THE Guyana Senior Men’s National team, popularly known as the Golden Jaguars, will compete in a new preliminary round of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup next July, under an expanded format, which will effectively mark the Golden Jaguars’ second consecutive appearance at the region’s biggest football tournament.
Four out of 12 teams from the qualification round will progress to the final 16-round of the Gold Cup, with all preliminary and final-stage matches to be played in the United States in July and August next year.
The Golden Jaguars made history in 2019 as the first senior men’s team from Guyana to qualify for the Gold Cup, finishing third in a tough group containing runners-up United States, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.
The new preliminary Gold Cup round will be supported by the same level of production, match protocol and promotion as the final 16 round, offering a significant international platform for Guyana and its football brand, with the Golden Jaguars’ matches to be made available to millions of viewers all over the world.
“I am very proud of the players, coaching staff and Technical Development team,” said Guyana Football Federation president, Wayne Forde.
“The positive performance during the Nations League campaign, which allowed us to be in this position, was indeed a tremendous team effort. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to the fans, media, sponsors, the Government of Guyana and other stakeholders for their unwavering support.”
“This is truly a welcome announcement and I would like to invite all of Guyana to work with us over the next 11 months, to prepare our beloved Jaguars to make history once again at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.”
Following a positive Nations League competition, including a memorable away draw against Jamaica, Guyana had been scheduled to compete in “Road to Gold Cup” final qualification matches in the first half of this year, but the fixtures were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 12 teams due to compete in those matches will now take part in the Gold Cup preliminary round, starting on July 2. The final round of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup will take place between July 10 and August 1. Concacaf will announce further details of the format and match schedule in August.