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Thursday, February 25, 2021
NBCUniversal to Broadcast Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

NBCUniversal is to broadcast a record 1,200 hours of coverage of this year's Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

More than 200 hours of television coverage from the Games is set to be shown across NBC, NBCSN, and the Olympic Channel.

There will also be coverage on NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock, live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies on NBCSN, and live streaming on NBC Sports digital platforms.

The primetime coverage will not include live sport but will instead feature the top moments and stories from the Games, as well as interviews with American athletes.

NBCSN, NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app, and Peacock will all broadcast live sport, while the Olympic Channel is to show additional original hours and extensive replays.

Coverage is also to include accessibility features such as closed captioning and video description services.

Additional programming details will be announced at a later date.

"We are proud to be America’s long-term home of the Paralympics, and Tokyo will mark new heights in our coverage and storytelling," said NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel.

"We are committed to growing our coverage across our platforms and bringing to the American audience the extraordinary achievements of Para athletes well into the future, a vision shared by our Paralympic partners - Toyota, Nike, Eli Lilly, and United Healthcare."

NBCUniversal also committed to a full six months of promotion for the upcoming Paralympics, scheduled to run from August 24th to September 5th after being postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This will include an ongoing series of "Get to Know Team USA" on social and digital platforms and the coverage of the US Paralympic team trials on June 27th.

There will also be an additional promotion of the Paralympics during NBCUniversal's coverage of the Olympic Games.

"NBCUniversal’s commitment to the coverage and promotion of the Tokyo Paralympic Games and US Paralympic Team is truly something to celebrate," said United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland.

"This is a great reflection of our combined pledge to creating a path to parity for the Paralympic movement while bringing the incredible feats of our Para athletes into more American homes than ever before."

NBC Olympics recently announced plans for its first live morning broadcast of an Olympic Opening Ceremony from Tokyo.

Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States.

This will mean coverage will begin at 8 am Bermuda Time on NBC, with the ceremony scheduled for 8 pm local time in Tokyo on July 24th.

NBC has previously received criticism for airing Opening Ceremonies and competitions at the Olympic Games on tape delays, which are aimed at ensuring primetime coverage in each time zone in the country.

NBC has confirmed the Tokyo Opening Ceremony will be replayed to allow viewers to watch in primetime.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Bermuda to Face Canada in Florida

Canada’s bid to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022 will begin next month in Orlando.

Canada Soccer announced on Tuesday that the men’s side will face Bermuda at Exploria Stadium on March 25th in the first of four first-round qualifying matches for Les Rouges in the revamped CONCACAF World Cup qualifying format. The Bermuda match is considered a home contest and was supposed to be played on Canadian soil, but pandemic-related travel restrictions forced the game to be staged in the U.S.

Exploria Stadium, home to MLS side Orlando City and NWSL side Orlando Pride, is where the Canadian Women’s team is currently competing at the 2021 SheBelieves Cup.

Canada is ranked 73rd in the FIFA world rankings. Bermuda is 169th.

“Canada Soccer continues to prioritize the safety for all of our players and staff throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Canada Soccer General Secretary Peter Montopoli said in a statement.

“Canada Soccer’s established International COVID-19 Travel Protocols will be adhered to for the hosting of this all-important home match for our Men’s National Team in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar™ Qualifiers. In addition, the game will be staged in accordance with the FIFA International Match Protocols supported by the relevant public health requirements in Orlando.”

CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying format was altered last July due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new set-up divides 30 teams, including Canada, into six groups of five with the group winners advancing to a six-team second round. Teams who advance to the second round will fight for a chance to join a final qualifying round of eight nations, three of which will earn berths to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. A fourth team will earn a spot in an inter-continental playoff with a World Cup berth at stake.

Canada’s last match came in a 1-0 loss to Iceland in an international friendly held in California on Jan. 15th, 2020. Canada was supposed to play a pair of games against Trinidad and Tobago last March in Langford, B.C., but those friendlies were called off due the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, February 22, 2021
AIBA Host Continental Forum for Americas Region

Representatives from 36 countries including Bermuda attended the AIBA Continental Forum for America, which was organized virtually this year because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic situation.

The AIBA leadership and the National Federations of the continent discussed a number of pivotal issues, including reforms, new AIBA Committees and the competition calendar, a development plan for National Federations, a Communication strategy, a report from the legal group; they also held an anti-doping seminar with the ITA’s Head of Testing, Matteo Vallini.

AIBA president Umar Kremlev claimed that the intention of the continent to improve is 'incredible'.

"I saw a lot of engagement of American National Federations' representatives, even virtually. I am very happy with their eagerness to follow the way of reforms, to support AIBA, and improve themselves. I appreciate their enthusiasm and fresh ideas, which were discussed. I am sure that soon we will see distinct and even more powerful America on the boxing map," Kremlev said.

Brian Lewis, the president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) delivered a speech about governance transformation and post-COVID-19 opportunities and challenges.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Bermuda to Host Aruba & 2 Practice Matches Announced

During the Islandstats.com Football Show, President of the Bermuda Football Association Mark Wade gave several updates, including the Local Game and the International matches.

Wade indicated that Bermuda’s first World Cup Qualifier against Canada will be played on March 25th, the venue will be announced no later than Tuesday, while, the Bermuda vs. Aruba match will take place at the National Sports Center on March 30th.

Wade also indicated that the Bermuda Men’s National Senior team will be off to the IMG Academy facility to play two friendly matches in early March.

On the local front, Wade said, “Football is at the mercy of the Ministry of Health, as to when we can get started, but our constitution allows us to finish the season at the end of April, we may have to go back to congress to get approval to finish later than the date.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
BFA President Encouraged by CFU Development

Caribbean Football Union (CFU) President Randy Harris says that the revamped Caribbean Club Championship could see an increase in qualifying spots for some countries as CONCACAF moves towards implementing its new CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) competition format.

The regional governing body announced on February 4th that the CCL will be expanded to 50 teams, including 10 teams from the Caribbean competing in the group stage in 2023.

As a consequence of the new structure, the current version of the Caribbean Club Championship, which has been used as the qualifier for regional tournaments, will be retired in 2022, and a new cup competition launched to determine the qualifying teams, in addition to results from the domestic leagues.

Bermuda Football Association President Mark Wade said, “We have monitored the development of Concacaf Champions League closely and are encouraged by this latest development.

This is another opportunity for the development of players on a club level. Bermuda clubs have participated in previous iterations of the regional club championship. Most recently North Village and Somerset Cricket Club.

I would encourage all clubs to participate if they become eligible.”
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