July 16, 2004

Team SVG continues World Cup bid

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) is maximizing every opportunity to get the Senior National team ready for the second round of World Cup qualification.
The local body is drawing on all fronts for support. Like previous World Cup campaigns, a support committee is in place. {{more}} This committee will organise fund-raising and publicity activities
A number of events has been planned ahead of the team’s next encounter here against Trinidad and Tobago, August 18.
Among the action are a radio telethon and a “sponsor-a-player” initiative. In addition, the Federation has requested E.C $500,000 from government.
The technical aspect of the team’s preparations has also been given priority.
The Federation is working towards getting a camp in Brazil, July 30 to August 11, which is expected to cost U.S $75,000. A request for these funds has been made to the world governing body FIFA.
A spokesperson for the Federation told SEARCHLIGHT: “This is our best chance of advancing and we are going to give it our best shot.
“It is a big occasion, and we are thinking big,” the spokesperson said.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines are in Group C, with St. Kitts-Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico. USA, Jamaica, El Salvador and Panama make up Group A. Group B comprises Guatemala, Canada, Costa Rica and Honduras.
Two teams from each of the three groups will advance to the next stage of the CONCACAF group, of which the top three will go to the World Cup final in Germany in 2006.
The fourth place team in that stage will play-off with the Oceania grouping for a place.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has reached the semi-final stage on all the previous occasions: 1992, 1996 and 2000. However, on each occasion they have ended at the bottom of the group, losing all matches, 18 in total, conceding 84 goals, while scoring 8.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines advanced this time at Nicaragua’s expense. Team SVG drew 2 – 2 in Nicaragua and blasted the Central Americans 4 – 1 at home making it the first time beating or drawing against a country from that region.
This win pushed the SVG team ten places up to 153 in FIFA World Rankings.
Following the August 18 date with Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will travel to Mexico for an away clash September 4.
The next match will be against St. Kitts here September 8.