The Senior Men’s National Team will have their hands full as the new year opens, ahead of the Concacaf Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
That is because FIFA announced certain international match windows would be extended to enable Confederations to schedule triple-match dates. This is as a result of the challenges faced by global football due to the fallout of COVID-19 and geared especially for those regions which suspended international match windows this year.
The Bajan Tridents will head into battle with two matches beginning in March and two more in June 2021.
This means Concacaf can now schedule three matches each in the September and October 2021 and January and March 2022 FIFA International Match Windows.
The 30 national teams were drawn into six groups of five during the draw of the Concacaf Qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 last August.
The matches, previously scheduled to be held in October and November of this year were postponed following discussions with FIFA, Concacaf, Member Associations, and other relevant stakeholders in September.
The First Round will be played between Concacaf Member Associations ranked 6th to 35th, based on the FIFA Men’s Ranking as of July 16, 2020. Barbados was drawn in Group D with the likes of Panama, Dominican Republic, Dominica, and Anguilla.
The Bajan Tridents will play each team in Group D once for a total of four matches, two home and two away, to be played in the FIFA match windows of March and June 2021. The Bajan Tridents will face Panama on March 25; Anguilla on March 30; the Dominican Republic on June 4 and Dominica on June 8.
At the end of the First Round, the six group winners will advance to the Second Round.
The Second Round will be held during the second FIFA match window where the winner of Group A will face their opponents in Group F; Group B will battle Group E, and Group C will go up against Group D. These games are scheduled to kick off on June 12, 2021.
The teams will once again play in home and away games, but in a direct elimination format for the second FIFA match window of June 2021, with the three winners moving on to the Final Round.
The Final Round, to be held during the triple match windows of September, October, and November 2021, and January and March 2022, will see the three group winners from the Second Round join the Concacaf Member Associations ranked one through five. The eight teams will play each other home and away, with each team playing a total of 14 matches.
The matchups are as follows:
Team 1 – Winner B vs Winner E
Team 2 – Honduras
Team 3 – Winner A vs Winner F
Team 4 – United States
Team 5 – Winner C vs Winner D
Team 6 – Costa Rica
Team 7 – Mexico
Team 8 – Jamaica
At the end of the Final Round, the top three finishers will qualify directly for a place in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The fourth-placed team will qualify for the FIFA Intercontinental Playoff, scheduled to be played in June 2022.