (Photo: News Room/Avenash Ramzan/March 18, 2024)


These matches are part of a new initiative approved by the FIFA Council in 2023 where in every even-numbered year the world governing body will host matches across the six confederations.

Dubbed the FIFA Series, the first-ever staging will allow football nations the opportunity to compete against teams outside their confederation.

According to FIFA, “The ultimate objective of the FIFA Series is to allow more international football interaction, making a concrete contribution to global football development. The pilot edition will feature 20 member associations playing in four locations across three continents.”

Algeria, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka will be the host nations for the first FIFA Series.

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