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Guyana’s senior national men’s football team, the Golden Jaguars, will embark on a historic trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for two international friendlies in March. The announcement was made by Wayne Forde, President of the Guyana Football Federation, on Thursday at the Federation’s headquarters in Georgetown.

Under the guidance of Jamaal Shabazz, the Golden Jaguars will face Cabo Verde on March 21 and Cambodia on March 26, with both matches scheduled at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah.

According to the latest FIFA rankings, Cabo Verde is ranked 65th, Guyana 157th, and Cambodia 179th.

Forde expressed excitement about the upcoming matches in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the enthusiasm among local stakeholders, especially the team members. These games mark the beginning of a new FIFA initiative approved by the FIFA Council in 2023, which aims to host matches across six confederations every even-numbered year.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers a unique experience, particularly for our players. The environment will be very different from what they’re used to in the Confederation of Concacaf. We hope they take this opportunity to showcase their skills and attract the attention of clubs in Saudi Arabia and other scouts,” Forde stated.

He praised Shabazz for his achievements in the Concacaf Nations League, where he led Guyana to promotion to League A.

“We are looking forward to the start of the World Cup qualifiers in June and the Nations League in September. Our focus is on arranging more international friendlies and scouting new talent to strengthen our programme as we aim for 2026,” Forde added.

Shabazz expressed his excitement about the team’s participation in the FIFA Series, emphasizing the historical significance of playing in the Middle East for the first time and the importance of evaluating the team’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the World Cup campaign.

The inaugural FIFA Series is designed to enable football nations to compete against teams outside their confederation, promoting greater international football interaction and contributing to global football development. The pilot edition will feature 20 member associations playing across four locations on three continents, with Algeria, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, and Sri Lanka hosting the first FIFA Series.

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