February 8, 2013 | 1:57 pm | Print
Above: the opening ceremony of the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in Nassau last year (BIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Bahamas will host an exhibition football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz on May 23.
The match will be played at the Bahamas’ newly-constructed Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, which was built by the government of China.
It will be one of the first major events at the 15,000-seat stadium.
“We are delighted to accept an invitation from the government of The Bahamas to take part in the country’s 40th anniversary celebrations,” said Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy. “This match will see the Club support the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, as it looks to build its profile across key markets around the world as a leading destination for tourism.”
It’s a major lift for a country that has been working in recent years to boost its profile in sports tourism. Also this year, the country will host its first-ever LPGA tournament at the Ocean Club golf course.
“The Bahamas Football Association is delighted to welcome Tottenham Hotspur and the Jamaican national team to The Bahamas,” said Anton Sealy, president of the Bahamas Football Association. “We will be working closely with Tottenham Hotspur ahead of this match to help us develop football across the islands. We’re confident that the Club will enjoy its experience here and in turn attract other Premier League Clubs who seek a warm and friendly place to train and prepare their squads.”
Jamaica, which is seeking to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, will play Mexico the week after the Bahamas match.
The stadium is named after Bahamian sporting legend Thomas A Robinson, who passed away in November 2012.