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20 Nov 2012
Bahamas inaugurate permanent field
Friendly facing Bahamas and Jamaica officially opened the pitch, built with the support of FIFA?s Goal Development Program
The Bahamas Football Association (BFA) inaugurated this last Saturday, November 17th, a permanent field which is to witness most of the most outstanding steps in the sports development in the Caribbean country. Built with the support of FIFA?s Goal Development Program, the facility located in Nassau?s Malcolm Park becomes the first of its kind in the region and was declared officially open by the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Dr. Danny Johnson, and the BFA President, Anton Sealey, accompanied by Gregory Engelbrecht, from FIFA, Angenie Kanhai from CONCACAF, Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation and Gordon Derrick, president of the Caribbean Football Union.
With the assistance of FIFA?s initiative to grow the sport of soccer in the Caribbean, BFA applied for the construction of the beach soccer facility, which they hope will provide the Bahamas with a much better opportunity to quality for the World.
The Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, Dr. Danny Johnson, highlighted the big leap forward these new facilities meant for the sport and the country: ?It is great time in Bahamian history,? Johnson said. ?Now that the Bahamas has set the mark in the new sport, we expect to dominate in beach soccer within benefit the Bahamas in many ways in the future.?
"The Bahamas has set the pace for the region and national teams from around the Caribbean have already expressed interest in coming to play here,? CONCACAF representative Horace Burrell said. ?This facility will certainly make the Caribbean very proud. I know I will have the support of President Webb in ensuring that the Bahamas is the host of many competitions in the future.? Gordon Derrick, president of the Caribbean Football Union, said the Bahamas should look forward to both the product on the field and the opportunities for sports tourism.
?Given that the country?s main economic driver is tourism and the fact that beaches are one of your selling points, I think this is a no brainer. This facility will only ogle well for the future development of sports tourism guided by the BFA,? he said. ?As you try to bring the tourists here, not only to enjoy not only the hospitality. But also the recreation here at this wonderful facility.? The Bahamas Football Association expects the development of beach soccer to add a new dimension, officially to its national programme.
Jamaica seals first win on the new sand (5-6)
After the official inauguration, a friendly match facing Bahamas and Jamaica had the ball flying for the first time in the pitch, and foreshowed what the country can expect from its beach soccer programme, a competitive play at a high level, ready to challenge the best in the region.
In the game, the home team lost 5-6 in extra time to the Reaggae Boys on Saturday, despite an opening 3-1 run. After the Bahamians got out to a quick lead after the first period, however the visiting side staged a valiant comeback effort to take the lead with four minutes left to play in the third period, 3-5.
Before a raucous home crowd, the Bahamas staged a late period rally of their own with two goals to tie at regulation, including a controversial penalty in the final seconds of the game to send the game into overtime. In the extra time period, Rohan Reid scored the winner for the visitors, his third of the match to complete a hat trick.