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Bermuda’s World Cup opponents forfeit match in Cuba over US visa issues

Cayman Islands celebrate historic goal against Antigua

Bermuda have slipped to the bottom of their World Cup qualifying group after Cayman Islands forfeited their match against Cuba on Tuesday,

Cayman, who won the first World Cup qualifier in their history when beating Antigua & Barbuda 1-0 last week and sit in second place in the group, have decided against travelling to Cuba as a result of visa complications in the United States.

The US has been cancelling ESTA visa waivers for anyone who has travelled to Cuba since 2021 when the Trump administration placed Cuba back on its ‘“sponsor of terrorism” blacklist.

With many of the Cayman squad aged under 23 and studying in the United States on student visas and others having ESTA in their British passports, the Cayman football Association decided they could not take the risk of travelling to Cuba.

Cayman Islands Football Association president Alfredo Whittaker revealed that he did not want his players being prevented from returning to the US.

“I don’t want to risk any of these boys’ ESTAs being removed or their student visas removed for one game,” Whittaker told the Cayman Compass.

Cuba will be awarded a 3-0 victory after Cayman’s no-show, which means that Bermuda drop to the foot of the five-team second-round group A table with one point from their opening two games.

Michael Findlay’s team drew 1-1 with Antigua before losing 6-1 at home to group favourites Honduras last week.

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Published June 11, 2024 at 1:07 pm (Updated June 11, 2024 at 1:08 pm)

Bermuda’s World Cup opponents forfeit match in Cuba over US visa issues

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