Cayman’s national men’s football team may join several other countries in postponing their World Cup qualifying matches due to travel restrictions and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There will be some new dates,” said Cayman Islands Football Association president Alfredo Whittaker. “We are OK here in the Cayman Islands, but around the world there are a lot of countries that are not OK.”
“It’s completely unclear and very unlikely that those games will be played in those initial dates.”
Cayman was slated to open qualifying on 7 Oct. against Suriname, but travel to that country is closed apart from repatriation flights. Cayman was also meant to host Canada on 11 Oct. when the local borders will technically be open, but air arrivals will be available to only a small number of people who intend on staying in Cayman for an extended period of time, according to Premier Alden McLaughlin’s statements at a press conference on 25 Aug.
Whittaker believes Cayman’s matches will not take place as scheduled.
“Until now, it’s completely unclear and very unlikely that those games will be played in those initial dates,” Whittaker told the Compass.
“This isn’t something that just CIFA can plan; we obviously need guidance from our health authorities, in this case our minister of health and our chief medical officer.”
The Asian Football Confederation and Confederation of African Football have already postponed their remaining rounds of World Cup qualifiers.
Whittaker expects a formal press release will be issued by CONCACAF on the games potentially being postponed.