Buzz grows for football clash with Mexico

  • Full house at the National Stadium as Bermuda face Panama (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Full house at the National Stadium as Bermuda face Panama (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Excitement for the international football match tonight has filled the National Sports Centre to the brim.

Tickets to the Concacaf Nations League match between Bermuda and Mexico have all but sold out the 4,000-seat stadium, despite the game’s 10pm start time.

David Sabir, the general secretary of the Bermuda Football Association, said that the late kick-off had not stopped fans from snapping up tickets to cheer on the Gombey Warriors.

He explained: “This is a moment that our players and our staff get to show what they are capable of doing. “At the end of the day, if we don’t come out and support our teams, our players and our athletes, then we don’t support ourselves.”

Bermuda’s Gombey Warriors had their first match for the Concacaf Nations League on September 5 against Panama at National Stadium.

Despite suffering a heavy 4-1 defeat, Bermuda recorded an historic 2-0 victory at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama just four days later.

Mr Sabir explained that the excitement was palpable in the days leading up to the match.

He said: “There have been tremendous comments on social media and amazing amounts of support in the local press. The fans have also come by the BFA office to buy tickets and jerseys.”

Rod Attridge-Stirling, the Bermuda consul to Mexico, said that loyalties among the Mexican-Bermudian community have been more varied.

He explained: “I’ve spoken with quite a few Mexican nationals who live in Bermuda and I think they will all be there cheering on the Mexican team.

“But it’s people like me who are conflicted. I’m required to always root for Mexico, but I’m always uncomfortable rooting for anyone other than Bermuda.

“So a game between Bermuda and Mexico puts me in an awkward position.”

He added: “All of my friends will give me a lot of grief and I will be teased a lot about whoever I support, but it will be light-hearted grief.”

Mr Attridge-Stirling warned that Mexico had a skilled team because the size of the country made for a large talent pool to draw from.

He added: “Bermuda is always the little flea that roared; it often plays much bigger countries and does very well.”

Mr Sabir said that he was confident that tonight’s game would be a success for Bermuda regardless of the result.

He explained: “It reaffirms that Bermuda does have talented athletes that represent us.

“It also says that Bermudians take sport seriously and we can compete on the international level.”

Mr Sabir added that the game would be covered by five Central American television networks.

He said: “The fact that our island is being showcased through the power and the influence of football, not just domestically, but globally, it only bodes well for Bermuda.

“It can give attention to the sort of thing we’re doing here in order to reach this sort of opportunity.”

Parking for those who have not bought parking passes will be available at the Arboretum and around CedarBridge Academy at 7.30pm. Gates will open at 8pm.

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Published Oct 11, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 11, 2019 at 6:30 am)

Buzz grows for football clash with Mexico

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