Sunday 20 September, 2020

Barbados Invitational Masters Football Classic 2020 cancelled, 2021 on

One international sporting event to be held for the second year in Barbados has been cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19.

Following the path of this summer’s Olympic Games and UEFA Euro championships, the Barbados Invitational Masters Football Classic (BIMFC), announced the cancellation of the 2020 tournament.

After an impressive kick-off last year, the organizers and sponsors delivered an exciting and thrilling debut performance over the 2019 Whitsun weekend.

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When the curtain came down at the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Wildey Turf, La Familia of Canada and Black Rock Masters of Barbados won the Over 40s and Over 50s divisions respectively.

Vice-Chairman of BIMFC, Trevor Thorne stated that all things were on stream and La Familia had already secured their passage to defend their title, along with some fellow Canadian clubs which included last year’s Over 50 runners-up Toronto Football Club of Friends (TFCOF).

Thorne said that along with the usual participants from England, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean, there were some other teams making their way to the island to make their debut in the tournament.

“More recently we did a drive to encourage more teams from different portions of the world to come.

"We were in conversation and had teams signing on the dotted line from out of Ireland, Czech Republic. We also have some connections out of Argentina and Brazil and those teams would’ve been able to make their debut in the 2020 tournament”, said Thorne.

Thorne said the increase in participants aligns with the organization’s objectives to grow the tournament yearly and according to him from the international interest from clubs and local sponsors, the tournament is developing step by step.

Despite the unfortunate decision, the organizers have taken an optimistic approach to the cancellation and said they are using the opportunity to secure things administratively.

“Having called off 2020, then it would be fool hearty if you didn’t start to plan from right away and that’s exactly what we did.

"As soon as we realized the cancellation was on the cards we started to put together a couple of meetings with our stakeholders just to reaffirm that 2021 is where we are going to make our next appearance and in doing so we were able to gain the confidence of those sponsors and partners”, Thorne said.

Thorne declared that many were disappointed about the cancellation, as they had completed their travel arrangements for the tournament, however, they have pledged their participation for next year’s event and this assurance has been echoed by sponsors and partners; BFA, the Rum Stop, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Banks Beer, Barbados General Insurance and Sandals Barbados Resorts.

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