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BFA to face Dominican at North Field

Problem solved: Bermuda will face French Guiana and Dominican Republic next month

Bermuda have switched their Caribbean Cup second-round qualifying match against Dominican Republic at the North Field on Saturday, June 4 at 9pm.

The Bermuda Football Association had until today to come up with a suitable venue to host the game, the team’s second in group four, with the National Stadium already booked for an exhibition rugby match between Bermuda Select and Aviva Premiership side Harlequins.

The North Field is hosting the Hiscox Celebrity Cricket Festival during the day, forcing Bermuda’s match against Dominican Republic to be held under the floodlights.

“Previously, the Association indicated that the main stadium was unavailable due to the international rugby match that was booked in 2015 and the Hiscox Celebrity Cricket Festival, which was also booked in 2015, is being played on the North Field,” read a BFA statement.

“As a result of these two events being scheduled before the official draw of the Caribbean Cup start date and the fact that following the first round Bermuda were drawn to play on June the 4 meant that the stadium was unavailable.

At one point it appeared Bermuda would have to play the match at a neutral venue overseas prior, or forfeit the fixture altogether.

“In keeping with the tournament regulations and international match protocols, and following a meeting with the participating countries and the CFU Officials, the BFA was facing the possibility of playing this qualifying match in a neutral venue,” the statement continued.

“Over the past several days of considering where to play the match, and after contemplating whether or not the North Field was a suitable alternative in order to ensure that our team could play in front of their own fans, with the cooperation and support from the National Sports Centre, the Association was able to meet with representatives of the Caribbean Football Union who provided approval for the North Field [with some minor upgrades] to be used on this occasion to host the international match.

“In making the decision to play at home, the Association is mindful of the fact that the standard and normal amenities of playing in the main stadium will not be available on the North Field, in particular, limited seating. The reason for this is that in accordance with international protocol tickets can only be sold for the number of seats available. Specifically, this means that a seat must be available for everyone who purchases a ticket to the game as tickets can’t be sold for standing areas only.”

The statement added: “In closing, the Association is pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement with the National Sports Centre regarding the use of the North Field. We are equally pleased that the CFU officials were able to certify that the venue meets the required standard to host this important international match.”

The second round of the Caribbean Cup will involve five groups, with the winners and four best runners-up advancing to the third round to be held from October 3 to 9.

Jamaica, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago have received a bye to the third round because of their involvement in World Cup qualifying matches.