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Digicel, the best value operator in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, has once again partnered with Caribbean Cup Inc. for the 20th staging of the Digicel Caribbean Cup New York. This marks Digicel’s third year of sponsorship, which has provided key financial support and facilitated player development.

Digicel Diaspora General Manager, Valerie Estimé, said: “Football is the most popular sport in the islands and Caribbean nationals living in New York have carried this love and enthusiasm for the game with them. Digicel is delighted to be partnering with Caribbean Cup Inc. for the third year in staging this event, which has become a mainstay on the calendar of football fans and is a source of fun and unity among the competing teams and their passionate supporters.”

Ms. Estimé added: “Digicel continues to be supportive of football development within the Diaspora communities as well as in all our markets worldwide. Through Digicel’s support, which ranges from grassroots training to professional leagues and competitions, many aspiring and professional footballers continue to realise their dreams and benefit from programmes geared at preparing them for performance at the very highest levels.”

The Digicel Caribbean Cup New York has become increasingly significant to the Diaspora as it gives the players an opportunity to be drafted for play in professional European leagues, a condition which Caribbean Cup Inc. President, Fred Ballantyne, says has improved the standard of play during the tournament.

Mr. Ballantyne explains further that the competition has grown in popularity since Digicel’s dedicated support. As such, it is now open to more teams, with additional games scheduled this season.

We have even greater expectations for the 2011 season of the Digicel Caribbean Cup New York as we will now have 14 teams competing and fans will be treated to an additional 12 games.”

He further explains: “We need all the assistance we can get to make sure that our players get the necessary support to further their development and to ensure that fans can enjoy some great displays of Caribbean football talent. Digicel’s sponsorship has been vital to our operations over the years.”

{FILE IMAGE} "Customers can go into any one of over 100,000 retail stores in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States and purchase Digicel top-up or send Digicel minutes to friends and relatives in their home country."

Defending champions Jamaica will be seeking to reclaim their title – and cop the US$10,000 prize purse – against 13 other teams from across the Caribbean and South America including East Zone members: Barbados, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago and West Zone members: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia.

This year’s staging kicks off with a three-match opener on Sunday May 15th at 2:30 p.m. at the Jefferson High School football field, Brooklyn when Columbia faces Trinidad and Tobago in the opening match. Dominica and Guyana will battle at 4:15 p.m. followed by the day’s final match at 6:00 p.m. between Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Thereafter, fans can enjoy 16 consecutive weeks of exciting football each Sunday afternoon until the finals on Sunday September 4th. Fans will also have the chance to participate in several exciting Digicel promotions during the season.

Opening day admission is US$10, with tickets for the preliminary round priced at US$8 each. Entry into play-off matches on Sunday August 14th, 21st and 28th will be US$10 per match, while it will cost US$15 to enjoy the grand finale featuring the third place and championship games on Sunday September 4th.

Digicel has been involved in a wide range of football initiatives designed to support the development of football in the Caribbean and Central America over the last six years. Digicel sponsors 17 football federations and leagues, as well as the Digicel Caribbean Cup and the Copa de Naciones Digicel in Central America.

Digicel currently offers a range of innovative products and services to Caribbean and Central American nationals living in the Diaspora, including online top-up – where customers can log on to any Digicel website and top up or send minutes to people back home; retail top-up – where customers can go into any one of over 100,000 retail stores in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States and purchase Digicel top-up or send Digicel minutes to friends and relatives in their home country; and Digicel calling cards – where customers can call friends and family in Haiti and Jamaica at competitive rates.

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