Golden Jaguars booked for tri-nations’ showdown in Suriname

The Golden Jaguars will compete in a tri-nations’ tournament against Suriname and Barbados next week as the Guyana Football Federation resets the senior men’s national programme under new coach Jamaal Shabazz.
The one-off competition would be hosted by Suriname, with Guyana’s match against the hosts opening proceedings on January 28, followed by Guyana being involved in a game against Barbados on January 30.
Suriname will then play Barbados on February 1 to compete the round-robin. The fixtures are the first international engagements for the senior men’s team since Shabazz took over following the departure of Brazilian coach Marcio Maximo in 2021.
“It’s a good opportunity for the locally-based players to play international football, especially coming off the end-of-year tournament,” Head Coach Shabazz has said. “For January, the focus is more on the locally-based players, and in March we will focus on viewing more of the international players, but we still invited about four of them. We have a history of battles with Suriname and Barbados, so we are looking forward to rekindling that rivalry,” Shabazz has said.
“Training started on Sunday, so it’s going be a short and intense programme. Our main aim is to assess the players after such a long layoff.”
Guyana last played Suriname in a 3-2 away defeat in October 2016, during the third round of the now defunct Caribbean Cup.
The Golden Jaguars drew 2-2 with Barbados in a Concacaf Nations League qualifying match in September 2018 – a match which was eventually awarded as a 3-0 win to Guyana after Barbados were found to have fielded ineligible players.
“We are looking forward to this excellent opportunity to restart the men’s programme under Coach Shabazz, with two enticing games against two regional rivals,” GFF President Wayne Forde has said. “It provides the perfect bridge for the Golden Jaguars during a quiet international period, and will give Coach Shabazz a chance to really get to know some of the talent at his disposal.”
The January fixtures kick off a busy international calendar for Guyana in the first quarter of 2022, with the senior and U20 women’s teams also in action in FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers and the Concacaf Women’s U20 Championships respectively in February and March.