Grand Cayman will play host for two top-level games this fall when both Canada and the United States Men’s National teams play Cuba as part of the CONCACAF Nations A-League.
With Cuba’s Estadio Pedro Marrero under construction, Cayman Islands Football Association President Alfredo Whittaker says a meeting with all parties was recently held at CONCACAF headquarters in Miami to broker the deal with the Truman Bodden Sports Complex as the new venue. Both games will see Cuba as the home team.
“Initially the games were supposed to be played in Panama, but I had a meeting with the President of the Cuban Football Federation and the Director of the CONCACAF Competition Committee to discuss the possibility of bringing the game to the Cayman Islands until instead of taking it to Central America, and here we are,” Mr. Whittaker said.
The USMNT game versus Cuba will take place on Tuesday, 19 November, while Canada will face Cuba on Tuesday, 10 September. Both senior national teams will be playing in the Cayman Islands for the first time. Mr. Whittaker says having both games is a welcome addition to the growing number of attractions in sports tourism.
“It’s good for football, it’s good for the country as a host,” said Mr. Whittaker. “The United States have a large group of spectators that follow them all over the world, and I’m sure we are going to have a large number of ‘The Outlaws’ in the Cayman Islands.”
Mr. Whittaker added a separate local organizing committee will be established to operate the games.
With the addition of the two A-League games, Grand Cayman will host five games as part of the CONCACAF Nations League that already included Cayman versus Barbados 8 September, Cayman versus Saint Martin 15 October, and Cayman versus the US Virgin Islands 16 November.
About the CONCACAF Nations League
The CNL consists of 41 member associations with seeding for A, B and C League determined by qualifying rounds held in 2018. League A consists of four groups of three teams, while League B consists of four groups of four teams, with League C containing three groups of three teams and one group of four teams. League A and B teams that finish last in their groups will be relegated to the lower league, while the group winners of Leagues B and C will be promoted to the higher league for the following year. Additionally, the four group winners from League A will advance to a knockout round to crown the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League champion.