ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda will play host to a group of four in the opening round of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Cup slated to begin in September.
Antigua Benna Boys will head Group 5, but will face opposition from the Dominican Republic, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Anguilla.
CFU President Gordon “Banks” Derrick, who revealed that the matches would be played from September 3 to 7, expects a competitive 2014 competition.
“The Caribbean Cup is going to be exciting. We are really pushing to get the level up to make it a sort after commodity within football in which you have the Asian group and European,” he said.
“So we want to get the Caribbean Cup to be seen in that light and we will have our group. We’re going to be hosting our group here in Antigua because of our rankings, so that is September. The second round will be October and the third round, which is the finals, will be in November and that is going to be played in Jamaica.”
Derrick, who is also General Secretary of Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), revealed also that measures have been put in place to ensure that all teams are at their best for this year’s competition.
“This is our flagship so we spoke about how we can do that by making sure our best players are on shore at all times. So the best thing we did is we aligned the Caribbean Cup qualifiers and finals with all international dates from the qualifiers to the finals. So in all the legs, every team in the Caribbean has access to their best players, whoever they may be and wherever they may be,” he said.
“September 1 to 9 is the first international break so all the first round games are going to be played there,” Derrick added.
A venue for the country’s hosting of the event is yet to be decided. The top two teams will advance to the second round.