Continental Results Management Panel (CRMP) Americas

The BVI National Anti-doping Organisation, in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Results Management, and in line with Article 8.1.1.1 of its Anti-Doping Rules, has appointed the Continental Results Management Panel (CRMP) Americas to adjudicate matters pursuant to the BVI National Anti-doping Organisation’s anti-doping rules and thus ensure the right to a fair hearing by an operationally independent panel for first instance hearings.

The Panel is comprised as follows: 

PANEL MEMBERCOUNTRY
Wendy M. N. MarajBarbados
Kenneth Muñoz UreñaCosta Rica
Jorge Gustavo Rehwoldt CastañedaGuatemala
Alejandra Gómez UgarteNicaragua
Manuel Berardo Díaz BultrónPanama
Aracely Sáenz OspinoPanama
Jaliya Retamozo Escobar (CHAIRPERSON)Peru
Malgorzata Judkiewicz-GarvanPeru
Kurlyn D. V. MerchantSt. Kitts and Nevis
J. Tyrone MarcusTrinidad and Tobago
Stefan A. FabienTrinidad and Tobago

To view the CRMP Americas procedural rules, click here.

APPEALS PANEL

Kindly note that Sport Resolutions will be the Appeals Panel for related matters.

To view Sport Resolutions procedural rules, click here.

Team BVI wraps up Birmingham 2022 appearance with Gold medal and invaluable experience

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 06: Kyron McMaster of Team British Virgin Islands celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Men’s 400m Hurdles Final on day nine of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on August 06, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ended on August 8 with a spectacle of fireworks and artists as teams from 72 countries walked into the Alexander Stadium for the Closing ceremony. Joy Victor, a member of the 3×3 basketball team was the flagbearer for the BVI.

The territory was represented at the Games by 17 athletes competing in 4 sports – squash, 3×3 basketball, track and field and cycling. The crowning glory of the 9 days of competition for the team was the success of defending champion Kyron McMaster who, once again, delivered for the nation by winning the gold medal in the 400m hurdles with a time of 48.93.

“This was the largest team that we have taken to a Commonwealth Games and I can say that the athletes rallied in friendship and support ensuring a firm sense of team spirit,” said Chef de Mission Mark Chapman. “The athletes had solid assistance from their coaches both on and off the field and benefited from the treatment on tap provided by Chiropractor Thomas Jeppesen. It was good to see the athletes support each other’s competitions and the 3×3 players also had the opportunity to enjoy pickup games in the neighbourhood.

“The enthusiasm of those new to the Games and their appreciation of the opportunity to compete was encouraging and will be recorded as an eye opening and memorable occasion.”

In advance of the track and field events, the Chef de Mission and Ashley Kelly, the Caribbean Region Athlete Representative for the Commonwealth Games Federation, hosted the team and delegation at a “team family” dinner.

The Premier Dr. The Honourable Natalio Wheatley paid a visit to the athletes in the Village on July 27. A week later, the Minister for Education, Culture, youth Affairs and Sports, Honourable Sharie de Castro visited the Village and was in attendance at the track and field and cycling events and also hosted a gathering for the diaspora ahead of McMaster’s 400m hurdles final.

“Birmingham 2022 has been a great experience for all of the athletes making their first appearance at a major Games,” said President Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association. “It has given them an idea of what it means to compete on the world stage and to be against the top athletes from the participating countries. The hope is that this will fuel their fire and serve to set their targets beyond the local and regional meets they have excelled at so far and be on a trajectory to join our body of elite athletes who have secured top 10 rankings in the world.

“On behalf of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association, I thank the athletes, coaches and volunteers for their relentless efforts, commitment and dedication to representing the territory with pride at Birmingham 2022.”

The team was led by Chef de Mission Mark Chapman. The delegation included BVI Commonwealth Games President Ephraim Penn, Team Manager Ralston Henry and Coaches Adam Murrills (squash), Eric Matthias (throwing, 3×3 basketball), Lennox Graham, Joey Scott (track), and Paul Cullimore (cycling).

Birmingham 2022 took place July 28 – August 8 and was the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games with 11 days of sports comprising 286 sessions, covering 19 sports in which athletes from 72 nations competed for podium finishes. The next Commonwealth Games will take place in 2026 in Victoria, Australia.

Summary of events

Squash

Veteran player Joe Chapman was joined by Luca Reich who celebrated his 19th birthday with a Commonwealth Games debut, playing in Round of 64 in the Men’s Singles. While neither player advanced through to Round of 32, Chapman won his Plate Round of 32 match against Jules Snagg (St Vincent and the Grenadines) but lost to Julian Morrison (Jamaica) in the Plate quarter finals. The duo then competed in the Men’s Doubles and lost their match against Velvan Selthinkumar and Abhay Singh of India.

Basketball

For the first time in sporting history, the BVI was represented at a Commonwealth Games by basketball when a team of 4 players participated in the 3×3 event facing 3 major countries: Canada (6-22), England (5-21) and New Zealand (5 – 19). The team, comprising Joy Victor, Shauliqua Fahie, Mahkayla Pickering and Keithrece Smith, faced a baptism by fire and quickly learned the standard, speed and style of play employed by the more experienced players. By their final match, played against New Zealand, team BVI stuck to their new game strategy and succeeded in outplaying the clock to prevent their opponents from scoring the full 21 points (3×3 basketball uses half a court with 1 hoop, 2 teams of 3 + 1 sub. It’s a fast 10-minute game with a 12-second shot-clock. There’s no break after scoring, no half-time and no quarters. The first to 21 points before the time runs out wins the game. If the clock runs out before 21 points, the team with the highest sore wins).

Cycling

Darel Christopher Jr and Sam Talbot both competed in their first Commonwealth Games when they raced in the Time Trial and Road Race. Christopher Jr completed the TT – an event which is a race against the clock – in a time of 58:06.36 with a ranking of 41/54 and Talbot finished in a time of 56:06.67 for a 37/54 ranking. The Road Race was the second of the cycling events. The two cycled in a group of participants from the Caribbean and Africa and after completing 48km of the 160km course, in 3 laps, the group of 51 cyclists were pulled from the race in accordance with the race rules and regulations established for the safety of all riders.

Track and Field

Nine athletes competed in track and field events, Rikkoi Brathwaite (100m), Adriano Gumbs (400m – non-advancing time of 48.87 in the heats), Djimon Gumbs (discus – non advancing distance of 32.32, shot put – 10th place with a distance of 17.18), Deya Erickson (100m hurdles – non-advancing time of 13.94 in the heats) and Beyonce Defreitas (200m) made their major Games debut as they joined veterans Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put), Tynelle Gumbs (hammer throw – non advancing distance of 46.90) and Trevia Gumbs (shot put – non advancing distance of 13.27)).

Brathwaite progressed to the semi-finals where he ran a non-advancing time of 10.31 placing 4th in his group. Defreitas also went through to the semi-finals and placed 15/24 with a time of 23.81.

Eldred Henry, competing in what is only his 3rd meet of the outdoor season placed 5th with a season’s best of 19.97.

Reich and Chapman open for Team BVI at Birmingham 2022. 3×3 Basketball to debut at Commonwealth Games

Squash player Luca Reich opened BVI’s competitions at Birmingham 2022 with his Commonwealth Games debut today, July 29, which also is his 19th birthday.

Reich pushed his game up a level as he fought for points against Emyr Evans representing Wales and came off the squash court at the University of Birmingham venue satisfied with winning some points against the PSA world ranked 93 player for a match result of 11-1, 11-3, 11-0 to Evans.

Later that same evening, Joe Chapman played his first match of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games competing against Abhay Singh of India.

Following 3 fast-paced games, where each player made use of all corners of the court, Chapman conceded the match to Singh in 3 games 11-5, 11-5, 11-5.

Chapman, who felt the two of them were well-matched, was satisfied with his performance in the preliminaries. 

Both Reich and Chapman play again in the Plate Men’s Singles Round of 32 on Sunday, July 31.

The historic 3×3 basketball team will debut at Birmingham 2022 as the first basketball team to represent the territory at the Commonwealth Games in what will be tough matches against more experienced and established teams from large countries. 

Joy Victor, Shauliqua Fahie, Keithrece Smith and Mahkayla Pickering are set to face Canada and England on Saturday, July 30 when they compete in Group B at 3:55pm (10:55am BVI time) and 9:35pm (4:35pm BVI time) respectively. Matches will be played at a temporary arena which has been constructed at the Smithfield site in the centre of Birmingham.

The players have been acclimating and have already met their Canadian opponents since their arrival at the Friendly Games.

“It’s been an eye-opening but good experience for all the athletes who are new to competing at major Games,” said Mark Chapman, Chef de Mission for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. “The team has come together and has settled quickly and smoothly into a routine  at the Athletes’ Village, adapting to the time difference and making sure they get their practice sessions in. Everyone is looking forward to the arrival of the other athletes over the course of the weekend to compete the team.”

Track and field athletes, Kyron McMaster, the defending 400m hurdles Commonwealth Games champion, Eldred Henry (shot put), and Deya Erickson (100m hurdles) along with cyclists Darel Christopher Jr and Sam Talbot are due into Birmingham in the next two days.

“I have spent some time with the team, been to watch some of the squash and the basketball practice session, and have seen Ashley Kelly in action as the Athlete Representative for the Caribbean region of the Commonwealth Games Federation and can say that all our athletes are doing us proud with their ambassadorial behavior,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association. “This is a great opportunity for our up and coming athletes to get their feet wet as part of the process of developing into serious competitors on the international stage and they all seem to be taking advantage of it. We look forward to watching and supporting them in their competitions.”

Track and field competitions start on August  2 and the cyclists compete in their first event – time trial – on August 4.

Birmingham 2022 is the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games with 11 days of sports comprising 286 sessions, covering 19 sports in which athletes from 72 nations will compete for championship titles. 

VI National Women’s Football team in Honduras for CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers

The BVI National Women’s Football Team is in Honduras for CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers

The National Women’s football team is eager to go and put up a good showing at the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, the Road to New Zealand / Australia, when it faces Cuba and Honduras next week, in Honduras.

The youthful, inexperienced team, led by Ariel Mohamed and coached by Wayne Phillip , concluded a long weekend camp at the East End / Long Look venue followed by a practice match before traveling to Honduras on Thursday for its first ever Senior World Cup games.

“We have been training very consistently as we focus on qualifying for the Women’s World Cup,” said Mohamed. “We have just concluded a two-night residential football camp where we were able to work on our fitness and sharpen our skills together as a team. Everyone is extremely optimistic about the opportunity to represent the BVI on the international stage and about our match-up first with Cuba then Honduras. We are pleased with the assistance and support from the Football Association, coaches and the public.”

The full squad includes Mohamed (Wolues FC) as Captain, Kimberly Smith (Wolues FC), Britney Peters (Avengers FC), Darci Reich (Wolues FC), Zolita Bamford (Wolues FC), Sheniece St Jean (University of Maine), Keeley Brickwood (Holland FC), Chandni Wattley (Panthers FC), Kezia Gumbs (VG Utd), Shevonne Vanterpool (Avengers FC), Kara Lewis (Panthers FC), Jmya Mark (Avengers FC), Gabrielle Jermyn (Wolues FC), Lil-Makeda Fahie (Avengers FC), Zariya Smith (Panthers FC), Olivia Messum (De Montfort University), Morgan Creque (Panthers FC), Jasmine Cox (Holland FC) , Zina Cheikh (Oakham FC), Alicia King (De Montfort University), Jackisha Rigobert (VG Utd) and Kiara Woodley (Wolues FC)

Head Coach is Wayne Phillip, Assistant Coach, Jeffrey Demming, Team Physio, Sheldon Harry, Team Manager, Linda Magloire, Logistics and Equipment Manager, Priya Mohamed.

“It was good to see how well the girls gelled over the weekend considering it was the first time together as a group.” commented BVI Football Association Technical Director, Dan Neville. “The coaches worked hard and the girls took onboard the message from the men’s national team coach, Chris Kiwomya. They have a tough task ahead, but definitely seem well prepared and ready.”

According to Magliore, participation in the World Cup Qualifiers is a historical moment and whilst the girls are looking forward to the tournament, her expectation for them is “to learn, grow, and take as much as they can from the experience of playing Internationally. I want them to develop a mindset that one day they can get to the next level, and that with dedication, adequate preparation, and physical conditioning, they will get there. This is a start of a journey, and the BVI National Women’s Team is going places.”

Head Coach Phillip, who has been ably helped by coaches Morris Mark, Javon Carty, and Thomas Albert along the way, as well as Demming, was naturally full of confidence in his charges 

“We are going out there fully prepared. Our team is young, but has been training and playing together for a while now and they are looking forward to going out and competing,” said Phillip. “We are on a mission to give a good account of ourselves, have fun, enjoy the games, and go from strength to strength. The girls are really excited and feel good about what they are being asked to do.”

The first game sees the team play Cuba on February 19 at 5.30pm (BVI time) and then their second game is scheduled for February 22 against Honduras.

The future looks bright for youth football

Keallun Louise – scorer for One Caribbean in their 3-0 win over VG Utd in U13 National League match

The focus last weekend for the BVI Football Association was very much on the future, as not only was a Mini Youth League launched, but also the U13 National League resumed with two exciting matches.

First up on Saturday, over one hundred youngsters gathered on the field at East End / Long Look for the start of the Mini Youth Leagues with youngsters from Virgin Gorda and other sister islands set to join in from next week. The warm up event indicates a future that is definitely bright for football and for the upcoming BDO School Leagues.

In the U13 National League, One Caribbean FC had a 3-0 victory against VG Utd, courtesy of a double strike from Keallun Louise and an own goal.

The Sugar Boys FC then lost their 100% record, losing 1-7 to Panthers FC, who, with the win, closed the gap on the Sugar Boys at the top of the standings to just one point.

Kamauri Fenton and Myles Penn both scored twice, whilst Tiondre Martin, Christian Orlando and Mario Carter also found the back of the net.

Liam Min scored the consolation goal for the Sugar Boys.

“To be honest, I’m really proud of the boys and want to keep this Panthers team together as they are definitely the future of BVI football,” said Coach Wayne Phillip.

Phillip went on to explain how the game had kept the crowd on the edge of their seats as players from both teams showed their talents. “It was a brilliant game! My team stuck to the plan and executed exactly what I wanted from them. They passed the ball around without rushing, catching the Sugar Boys out of position, and then attacking with full force.”

Despite the margin of victory, Phillip was also quick to commend the coach, management, and players of the Sugar Boys. “They have a good team, but honestly, with my players running at them and pressing, they just couldn’t get into the game at all.”

The two women’s games that were scheduled both ended in forfeit wins for the Avengers FC and Wolues FC as the Panthers FC and VG Utd were unable to field teams.

In the Men’s National League, Lion Heart FC climbed to the top of the standings with a 6-1 drubbing of Old Madrid FC as Daveian Barnum netted four goals and both Dwayne Smith along with Michael Butt scored once.

Nano Ottley scored for Old Madrid.

In the other game played, One Caribbean got their first win of the season, seeing off One Love Utd by the odd goal in five as both teams were reduced to ten men before Errol Van der Muelen netted the winner in the 6th minute of added time at the end of the game, to make it 3-2.

Brent Bowman and Zeron Samuel put One Love 2-0 up inside the first 25 minutes, but One Love was reduced to a team of ten in the 34th minute when Carlos Septus made it 2-1 from the penalty spot in the 38th minute. Adrian Palladin equalized in the 61st minute, One Caribbean then saw one of their players sent off for a second bookable offense right at the death, but as the game seemed destined for a draw, up popped Van Der Muelen to seal the win.

VISBA elects Executive Board for Quadrennial

The Virgin Islands Softball – Baseball Association Executive Board – 2021 – 2025

The Virgin Islands Softball – Baseball Association concluded its annual general meeting on Wednesday, October 27 with a newly elected executive board for the 2021 – 2025 quadrennial.

The newly elected board comprises President Rhodni Skelton, Vice President Glenford “Chappy” Maduro, Secretary General Bria Smith, Assistant Secretary Darier Malone, Treasurer Joi-Ann Thomas, Assistant Treasurer Patricia Hodge , President of Softball Affairs Allen Smith, President of Baseball Affairs Josh Ridgway, Public Relations Officer Shamora Molly Penn-Maduro, Player Representative Jamal Allen, Compliance Officer Sarah Potter-Washington, Statistician Denecia Hodge.

The elections were held at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports. Newly elected President Skelton joyfully expressed, “With the little bit of youth that’s left in me – together we can foster the youth for years to come and I would like to work closely with the newly elected board and ensure we have something going on the field year round!”

President Ra Skelton reflected on his years and contributions to Softball in the Virgin Islands and looks forward to having “all hands on deck” to ensure things move forward swiftly.

Elected members plan to meet immediately to begin their journey with Softball – Baseball in the Virgin Islands.

Kyron McMaster delivers historic performance at Tokyo 2020 Olympic finals

Kyron McMaster of Team British Virgin Islands competes during round one of the Men’s 400m hurdles heats on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Kyron McMaster wrapped up Team BVI’s performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games on August 3 with an historic 4th place finish in what is classed as the fastest 400m Hurdles race of all time. McMaster’s time of 47.08 sets a new National Record and Personal Best and is ranked as the 5th top fastest times at an Olympics and the 8th all time fastest in the world. He is the first BVI athlete to achieve a top 4 position in an Olympic final.

“Being in the race felt amazing. The plan was to come out and just execute the race as best as possible. I came into this race with a personal best of 47.50 and I chopped off 0.4 off my best and I literally gave it my all,” said McMaster.

4 years ago, 47.08 would have been a World Record or an Olympic Record but with the medal contenders consistently running 47 in their pre-Olympic competitions, the bar was raised for Tokyo 2020. The 3 top spots were won by Karsten Warholm (Norway) who set a new World Record and Olympic Record with a blistering time of 45.94 followed by Benjamin Rai (USA) 46.17 and Alison do Santos (Brazil) for the bronze with a time of 46.72.

“What you saw today was the epitome of greatness with the world’s top 3 hurdlers and I am grateful that my performance was enough to get me in the top four to cross the line,” said McMaster. “These guys are not the average runners anymore and I will be aiming to get to their level.”

McMaster, who was racing after 2 weeks of treatment on his right quad which he tweaked at the Diamond League race in Sweden, was the first male athlete of the territory and second national athlete to advance to an Olympic final. He is also the first athlete to win individual event heats at the Olympics. His time is an OECS, Caribbean and Central American record.

Chantel Malone of Team British Virgin Islands competes in the Women’s Long Jump Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Chantel Malone, who is the BVI’s first Olympic long jump competitor was the territory’s first athlete to advance to the finals when she jumped a distance of 6.82 in the Qualifier round. She closed out her first Olympic appearance with a mark of 6.50 in her third attempt falling short of her expectations and abilities.

“I am very disappointed with my result,” said Malone. “My intention was to go out there and at least execute and I didn’t. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the experience and being able to compete as a finalist at the Olympics. I am going to do what I need to do in order to stay on my A game and be able to compete and get on the podium.”

Elinah Phillip, the 50m freestyle swimmer, had concluded her second Olympic appearance on July 30 after she set a new National Record and PB with a non-advancing time of 25.74 to place 2nd in her heat of the qualifying round. The result positioned her 34/81 in the 50 Free and identified her as the top female Caribbean athlete in the event.

Dion Anselm, Zoe Sorrentino are 2021 BVI Senior Squash Champions

Zoe Sorrentino and Dion Anselm are 2021 BVI Senior Squash Champions

The BVI Senior Squash Championships plate and finals took place at the Tortola Sports Club on Saturday, February 13. Fast-paced and exciting games were played between opponents in both the men’s and women’s matches.

Plate Final –
Zak Jelusic beat Ian Chambers 11-7, 11-9, 11-8
These two used to be flatmates so there were certainly bragging rights up for grabs when it came to this plate final. As always Ian gave it 100% but found Zak a bit too steady for him on the day. Zak took the spoils 3-0.
 
Women’s 3rd/4th Playoff –
Natalie Fay beat Mandi Atack 11-9, 11-6, 11-6
The first game was a very tight affair which could have gone either way. Natalie was her usual all action self while Mandi was playing a more measured game looking to pick off any weak shots that she could force from Natalie’s racket. It was nip tuck all the way however Natalie managed to sneak it 11-9. Even though Mandi had forced Natalie to do a lot of running in the first that didn’t stop Natalie in the second… she came out with the same energy and the quality of her squash slightly increased. Mandi was still very much in the game but Natalie managed to create a slight lead in each of the next two games and she never looked back… she closed the match out 3-0.
 
Men’s 3rd/4th Playoff –
Luca Reich beat Rory Thornton 13-11, 11-9, 11-8
These two have been playing consistently over the past few weeks in order to sharpen up for the event. Anyone who’s witnessed any of their battles on a Monday has been served a treat as the matches are always fast paced, with 100% effort and some great rallies. This match was no different. Although Luca managed to get the win in 3 games… each game was very hard fought… especially the first two where Rory held game ball in the first and then led 9-7 in the second. Had he taken either of those games the match may have looked rather different. Credit must go to Luca for winning the big points and for not letting his foot off the gas when he was ahead in the 3rd (a lesson that maybe he learnt from his semi final!!).
 
Women’s Final –
Zoe Sorrentino beat Musonda Poole 11-9, 11-5, 11-8
Musonda started this game on fire and marched out to a 4-0 lead in the first game. As Zoe’s nerves settled she gradually clawed her way back in to the game by extending the rallies and hitting with great power in to the back corners. Zoe managed to sneak the first game 11-9. This was crucial and really gave Zoe the momentum as she came out looking much more confident in the second game. She started using her boast to good effect moving Musonda over the full court now. Second game to Zoe 11-5. Musonda is certainly a competitor and fought hard in the third game. Anything that was left in the middle of the court she finished with either hard low kills or soft drops to the front two corners. The game was anyone’s at 8-8 however Zoe then held her nerve and closed the match out with three solid points to once again be crowned TSC Women’s Squash Champion!
 
Men’s Final –
Dion Anselm beat Neville Sorrentino 11-6, 11-5, 12-10
Dion started this match at a really high intensity and he showed he meant business from the very first point. Unfortunately Neville didn’t quite have such a positive start. Right from the beginning it was apparent that he wasn’t on his ‘A game’. Dion was ruthless and capitalised on this as he should. He stormed out to an 8-1 lead and closed out the game 11-6. The second game followed a similar pattern where Dion ran out to an early lead and then managed to hold on to it for the remainder of the game 11-5. On top of his obvious skills with the racket, Neville is nothing if not a fighter and he got stuck in in the third and made it much tougher for Dion. He saved two match balls and forced a tie break at 10-10. Dion however once again showed his ruthlessness and closed the match out 12-10 and in doing so became our Men’s Squash Champion! While undoubtedly disappointed with his performance in the final, Neville dug in and made things as difficult as possible for his opponent but credit must go to Dion for sensing a slight drop in Neville’s usual level and being relentless in moving towards the finishing line.
 
Roundup –
Adam Murrills, tournament organizer and national squash coach noted that squash has more and more players joining all the time which can only serve to improve the overall level of competition.

“A big thank you to everyone that entered the event and I’d of course like to congratulate all of our winners!I look forward to watching this event continue to grow over the coming years,” said Murrills. “I’m also looking forward to watching some of our top juniors gradually start emerging in these events. Luca has led the way finishing third in the Men’s Event this year. I know he’ll be hoping to better that come next year’s event! There were also promising performances from Darci Reich, Oliver Henderson and Danny Henderson.”

2021 BVI Senior Squash Champions Zoe Sorrentino and Dion Anselm with tournament organiser and National Squash Coach, Adam Murrills

World Cup Qualifiers’ delay beneficial to VI national team

BVIFA President Andy Bickerton believes the decision taken jointly by CONCACAF and FIFA to delay the World Cup Qualifiers will prove to be beneficial to the Virgin Islands’ national team.

According to BVI Football Association President, Mr. Andy Bickerton, the decision taken jointly by CONCACAF and FIFA to delay the World Cup Qualifiers will prove to be beneficial to the Virgin Islands’ national team.

CONCACAF and FIFA agreed that the CONCACAF Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will not be played in the match windows of October or November 2020, and will instead begin with the first round in the FIFA match window of March 2021.

“From the BVIFA’s perspective the delay in the World Cup Qualifiers until March 2021 makes a lot of sense,” commented Bickerton. “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-19 quarantine regulations. 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.”

Many parts of the region continue to have very challenging public health situations, and that has been a key factor in this decision.

Additionally, several countries across the confederation have travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, which would make international football involving 30 national teams extremely difficult. CONCACAF will now work with FIFA to finalize a new schedule, beginning with the first round in March 2021, which will be communicated in due course.

BVI to face ‘tough’ group in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers

BVI drawn to play in Group C of the first round of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers for Qatar 2022

The Draw for the first round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for Qatar 2022 took place in Zurich, Switzerland on August 19, 2020. The six highest ranked teams of were pre-seeded into groups A through F and revealed a number of exciting match-ups among the 30 teams.

The British Virgin Islands, led by 18-year-old Tyler Forbes, are in Group C and will look to rekindle the same fighting spirit they displayed in the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifiers. The BVI faces tough competition from Group C which includes Curacao, Guatemala, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba.

“The team is very excited to play in this group especially with the talent we have and the growing bond we have together,” commented Forbes. “It won’t be easy, but we like a challenge and us underdogs we always seem to perform better like in the game against Martinique. I feel the BVI will be proud of us – and surprised too – when, hopefully, they get to see what we have to offer with some home games. After the hurricanes of 2017 and the Covid-19 pandemic, the team is hungry for success and ready to finally play in front of our home fans.”

BVIFA President, Andy Bickerton noted the World Cup Draw had thrown the BVI into a tough group and is hoping the pandemic won’t stop the opportunity of staging home games. “We have been drawn in a very strong group and have to hope that despite the COVID challenges we are able to play our home matches against Guatemala and Curacao in the BVI.”

Matches in the group are expected to take place from October 2020.

Full CONCACAF World Cup qualifying groups:

Group A: El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, United States Virgin Islands
Group B: Canada, Suriname, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Aruba
Group C: Curacao, Guatemala, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, British Virgin Islands
Group D: Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica, Anguilla