Guatemala national team invited to the Gold Cup as an emergency

Guatemala in the match in which it was eliminated against Guadalupe on penalty kicks.
Photo: Courtesy @GoldCup
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Guatemala will replace the Curaçao soccer team at the last minute in the Gold Cup due to the fact that several of its members tested positive for COVID-19 and will debut on Sunday against El Salvador, announced the Concacaf.

The agency said in a statement that despite the fact that several players returned with negative results, "local laws require that several of them isolate themselves because they are close contacts of those who tested positive.", so the "Concacaf and the Curaçao Football Federation have mutually agreed that Curaçao will not participate in the Gold Cup".

Instead, Guatemala was invited because it is "the next best qualified team in the Preliminary Round" of the tournament that brings together in this final phase 16 teams of the North and Central American Football Confederation and that were organized into four groups.

Based on the performance of the Guatemalan team and "according to the regulations of the Gold Cup, The Council of Concacaf has unanimously approved an emergency proposal for Guatemala to replace Curaçao in Group A ”for which it will face El Salvador on Sunday, although the Central Americans' match against Curaçao was scheduled for Saturday but the delay forced the change.

The well-known Guatemalan soccer player, former selected and member of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Carlos “the little fish” Ruíz bitterly criticized the decision of the soccer authorities in his country.

“For dignity, some of us would not go to the Gold Cup, but the Fedefut does not know about that ", The former soccer player said in a tweet that turned on the network due to the decision of the sports authorities and whose position was taken up by the newspaper Prensa Libre in his country.

“The first match of the Group Stage of the Guatemala Gold Cup against El Salvador will be played on Sunday, 11 July at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas”, assured the Concacaf before securing the details.

The pandemic has forced all teams participating in this summer's Gold Cup in the United States to follow strict health and safety protocols, including COVID-19 testing.

Group A is also made up of Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago; group B: U.S, Glen, Haiti and Martinique; in the C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Guadeloupe and in the D: Honduras, Panama, Granada and the guest Qatar that next year will host the World Cup.

The preliminary phase was played at Fort Laudardale and Orlando stadiums in Florida, this phase in dallas, Frisco y Kansas, then in the next they will play in Houston, Austin, Arlington y Glendale. The final will be in Las Vegas, according to organizers.