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Change in venue for Boyz v Saudi match

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

WASHINGTON DC, United States — The venue for Saturday's football match between Jamaica's Reggae Boyz and Saudi Arabia has been changed OBSERVER ONLINE understands.

The match was scheduled for 7:00 pm this Saturday at the King Fahd International Stadium, also called Pearl of Stadiums, in Riyadh. It is understood that news of the change came from the organisers on Monday afternoon, even as the Boyz made their way to east coast cities of New York and Washington, DC, from Jamaica and their various club locations within the US.

The game will now be played in Jeddah, a port city on the Red Sea, which is a modern commercial hub and gateway for pilgrimages to the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
The Boyz were scheduled to depart the US last evening via New York and Washington, DC, for Jeddah, before making a connection to Riyadh.

But with the change of venue, arrangements were being made to have the entire party depart from Washington, DC, yesterday for the near 12-hour flight to Jeddah.

They were expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia at about mid-day today (4:00 am Jamaica time).

Saudi Arabia have already qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, joining Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, as the Asian representatives in Russia. They finished second in their Group behind Japan.

The Saudis qualified for the World Cup in 1994; 1998; 2002 and 2006, missing out of the 2010 and 2014 editions in South Africa and Brazil respectively.

The Jamaicans have played Saudi Arabia three times, winning one, losing one and drawing the other. All three games were played between 1998-1999.

Ian Burnett