Concacaf reported on Saturday that the selection of Cuba did not take part in the preliminary round of the 2021 Gold Cup, which is being held in Florida (US), due to coronavirus prevention protocols.
Cuba was scheduled to participate Saturday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale (Florida) against French Guiana, which automatically qualified for the second elimination of the preliminary round.
“CONCACAF is in constant contact with the Cuban Football Federation regarding its journey to the preliminary round of the Gold Cup,” the federation said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, due to travel issues related to COVID-19 and their visas, and the required covid-19 testing regime, tonight’s match against French Guiana will not take place,” he confirmed.
Concacaf concluded that “in light of the current public health situation and the continuing need to comply with protocols, the health and safety of participating teams cannot be compromised.”
According to the Miami Herald, the Cuban team was stranded on Friday in Nicaragua, where it had been training for a week for the preliminary round of the Gold Cup.
The newspaper pointed out that this situation came as a result of complications in obtaining a visa to enter the United States, a process that has been slowed and restricted due to the health context resulting from the pandemic.
In this way, French Guiana will face Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday for one of the three vacant spots in the Gold Cup, which begins on July 10.
Concacaf said the other two matches of the preliminary round scheduled for Saturday, Guadeloupe against the Bahamas and Guatemala against Guyana, will take place as planned.
In this preliminary round, 12 teams compete for the last three spots available for the group stage of the Gold Cup, which will take place from July 10 to August 1 at 11 stadiums in the United States.