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Digicel’s ‘world cup’

marciadottin, [email protected]

Digicel’s ‘world cup’

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This year’s Digicel Caribbean Football Cup will be broadcast worldwide via satellite to millions, and Barbados and the other 22 participating countries will be competing for a record US$270 000 in prize money.
This was revealed by Digicel Group marketing operations director Kieran Foley at a glitzy official launch of the tournament – which kicks off early next month – at the five-star Hyatt Hotel in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
Foley promised that a massive marketing campaign, entitled 23 Nations, One Goal, would soon be unveiled in most of the participating countries.
This would culminate with some lucky Digicel customers winning a trip to the final in Martinique on December 5, he said.
Foley revealed that Digicel had invested heavily in television production to broadcast games across the Caribbean and to global audiences.
Consequently, the 39 qualifying group games will be aired in full across the region on an “as live” basis, while the 16 games of the eight-team finals in Martinique will be broadcast live worldwide by satellite.
In addition, ten 30-minute highlight shows will be broadcast regionally and internationally, courtesy of the sponsors.
Exciting year
“This has been an exciting year for football in the Caribbean with the Digicel-sponsored broadcast of the FIFA World Cup, the Digicel Kick Start clinics and now the Digicel Caribbean Cup 2010,” Foley said.
New Trinidad and Tobago Works and Transport Minister, Austin “Jack” Warner, who is also president of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and CONCACAF as well as a FIFA vice-president, gave a brief address before hurriedly heading off to another engagement.
He said he was proud that Trinidad and Tobago was launching the tournament at the same time that the country was also hosting the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter scheduled to arrive in the island today.
“We have come a long way. It’s amazing to think that just six years ago, the tournament was only one week long with 16 matches.
“Today, we have a tournament that stands alongside some of the biggest football tournaments in the world, with 23 nations from across the Caribbean competing over nine weeks in 55 matches for a first prize of US$120 000,” Warner said.
“It is important that the countries take this tournament seriously and have their best players available. This tournament is the fore-runner to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the top four teams qualifying for next year in June in New York and that is the stepping stone to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,” he noted.
New Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Sport, Anil Roberts, in a hard-hitting speech, warned national coach Russell Latapy that the team’s recent results were not acceptable and declared that “success is demanded”.
The tournament will kick off with action in Group A in Puerto Rico between the hosts, St Martin, Cayman Islands and Anguilla from October 2 to 6.
This will be followed by Group B in St Vincent from October 6 to 10, where Barbados will battle the host country, St Kitts/Nevis and Montserrat for a place in the second stage.
Following the four first-round groups, Stage 2 will be held in Grenada (October 20 to 24), Trinidad and Tobago (November 2 to 6) and Antigua (November 10 to 14) where some of the higher ranked teams – Cuba, Guadeloupe and the Soca Warriors – will join the competition.
The two top teams in the three second-round groups will join defending champions Jamaica and hosts Martinique in the final where the winners will collect US$120 000 and the runners-up US$70 000.
There will be a third-place play-off match with US$50 000 for the winners and US$30 00 for fourth position.