Rescheduling of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers to benefit BVI nat’l team
The recent decision to reschedule the CONCACAF Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is expected to benefit the British Virgin Islands national football team.
CONCACAF is the Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Association Football and President of the BVI Football Association (BVIFA) Andy Bickerton said them delaying the matches to 2021 creates a number of advantages for the national side.
“From the FA’s perspective, the delay in the World Cup Qualifiers until March 2021 makes a lot of sense … Hopefully, by that time, spectators will be able to attend the home matches and we will be able to bring all of our players together for preparation without facing the COVID quarantine regulations,” Bickerton stated in recent media release.
“Travel will have become more relaxed allowing the BVI to benefit from the economic effects of the Sports Tourism opportunity provided by the visit of the fans from Guatemala and Curacao,” he added.
According to the BVIFA, the main reason for the rescheduling is due to challenging health situations being experienced in many parts of the Caribbean due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the virus affecting these countries in the region, the local football association said travel restrictions and quarantine requirements would make it extremely difficult for the tournament of about 30 international teams to operate smoothly.
Prior to the rescheduling, the matches were originally set to occur between October and November of 2020.
Instead, the new March 2021 date will witness the first round of matches, with the remaining matches to be announced by CONCACAF.