By Rawle ToneyWITH just one month to go before Guyana kick off their 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago, president of the Guyana Football Federation (CFF), Wayne Forde is worried that current guidelines set by the National COVID-19 Task Force will be a bugbear for the country’s preparation plans.Forde, appearing on NCN’s Guyana Today show yesterday, said while football in some parts of the world has returned under strict protocols by FIFA and the respective health officials, locally it’s a contrasting story.“Absolutely nothing is taking place because nothing can take place until such time that we have the approval and the guidance and protocols from the Ministry of Health and COVID-19 Task Force,” Forde said during an appearance on NCN’s Guyana Today TV show yesterday.Golden Jaguars were drawn in Group F in the CONCACAF zone of the 2022 Qatar World Cup Qualifier, alongside Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and The Bahamas.GFF president Wayne FordeAccording to CONCACAF’s schedule for their leg of the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers, Golden Jaguars are set to travel to Trinidad and Tobago on October 8, where they will kick-off their campaign against the Soca Warriors.Following their game in the Twin Island Republic, Guyana will return home to play The Bahamas on Tuesday, October 13.On November 13, Guyana will travel to St Kitts & Nevis for their third game then host Puerto Rico on November 17.However, while most of the Jaguars’ overseas-based players have returned to action in their respective leagues, local football has been at a standstill since the pandemic in March, or, as ib the case of the GFF Elite League, since March of 2019.According to Forde, the situation puts his federation at a bothersome position, adding that they will have to engage the National COVID-19 Task Force on how they can proceed, while still observing all protocols.Forde noted that both the game’s global body, FIFA and CONCACAF are closely monitoring the situation for the participating countries, while revealing that GFF has been providing “constant update to them, so I’m sure in a matter of days we’ll be formerly notified by the decisions of FIFA and CONCACAF that will help to mitigate what we anticipate will be a real problem, if we’re unable to prepare properly.”In a recent report in Chronicle Sport, Marcio Máximo, Golden Jaguars head coach related that he has been meeting virtually with members of GFF’s technical department, pointing out that along with coach Wilson Toledo and once Government gives the approval for sporting activities to resume, the local staff will immediately start the training.Guyana’s best performance at a FIFA World Cup qualifier tournament came in the run-up to the 2014 edition, where the Golden Jaguars had reached the penultimate round of the CONCACAF Zone.
The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) held on late to defeat the Illinois Fighting Illini (5-14, 1-7) in Champaign Wednesday night by a final score of 72–60. The Badgers staved off an Illini comeback to earn their second consecutive victory after beating No. 2 Michigan Saturday afternoon.In his post-game press conference on the Big Ten Network, Head Coach Greg Gard was happy to escape with a win after Illinois kept things interesting all night.Men’s basketball: Happ, Wisconsin stun No. 2 Michigan in front of sold-out Kohl CenterThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) upset No. 2 Michigan (17-1, 6-1) 64–54 at the Read…“They don’t call it an ugly win for no reason, but the bottom line is we got the victory,” Gard said.An “ugly win” is putting it lightly, as Wisconsin looked rough from the opening tip. Despite shooting 7-7 from the floor while holding Illinois to 6-14 shooting in the same stretch, the usually sure-handed Badgers had seven turnovers in the first nine minutes of the game. This allowed Illinois to keep it close, with the score sitting at 18–18 midway through the first half.Illinois maintained their defensive prowess throughout the first half, holding Wisconsin to 5-19 shooting and forcing three more turnovers, bringing the Badgers’ total to a season-high 10 first-half turnovers.Wisconsin got into foul trouble quickly in the second half with nine fouls in the first five minutes and 30 seconds, putting Illinois in the double bonus early. The Illini would pull within one at the 11 minute, 30 second mark in the second half with a score of 44–43. Despite the foul trouble and an additional six turnovers in the second half, the Badgers pulled away late to win 72–60.Men’s Basketball: Struggling Badgers look to clean things up before MarchThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (12-6, 4-3), fresh off a dramatic upset of No. 2 Michigan, is getting Read…The star of the game was again Ethan Happ, but for all the wrong reasons. The senior finished with a season-low nine points Wednesday, ending his consecutive 10-point game streak at 42 games — one short of the University of Wisconsin record held by Alando Tucker.In lieu of Happ’s unusual production on the offensive end, sophomore Nate Reuvers finished with a career-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds. Junior Khalil Iverson also filled the box score with 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. For Illinois, freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.Up next for the Badgers, they’ll take on the Northwestern Wildcats at the Kohl Center Saturday at 1:15 p.m. Catch the game on the Big Ten Network or the Badger Radio Network.