Bermuda coach Naquita Robinson disappointed by late cancellation
Bermuda coach Naquita Robinson has expressed her disappointment over the last-minute cancellation of the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying match against St Vincent & the Grenadines at Flora Duffy Stadium last night.
“Obviously, we are disappointed as we were looking forward to tonight’s match regardless of the opponent,” Robinson told The Royal Gazette. “The girls have put in the work and were up for it.
“Nevertheless, we are still in our zone and preparing for Tuesday’s match [away to Dominican Republic].”
Robinson said her players were equally as disappointed not to play their penultimate League B group C qualifying match.
“They are disappointed as they wanted to play the match, however, we plan for Tuesday. It’s out of our control, so we can’t stress it,” she added.
The St Vincent & the Grenadines Football Federation revealed that the women’s national team were unable to reach Bermuda after their flight was denied permission to travel its intended route.
They said that all of the team’s travel arrangements were confirmed until Tuesday.
However, a communication from the travel agency revealed that the aircraft “failed to secure necessary permissions for the planned route.”
The association’s attempts to make alternative travel plans with another company also proved unsuccessful on Wednesday.
“Consequently, the senior women’s team couldn’t reach their destination within the necessary time frame to compete in the upcoming match,” the SVGFF said in a statement.
Concacaf is now reviewing the circumstances contributing to St Vincent’s inability to travel.
“The SVGFF will be briefed on the decision concerning the outcome of today’s match, which will then be conveyed to the public,” the association added.
“We, at the SVG Football Federation, sincerely regret the inconvenience caused.”
The Bermuda Football Association confirmed yesterday morning that the contest had been called off.
“The Bermuda Football Association was informed late on Thursday by the St Vincent & the Grenadines Football Association that their senior women’s national team will be unable to travel to Bermuda for the scheduled Road to Concacaf W Gold Cup match scheduled for Friday,” the association said in a press statement.
“The circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the match will be reviewed by Concacaf, with the Bermuda Football Association expected to receive further details in due course.”
The BFA also provided details on how members of the public who purchased tickets online can have their money refunded.
“For those who purchased tickets in anticipation of the cancelled match, refunds will be processed via GPass. The BFA understands the disappointment this may cause and is committed to addressing concerns promptly,” the statement added.
After the match was called off, Bermuda’s players used the opportunity to get in some more training during an inter-squad game at Flora Duffy Stadium last night which saw Team Blue edge Team Pink 4-3.
“We have spent so much time with these players that we knew what we would get,” Robinson said. “They technically and tactically did what was asked, and their intensity was high.
“There were a few mistakes made in the game, but we just work to improve those.”
After the match, Bermuda’s players made themselves available to sign autographs and take photographs with their fans.
“They did meet and greet the fans,” Robinson added. “They took pictures and signed autographs.”
Unbeaten Bermuda are scheduled to depart for Dominican Republic today where they will face their hosts in the final round of group matches in Santo Domingo.
Asked what is the morale like now in the camp, Robinson replied: “Higher than it’s ever been.”
Dominican Republic replaced idle Bermuda at the top of the group standings after thrashing Barbados 7-1 in a lopsided affair in Bridgetown last night.
The eventual group winner will advance to the play-off stage where they will face one of the runners-up from League A.
The winner of that encounter will qualify for the inaugural Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup, which will be held in the United States from February 20 to March 10, and will feature eight Concacaf and four South American teams.