CFU: Caribbean Cup 2010 Preview
The 2010 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Cup begins its qualification process this weekend in Puerto Rico with the hosts battling it out with Anguilla, Cayman Islands and Saint Martin in one of four groups which will all be played throughout the month of October. This will then lead on to the second stage of qualifying which takes place over three weeks from late October to early November before the six qualifiers join defending champions Jamaica and tournament hosts Martinique in the tournament proper which runs from November 26th until December 5th. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog looks at the history of the competition and looks ahead to the first qualifying round.
The Caribbean Cup began life in 1989 with the inaugural tournament being won by Trinidad & Tobago who defeated Grenada by two goals to one with an unknown striker by the name of Dwight Yorke (whatever happened to him) scoring twice for the winners on the host island of Barbados. Trinidad & Tobago have gone on to become the record winners of this tournament having won it on eight occasions with only Jamaica being a serious threat to their dominance. The Jamaican national team won the most recent tournament in 2008 under the guidance of former Liverpool FC and England international John Barnes which was the fourth time that the Reggae Boyz have won this tournament following their previous successes in 1991, 1998 and 2005. Only two other countries – Martinique (1993) and Haiti (2007) – have known what it’s like to lift the trophy aloft at the expense of the big two with their victories coming against Jamaica and T&T respectively.
The first stage of the qualifying rounds are played from October 2-17 with three groups of four and one group of three fighting it out for the six places – four group winners and two best runners-up – to go through to the next stage. Here are the four groups that will begin the first round with their current FIFA World Ranking in brackets:
GROUP A: Anguilla (joint 203); Cayman Islands (181); Puerto Rico (170); Saint-Martin (N/A)
GROUP B: Barbados (121); Montserrat (joint 203); Saint Kitts & Nevis (151); Saint Vincent (153)
GROUP C: Guyana (120); Netherlands Antilles (166); Saint Lucia (186); Suriname (137)
GROUP D: British Virgin Islands (188); Dominica (178); Dominican Republic (181)
Once the six teams have been decided from this first stage they will then play in the second qualifying stage of the competition which takes place from October 22-November 14. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog will provide further updates and news from the competition as it progresses so be sure not to miss the latest action here.