Charysse Bean excited by prospect of Bermuda’s women playing home internationals
Charryse Bean has hailed the significance of Concacaf’s introduction of new international competitions for women, including major tournaments in 2022 and 2024.
The exciting plans were announced in December after the structure for the new competitions was approved by the Concacaf Council, “with the aim of transforming women’s national team football across the entire confederation”.
As part of the new women’s international calendar, Concacaf will more than double the number of official national team matches, with the first window of group matches commencing in November, before a second round of games in April 2022.
They will serve as a qualifier for a centralised finals event in July 2022, which will culminate in the winners securing a place at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.
In addition, the Women’s Concacaf Nations League will also take place in 2023-24 with a further guarantee of home and away fixtures within three league groups.
“The news is huge for the women’s game,” said Bean, chairwoman of the Bermuda Football Association Women's Committee, who highlighted the particular importance of the Nations League introduction to women’s football in the region.
“We knew something was going to be announced, but having the Nations League introduced to the women’s game is great news.
“It closes the gap in terms of equality to the men’s game. We’ve always had a version of World Cup qualifiers, but to now also have the guarantee of the Nations League is a huge step forward.
“Another major factor of the Nations League is that there will be home and away games. In the past when we played in major tournaments, it always meant playing overseas. However, with this it means that Bermuda should get the opportunity to see the women’s team live at home.
“That doesn’t happen too often and it is a great opportunity both for the players to play in front of a home crowd and also the nation to be able to see them.
“It gives our women’s team more things to strive for and they know there are definite fixtures on the calendar with a proper international window.”
The news is a further boost to Bean’s aspirations in the development of the women’s national team after receiving a $500,000 grant from Fifa last October.
“This is another big boost for the women’s team,” she added. “They are all massively excited and we have already started our preparations to get ready for the matches that are coming in November.
“We have a strong strategic plan in place, specifically for our women, and I'm hugely excited what we are now able to do for all of our females connected to football.
“We are already seeing the players showing that commitment to be involved in the squad; they’re definitely ready to get going.”
• Because of the widespread impact of Covid-19 on the football calendar and continued concerns over international travel, a number of youth tournaments have been cancelled.
As a result of Fifa cancelling the Under-17 Men’s World Cup and the Under-20 Men’s World Cup, scheduled to take place this year in Peru and Indonesia, Concacaf has pulled the plug on the respective qualifiers for those events.