More than half of the forty-one member Confederation descends on Grand Cayman in a strong effort to promote grassroots football at the youth level
GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands (Tuesday, August 13, 2013) -- The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) will kick off the inaugural CONCACAF Under-15 Championship on Tuesday in Grand Cayman. The tournament will be contested through August 25 among the national teams of twenty-three member associations, making it the largest CONCACAF competition of its kind to be played in a single country.
“It is important for coaches and players to have competitions for development,” signaled CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “This tournament was conceived to intensify our grassroots efforts while helping to identify and develop talent that will eventually create our future stars.”
The inaugural tournament is an initiative of President Webb, recognizing the need for a concentrated effort that would support and grow football at the youth level. The Under-15 Championship, which will be held every two years, is expected to strengthen the love of the game among young players and foster a commitment to the sport that will grow along with them.
In addition to the sporting advantages of introducing players between the ages of 13-15 to a higher-level of football on a regional stage, the Under-15 tournament is bringing nearly 700 participants to the island during the low-season for tourism. For the Cayman Islands, it is a win-win scenario.
“This tournament is a great developmental experience for local football teams and we thank CONCACAF and President Jeffrey Webb for having the foresight to bring this level tournament to fruition and for also selecting the Cayman Islands as the host country for the inaugural event,” expressed Cayman Islands Minister of Sports, the Honourable Osbourne Bodden during a press conference held at the Government Information Office.
Countries that will be competing in the tournament include Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Martin, St. Maarten, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the US Virgin Islands.
For first-round play, the squads have been drawn into four groups – three of six teams and one comprised of five teams. Each team will play the others in its group once. The group winners will advance to the semifinals on August 23 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The match for third place and the final will take place two days later at the same venue.
For more information about this developmental tournament or other CONCACAF initiatives log on to www.concacaf.com
St. Lucia 0, Belize 1
GOAL: Alvin Sifontes 56’
Man of the Match: Alvin Sifontes (Belize)
After a tightly contested first half that was well disputed in the midfield, Alvin Sifontes struck from inside the 18-yard box with 14 minutes remaining in regulation to give Belize a narrow 1-0 victory. The match was the first in competition history to pit sides from the Caribbean and Central America against each other.