Jamaica storm causes switch

Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Gustav in Jamaica, the Mexican and Jamaican federations agreed to change the venue for their World Cup qualifier from Kingston to the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

With the advent of Hurricane Gustav in the Caribbean, back up plans were beginning to be considered in case the storm would have a direct effect on Saturday in the World Cup qualifier for the finals in South Africa in 2010.

After the tropical storm passed, both the Mexican authorities and the Jamaica Football Federation consulted with CONCACAF, FIFA and the Jamaican government. It was decided that the stadium conditions and Kingston generally were not conducive to staging the game.

Instead of postponing the match to another date outside the FIFA calendar, the best option was to change the venue to Mexico.

Likewise, the October 11 qualifier, originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, will now be played in Jamaica.

This venue change is good news for El Tri. It means they will start off qualification for South Africa with three consecutive home games.

Previously hosting Honduras, Mexico will host Jamaica at the Azteca, and on September 10 take on Canada in Chiapas.

Despite the switch, the Reggae Boyz are upbeat. Seven of the 11 overseas-based Jamaican international footballers invited by technical director Rene Simoes arrived in Kingston on Monday.

Of the remaining four, two – defenders Shavar Thomas and Tyrone Marshall – arrived on Tuesday.

The other two – Andy Williams, who has been granted extra time for personal matters, and Wolry Wolfe, who played for his club on Tuesday, joined the group yesterday.

The early arrivals were captain Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Fuller, Deon Burton, Rudolph Austin, Luton Shelton and Demar Phillips.

The overseas players joined 11 local-based players. The local-based players are Donovan Ricketts, Shawn Sawyers, Dwayne Kerr, Obrian Woodbine, Jermaine Taylor, Evan Taylor, Dwayne Holmes, Alonzo Adlam, Keneil Moodie, Davion Thorpe and Jermaine Hue.

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