St Vincent and the Grenadines Senior Men’s Football team, Vincy Heat will have stern tests versus their foes in the Concacaf zone of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers ahead of the 2026 finals .
Drawn in Group F, Vincy Heat will play alongside El Salvador, Suriname, Puerto Rico, and either Anguilla or Turks and Caicos Islands.
FIFA’s latest rankings show St Vincent and the Grenadines ahead of only the Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla. St Vincent and the Grenadines is at 173, El Salvador 78; Suriname 143; Puerto Rico 160, with Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla, at 206 and 209, respectively.
In Vincy Heat’s last outing in the World Cup Qualifiers, they ended with a solitary 3-0 win over the British Virgin Islands(BVI).
The Vincentians were beaten 5-0 by Curacao; lost to Guatemala 10-0 and suffered a 1-0 defeat to Cuba.
Their “home” matches versus the BVI and Cuba, were played in Curacao and Grenada, respectively.
Like their previous campaign in 2021 in a quest for Qatar 2022, the format will see the Vincentians fixtured to host two matches here in St Vincent and the Grenadines and two away encounters.
St Vincent and the Grenadines, like El Salvador, Suriname and Puerto Rico, will join the Second Round stage of the qualifiers, after Anguilla and Turks and Caicos Islands meet in a home and away play off to determine the fifth team in the group.
The playoffs kick off in March, the second round is in June 2024, and concludes June 2025.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is among 30 teams that will compete for places in the finals set for the USA, Canada and Mexico in 2026.
The format of the qualifiers sees the 30 teams pooled in six groups of five. Following the Second Round, the winners and runners-up will then be placed in three groups of four.
This constitutes the final round slated for September and November 2025, as the teams will play within their groups on a home and away basis.
The group winners will book berths directly to the finals, while the two best runners up will go to a FIFA Play Off Tournament to vie for additional spots for Concacaf.
Apart from those in Group F, making up Group A, are Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Bermuda, Cayman Islands; with Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts/Nevis, Grenada, and Bahamas stashed in Group B.
Meanwhile those in Group C are Haiti, Curacao, St Lucia, Barbados, and Aruba; Group D comprises Panama, Nicaragua, Guyana, Montserrat, and Belize; and in Group E are Jamaica, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Dominica, as well as the winner of the playoff between the BVI and the US Virgin Islands.