St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Vincy Heat has given up its home advantage in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers against the British Virgin Islands.
Originally set for 30th March here at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, that fixture will now take place at the Ergillo Hato Stadium in Willemstad, on the same date.
This was made known last weekend as CONCACAF finalised most of the fixtures.
Before meeting the British Virgin Islands, the Vincentians will take on Curacao as scheduled on 25th March.
Vincy Heat is drawn in Group C of the Qualifiers, along with Curacao, the British Virgin Islands, Guatemala and Cuba. The intention was for each teams to have two home matches and two away matches.
However, with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the region, many countries have enforced stricter quarantine protocols, thus forcing some to play in neutral venues.
Curacao, though, has a more relaxed protocol whereby visitors, on arrival, need only to present a negative COVID-19 test taken a maximum of 72 hours at an accredited laboratory, before departure.
This has led to St Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands deciding to play their “Home” match in Curacao. The British Virgin Islands will meet Guatemala on 27th March, also at the Ergillo Hato Stadium.
Other countries which have gone the route of giving up their home matches are Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Canada, Aruba, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Panama, Anguilla, Dominica, Barbados, Turks and Caicos , St Lucia, Belize, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.
Apart from the Curacao venue, the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, along with the IMG Academy, Bradenton, also in Florida, the Inter Miami Stadium in Miami, and the Estadio Felix Sanchez and the Panamericano, both in Santo Domingo, are the other neutral venues for the qualifying matches set for 24th to 30th March.
Curacao will host five matches and the Dominican Republic will be the venue for eight matches