The Cayman Islands will play Belize in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifying football games in a couple of months’ time.
Cayman has not played internationally at senior level since 2011 and dropped to 205 in the FIFA world rankings, its lowest position ever. Only Djibouti, Cook Islands, Anguilla and Bhutan are lower in the FIFA rankings.
Cayman Islands Football Association’s technical director Renard Moxam said it is not impossible for Cayman to one day make it to the World Cup finals, but there will be some serious obstacles to overcome.
He said, “For this particular World Cup campaign, which will eventually get you to Russia 2018, we have many hurdles to go over and many hurdles to pass and some huge ones too.”
Cayman will travel to Belize for the first match. The date has not yet been confirmed. Moxam said Cayman and Belize share a rich football history, one that he knows all too well, having played against Belize years ago. The winner will go on to play Dominica.
Round one will be played in two legs on dates from March 23-31. It also features six other home-and-away games among the CONCACAF teams ranked 22-35 in the region.
The other round one matches will be disputed between Bahamas against Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Dominica, Barbados and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands against St. Kitts and Nevis, Nicaragua and Anguilla and Curacao against Montserrat.
Round two of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers will be played between June 8-16 and features the seven winners from round one plus teams from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Aruba, El Salvador, Cuba and Suriname.
Round three will run from Aug. 31-Sept 8 when Jamaica and Haiti join in.
The final six CONCACAF nations come in for round four. They are Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago in a round-robin format between November 2015 and September 2016.