GFF withdraws U-23 team days before Olympic qualifiers begin
…Cites Nations League as priority
After much deliberation, Guyana has withdrawn from the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifiers scheduled for July 17–21, 2019 in Jamaica.
According to GFF President, Wayne Forde, this decision was necessitated as “the GFF has taken a decision to direct its resources to the preparation of our players for the CONCACAF Nations League, which kicks off in September.” He noted, however, that the players will continue their weekly training programme.
Many member countries of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) have been forced to evaluate their international participation, given the demanding CONCACAF annual tournament calendar. Other CFU countries, including Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, have also opted out of the Olympic Qualifiers.
“The GFF has participated in every international tournament since my administration has taken office,” Forde said. “However, with six Nations League qualification games ahead of us, we are forced to make difficult but necessary financial decisions.”
According to CONCACAF, the preliminary round of the tournament would have seen 16 participating teams placed in four groups. “After round robin play, the group winners will advance to a final play-in match (1A v 1D and 1B v 1C). The winner in each play-in match will qualify for the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.”
The 15 remaining teams in the Caribbean are: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and U.S. Virgin Islands.
This tournament would enable representation at the 2020 Summer Olympics, slated for Japan.