Indoor football has become widely popular in Cayman and Kings is hoping an international competition next month can build on that momentum.
King’s Sports Centre is set to host a five-a-side football tournament called the Cayman World Cup of Football.
The competition is scheduled for 6-8 February at the WestTel Arena within King’s.
At this point seven teams are confirmed as participants in Cayman, Jamaica, Canada, Ireland, India, England and Scotland.
Five other countries are on the cusp of fielding a team in Brazil, Italy, Costa Rica, Honduras and Cuba.
The teams consist of Cayman residents who are playing for their respective countries. Each team has a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 players.
Many of the team members are also part of the local five-a-side football programme on-island.
At press time it was not clear whether the teams would be co-ed or women would play in a separate mini-tournament.
Athletic Director for Kings Sports Centre Ray Singh says the tournament is about national unity.
‘We’re holding the tournament as a way of bringing our entire community together. Very rarely does an opportunity present itself where we are able to foster this high level of community involvement.
‘Football is not only the world’s largest sport, but Cayman’s as well.’
The tournament is expected to function under a round-robin format where each team will play three games between Friday and Saturday.
Those matches will feature two 13 minute halves.
From there a playoff system will come into effect in the form of ‘bracketed knockouts.’ Games will be short, just 13 minutes in length.
In addition the rules call for a sudden death penalty kick in case of a tie.
The playoffs conclude with a finals match Sunday evening. A best of three sudden death penalty kick will come into play if there is a tie in the title match.
As Singh states the plan is for the tournament to become an annual affair.
‘We’re hoping to make this an annual event. Overall though, we want this tournament to highlight all of the good that can come from sport in general. 2008 was a rough year for a lot of people.
‘We have the opportunity to start of 2009 in the best way possible.’
Currently the competition has room for four additional teams.
There is a registration fee of CI$225 per team. The fee includes player uniforms and one free hour of practice.
Singh added that this tournament will serve as a small way forward for Cayman football.
‘This will have a positive impact on Cayman Islands football. The players will have the opportunity to represent their home countries and even more importantly we’re hoping to develop an entire fan base.
‘From here we keep looking up. The sky’s the limit and we have a lot of plans in the works for football in 2009.’
To register for the tournament contact Ray Singh by e-mail at [email protected].