As football fans gear-up for the Digicel Caribbean Championships, Digicel, proud sponsor of Caribbean Football, is leaving “no stone unturned” in making sure that the Cayman football experience is thrilling!

Cayman is set to be full of excitement, when football matches of world-class standard are unveiled at the Truman Bodden Sports complex in Grand Cayman from August 27-31, 2008, in the largest ever Digicel Caribbean Championships showdown. The slogan for this year’s tournament is “Life. Passion. Football!

The Digicel Caribbean Championships, formerly known as the Digicel Caribbean Cup, started in May 2004 when the telecoms company announced its sponsorship of the games. In partnership with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and 14 federations across the region, the tournament has grown to be the largest world-class football tournament in the Caribbean on par with other international tournaments. In 2007, Haiti emerged as the champions.

The prize pool of US$270,000.00 is the largest to date, with 21 regional teams competing for the grand prize of a whopping US$120,000.00 and the coveted DCC trophy. Second, third and fourth places will receive US$70,000, US$50,000 and US$30,000 respectively. The top four teams will automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Cayman’s team, which is currently in training, will compete against three of the most aggressive teams: Bermuda, St. Martin, Antigua and Barbuda during Stage 1 ? Group C matches.

Digicel and the Cayman Islands Football Association (C.I.F.A.) have proclaimed their relentless support to make the Cayman Islands, which is one of 10 specially selected host countries, deliver full action, fun and excitement to Cayman’s growing football masses.

The pre-game action started with the Digicel Kids Clinic on Friday August 15th and continues on Monday August 25th, 2008. Female enthusiasts between ages 5-13 years old got the opportunity to be coached by young Caymanian football National Team star, Shakeena Bush on August 15th. On August 25th, Cayman’s young talents of both males and females between the ages of 6-12 years old, will be coached by the Cayman Islands Senior National Football team at the George Hicks High School football field.

The six DCC Group C matches will be played over the course of three days beginning on Wednesday August 27 with two matches: Bermuda vs. Antigua & Barbuda and Cayman vs. St. Martin. The competition continues on Friday August 29 when Antigua & Barbuda plays. St. Martin and Cayman plays Bermuda. The DCC Group C showdown ends on Sunday August 31 with St. Martin vs. Bermuda and Cayman vs. Antigua & Barbuda.

The winners of Group C in the Cayman Islands will progress to stage 2 destined for Guadeloupe, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago. The finals are set to kick-off in Jamaica in December. All games will be televised in delayed broadcast across the region.

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