ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The Antigua night sky and trade winds, fireworks, dancers, a fire-throwing limbo dancer and soca artiste Tian Winter set the stage for the firstever draw for the 2016 Men’s Caribbean Cup since the competition began in 1989. The event was held poolside at Sugar Ridge Resort. Veteran sportscaster Lance Whittaker from SportsMax and Kirsy Rijo Charles Kullman, who performed bilingual duties, presided over the draw.
The four CFU teams still in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ™ Qualifiers – Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – received a bye from Round 1.
The seven-group Round 1 is as follows:-
Group 1 Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and Aruba
Group 2 Grenada, St. Maarten and United States Virgin Islands (USVI)
Group 3 Cuba, Bermuda and French Guiana
Group 4 Barbados, Curacao and the Dominican Republic
Group 5 Guyana, Puerto Rico and Anguilla
Group 6 Guadeloupe, St Martin and Suriname
Group 7 Martinique, British Virgin Islands and Dominica
Round 1 will be played from March 21-29; Round 2 May 15-21; Round 3 October 3-11; Fifth Place Playoff November 7-15; and the finals are scheduled for May 2017.
CFU General Secretary Neil Cochrane showed off his lighter side as the master of ceremonies for an audience that included CONCACAF Acting General Secretary Ted Howard, CFU President Gordon Derrick and his Executive Committee Members, as well as the presidents and general secretaries of the CFU Member Associations, Hon. Minister of Sports in Antigua and Barbuda EP Chet Greene, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Sports Senator Colin James and FIFA presidential candidates Jérôme Champagne and HRH Prince Ali Al Hussein.