Whitmore calls for focus, support ahead of Reggae Boyz' WCup qualifiers


Whitmore calls for focus, support ahead of Reggae Boyz' WCup qualifiers

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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The Reggae Boyz will kick off their campaign in the Concacaf Nations League, group phase on Friday, September 6 when they play Antigua and Barbuda at Montego Bay Sports Complex beginning 7:00 pm.

The team enters the game fresh off a semi-final placement in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

The team will then leave the island on September 7 for their first away game against Guyana to be played on September 9.

The game will be the first home game for the Reggae Boyz in this second stage of the Concacaf Nations League. Results in the group stage will play a critical role in the placements for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification games.

National senior team Head Coach Theodore Whitmore in a presentation to key executives at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) recently said, “It is important that at the end of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in Concacaf in order to be in the best position entering the Qualifiers in September 2020.

“Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other Fifa international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance”, ended Whitmore.

The JFF calls on patrons, especially in the west, to prepare to welcome and support the team on September 6.

Last month Concacaf announced a restructured qualifying format for the 2022 Fifa World Cup. After Concacaf initially announced in March 2018 that they would use the Concacaf Ranking Index to determine the seeding of Concacaf teams for qualifying to international tournaments, it was determined that Fifa Rankings would be used instead.

Top-seeded Hexagonal group: The top six ranked Concacaf teams based on the Fifa rankings of June 2020 will play home-and-away round-robin matches in one single group (often referred to as the “Hexagonal”). The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup, and the fourth-placed team will advance to the Concacaf play-off round.

Lower-seeded group stage and knockout stage: The remaining Concacaf teams (ranked seven to 35 based on the Fifa rankings of June 2020) will be divided into eight groups (five groups of four teams and three groups of three teams) to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group will advance to a knockout stage, consisting of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to be played in a two-legged home-and-away series. The winner of the knockout stage will advance to the Concacaf play-off round.

Play-off round: The fourth-placed team of the Hexagonal group will face the winner of the knockout stage in order to advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.

The inter-confederation play-offs are scheduled to be played in March 2022.

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