BFA hoping Stadium can host international matches
The Barbados Football Association (BFA) is hoping that the National Stadium is capable of hosting more than the Digicel Premier League.
With the league set to kick-off on Sunday at the Waterford venue, BFA president Randy Harris said he has high hopes the newly improved outfield at the Stadium will also be able to host the upcoming preliminary rounds for both the World Cup and the Olympic competitions.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY this afternoon, Harris said both the Stadium’s outfield and lighting had been recently upgraded.
He revealed a CONCACAF official was already on the island to carry out checks and to evaluate the Stadium’s state of readiness for hosting the Olympic matches.
The preliminary rounds for the World Cup are slated to begin on March 28, with the Olympic qualifying matches set to follow.
“A lot of work has been done on the outfield and it is a completely different one to the field which footballers played on last year.
“Work has also been done on the lighting, which was also a problem. At this time the lighting is somewhat better, but there is still some work to be completed,” Harris explained.
“However, I’m still confident that the Stadium will pass the test which will allow us to host those international competitions.”
The BFA boss disclosed that Kensington Oval was also been discussed as a possible venue to host those international matches.
Barbados is set to face Guyana to officially signal the start of the new season and Harris said that match would be used to gauge how ready the venue was.
Speaking on the new season, he said the BFA had been preparing for kickoff since last year, and were expecting a smooth season.
However, Harris did reveal that one major disappointment was the fact that construction at their Wildey AstroTurf had not been completed for the start of the season.
“We have been preparing for the new season for a while, but I am a bit disappointed that we weren’t able to complete the construction in Wildey,” he admitted.
“We have some bleachers there that seat 1845 people and we were really hoping that things would have been ready.
“We expect though that by the end of March, middle of April that construction will be completed, and we will be able to hold some matches there,” Harris added.
He also revealed that the BFA had made a conscious effort to ensure all clubs would be paid their prize monies from the 2014 season.
The opening ceremony commences with a parade of teams at 4 p.m., followed by an address from Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley and the match between Barbados and Guyana at 7 p.m.