For the second year running the CARIFTA Games have been cancelled.

The 49th edition of the games that were scheduled to be held in Bermuda in August, was cancelled because the host country was not willing to amend its Covid-19 regulations to accommodate athletes arriving for competition.

According to the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC), they arrived at the decision to cancel as the Government of Bermuda maintained that the 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated visitors is non-negotiable, making it highly impractical for there to be an Under-17 category as is the norm and for NACAC to stage the region’s premier junior track and field meet.

Carifta 2020 was not staged because of the global pandemic and Bermuda transferred its hosting responsibilities to 2021. Originally scheduled for Easter weekend, this year’s edition was first postponed to July 2-4 and then to August 13-15. Now, Carifta 2021 has been struck from the NACAC calendar.

“The NACAC Council regrets the decision to cancel Carifta 2021. For the second year running, young, hard-working athletes have been denied the opportunity to represent their respective territories at the world’s premier junior track and field competition,” said a statement from the association.

“To the region’s young athletes, keep training. For those who are eligible for the July 9-11 NACAC U18 & U23 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica, we encourage you to maintain focus on this competition.”

With recent spikes in the number of Covid-19 cases in Bermuda, a final decision on the fate of the 2021 Carifta Games will be announced in May.

Haiti will take on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala faces Guyana while Trinidad and Tobago will go up against Monserrat when Round One of the preliminaries of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on July 2 and 3 at Inter Miami CF Stadium in Florida.

Cuba will tackle French Guiana, Guadeloupe will battle The Bahamas and Bermuda go up against Barbados in what will be the first time ever that the competition will have preliminaries that will see three teams qualify for the 16-team Group Stage.

“We look forward with great anticipation to this summer’s Gold Cup, which will undoubtedly be enhanced by this new Preliminary Round,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani.

“The past year has been very challenging in our region and our thoughts are with all the communities that have suffered. We hope the opportunity to watch the best men’s national teams in Concacaf compete in our flagship tournament can provide fans with some hope and enjoyment

All 12 of the competing nations in the Prelims will get a full Gold Cup experience at the excellent Inter Miami facilities and we look forward to a great set of games.”

“We look forward to hosting the Gold Cup Prelims tournament in our stadium,” said Inter Miami CF Managing Owner Jorge Mas. “Our facilities in Fort Lauderdale were built with the intent of giving our fans opportunities to enjoy the world’s game knowing that our vibrant culture and sports-centric region would be attractive for global teams and competitions. This is just the beginning of the great things that lie ahead.”

Round Two will begin on July 6 when the winner of the Haiti/St Vincent clash will take on the winner of the Bermuda/Barbados matchup. The winner of the Guatemala/Guyana encounter will play the winner of the Guadeloupe/Bahamas match. And finally, the winner of the Cuba/French Guiana match will tackle the winner of the Trinidad and Tobago/Montserrat clash.

The winning nation in each of the three Round Two matchups will advance to the Group Stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, where they were drawn into Group A, B and C as follows:

Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, and Winner Prelims 9

Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique, and Winner Prelims 7

Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, and Winner Prelims 8

Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada, and Qatar.

The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup group stage will kick off on July 10 and run through August 1, 2021, and will feature 16 national teams, of which Canada, Costa Rica, Curaçao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, eight-time and defending champion Mexico, Panama, Suriname, six-time champion the United States, are already qualified to the group stage of the tournament. Additionally, Qatar has been invited to the tournament as the current champion and representative of the Asian Football Confederation.

The remaining three countries will qualify through the Gold Cup Prelims, in which 12 Member Associations will compete for the final three spots, to be played July 2-6- at Inter Miami CF Stadium in South Florida.

 

 

Guyana convincingly recovered from an opening-round loss to Trinidad and Tobago with a 4-0 win over the Bahamas in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

Goals from Terrence Vancooten (8th), Kadell Daniel (54th), Oman Glasgow (75th), and Emery Welshman (81st) gave the Golden Jaguars a comfortable win, with The Bahamas slipping to a second straight loss and remaining at the bottom of the group.  The win saw Guyana move to third place in Group A, behind second-place T&T and early leaders St Kitts and Nevis.

Elsewhere, Belize also registered a big win with a 5-0 win over Turks and Caicos Island in Group E.  Belize were led by a brace from Carlos Bernárdez (45+3, 48) with addition goals from Jesse August (47th), Deshawon Nembhard (81) and Deon McCaulay (90+1).   The win sees Belize move second behind leader Nicaragua on goal difference and ahead of third-place Haiti.  

A brace from Kane Critchlow (36th, 80th) also ensures that Bermuda were also among the big winners of the round as they registered a 5-0 win over Aruba in Group B.  Other goals in the match came from Jaylon Bather (40th), Dante Leverock (57th), and Knory Scott (64th).  The win moved Bermuda to third spot behind leaders Canada and second place Suriname who both have 6 points.

In other results, Barbados registered a 1-0 win over Anguilla in Group D, Grenada secured a 1-0 win over the US Virgin Islands in Group A, and St Vincent and the Grenadines secured a 3-0 over British Virgin Islands in Group C.  The goals came from Oalex Anderson (10th), Zidane Sam (20th), and Azinho Solomon (86th).

 

 

 

  

The 2021 Carifta Games scheduled for Bermuda has been pushed back to August 13-15, 2021, Mike Sands, President of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) announced today during a virtual press conference.

The regional junior track and field championship, which will celebrate its 49th edition, was to have taken place from April 3-5 but was moved to July 2-4 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, according to the NACAC president, the decision to push the dates to August stems from the move by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to have external examinations between June 14 and July 16, dates which overlap the previously scheduled dates for the Carifta Games. CXC's decision was forced by adjusted school times across the region caused by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Donna Raynor, President of the Bermuda Athletics Association and Bermuda’s Carifta Games Local Organizing Committee (LOC) said she was ‘floored’ by the decision to move the games to August but indicated that there are several upsides to hosting the games then.

She indicated that by then, member countries should have been able to bring infections under control and that most, if not all, would have had access to the vaccines. The athletes will also have more time to prepare, she said.

Raynor also advised that hotels in the country have also indicated that they will have rooms available to accommodate the visiting teams.

That said, she indicated the safety protocols were being prepared that will be forwarded to the Bermudan government for approval. Those protocols would include that athletes are tested three days prior to arriving in Bermuda. Of course, that could change, depending on what the state of the pandemic is in the weeks leading up to the games, she said.

At this point, she said, no fans would be allowed into the stadium hosting the games but said that also could change depending on the prevailing conditions in the weeks leading up to the Games.

Raynor also indicated that the delay would not necessarily significantly add to the costs of hosting the games, indicating that she only envisions additional expenses in the form of enhanced medical facilities and personnel.

With that in mind, there will either be no opening ceremony or a significantly scaled-down one, in an effort to contain spending.

Sands said that NACAC would lend financial support to offset additional costs associated with the delays.

The president said work was ongoing behind the scenes to help member nations minimize costs associated with travelling to Bermuda. He said NACAC was considering having athletes travel to a centralized location from where they would be flown directly to Bermuda.

 

 

 

 

 

The 2021 Carifta Games will not be staged on the traditional Easter weekend. Instead, the regional junior track and field championships will take place between July 2 and 4, in Bermuda.

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