The question is, “Will you be there?” Officials of the St. Kitts-Nevis Football Association have been asking the fans to come out in numbers to secure the home field advantage – the “12th man” on the team. They want the fans in national colours, waving the flag, pushing the team, encouraging the players, because it is a very important encounter.
There is no doubt that the team has had tremendous support in its preparation. Training has been relentless, and was stepped up a notch with their training camp in Mexico. Coach Jacques Passy said the team is in “excellent” shape, as ready as they could be mentally for the encounter.
General Secretary Stanley Jacobs said it was a long journey for the team when he spoke at a press conference held today at Football House. He said, “We started several months ago with our preparation leading up to this World Cup qualifier, and we are quite pleased with the progress.”
The game is historic for St. Kitts and Nevis, because for the first time we come up against a team from Central America, and a team whose pedigree can boast of being to the World Cup twice. So we are the underdogs, with a good fighting chance to make our mark, and that is why SKNFA President Anthony Johnson would like a positive outcome.
He told the media, “Our aim is to advance beyond this World Cup qualifier. In order to do so, it is important that we beat El Salvador. That is our first mission on Thursday night.” And among the expectations of the encounter with El Salvador is an improvement in the team’s FIFA ranking. In fact, Johnson wants the country’s ranking to drop below the 100 mark.
“That is significant because for us to get our players into the European market, the ranking will have to be, at least, below one hundred and in fact below seventy-five,” Johnson explained.
On the part of Coach Jacques Passy tomorrow night will be a “huge experience” for the team. “It’s our goal to create one of the most important games in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Passy.
Another benefit the president said is the exposure that St. Kitts and Nevis will get during the encounter, as media houses from El Salvador are now in the Federation, but more importantly is the presence of Traffic Sports that will transmit the match live to millions of people around the world.