BFA eyeing historic finals berth with expanded World Cup

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbados Football Association president, Randy Harris, has hailed the decision by football’s world governing body, FIFA, to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup finals and now hopes Barbados can make their mark by qualifying for the global showpiece.

FIFA announced last week that 16 teams will be added to the 2026 tournament, bringing the total to 48.

Harris told CMC Sports that the latest development gave Caribbean countries a greater chance of qualifying for the global tournament, especially with continental governing body, CONCACAF, expected to receive an increase in World Cup spots from the current three automatic places.

“It is not beyond our reach, as you know both Trinidad and Jamaica had qualified already with the 32 teams and I believe that going to 48 should give us two or three more places, and if we work hard it is possible that more teams from the Caribbean could be playing in the World Cup,” Harris said.

He said Barbados had a strong chance of securing a spot in the finals, if they put in the necessary work.

“As president of the Barbados Football Association my dream is to make it to the World Cup,” Harris stressed.

“But I think seriously that if we put a programme together starting from now, with say Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17, we can have proper direction and [with] the experiences of people who have been there before, helping us to work a programme, we should be able to get there.”

Barbados have struggled over the years in World Cup qualifying, and have never reached the crucial final round of the CONCACAF phase.

In fact, in confederation qualifying for the last three  World Cups – along with the 2018 event in Russia – Barbados have failed to get past the second round.

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