BFA pull the plug on friendly plans
Cash-strapped Bermuda Football Association have scrapped plans to play an international friendly this month because of limited funding.
Bermuda’s national team were poised to kick-start their Digicel Cup preparations with a match against Caribbean opposition on February 29 a fixed date for FIFA international games.
Four countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, responded favourably to requests from the BFA to play the fixture, but talks have been shelved due to the hefty costs involved.
BFA general secretary David Sabir said cash had already been set aside for previously planned commitments, and admitted it was a “setback” Bermuda would remain idle during this month’s FIFA friendly dates.
“Despite the fact that the Bermuda FA received favourable responses toward playing international matches this month from four countries to our south, the executive council took the decision at a special meeting this week to withdraw from playing any matches at this time due to limited funding, which must be applied to other previously planned commitments,” said a statement released yesterday.
“The Association will seek to play matches throughout the year on or around FIFA’s other international match dates.
“While this may seem a temporary setback the Association remains committed to providing international opportunities for all players who aspire to representing Bermuda.”
Since having their Government funding slashed by $250,000 last year, the BFA have been operating on a shoestring budget.
And with several tournaments on the horizon including the Digicel Cup this summer, the BFA felt they couldn’t justify forking out another substantial sum for a one-off friendly game.
Although the Gombey Warriors failed to qualify from their group in their recent World Cup qualifiers, they finished the final four games unbeaten including a 1-0 win over a star-studded Trinidad side at the National Sports Centre.
Their qualifying record of three wins, one draw and two defeats, which saw them finish behind group winners Guyana and second place Trinidad, lifted Bermuda up FIFA’s world rankings to 109th position.