(ABOVE) Action from the sold-out Estadio Cibao FC in the Liga Dominicana de Fútbol's inaugural game between Cibao FC and Atletico Vega Real on March 8, 2015, in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic – A filled-to-capacity Estadio Cibao FC was the site Sunday for the inauguration of the Liga Dominicana de Fútbol (LDF), the Dominican Republic’s first-ever fully professional league.
The historic event -- watched by a crowd of 6,000 at the newly-constructed venue on the grounds of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra – was attended by CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Sanz.
“Congratulations to the Dominican Football Federation after more than a decade of work on the inauguration of the LDF,” said Sanz. “It is a historic step not only for the island, but for the Caribbean and the entire Confederation. This is the beginning of a dream to further develop Dominican football, while taking it to the top level of competition.”
Inauguration speeches were made by Federacion Dominicana de Futbol (FDF) President Osiris Guzman, FIFA representative Gregory Englebrecht and Cibao FC President Manuel Estrella. The official kickoff for the match between host Cibao FC and Atlético Vega Real was presided over by Jaime David Fernandez, the Dominican Republic’s Minister of Sport.
"The Federación Dominicana de Fútbol feels elated that the country has joined the world of football,” said Guzman. “I want to acknowledge the efforts made by this university, along with a group of entrepreneurs, to make sure this project was achieved.”
In September 2014, CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb was present at a gala event in Santo Domingo held by the FDF at which he endorsed the new league’s launch. Nearly six months later, that vision was realized.
The 10-team LDF was created to lift and further develop football in the country.
The clubs participating in first campaign are: Atlantico FC, Atlético de San Cristobal, Atlético Vega Real, Barcelona Atlético, Bauger FC, Cibao FC, Delfines del Este FC, Moca FC, Pantoja FC and Universidad Dominicana O&M.
LIGA DOMINICANA DE FÚTBOL
Week 1 Results
Cibao FC 2, Atletico Vega Real 2
Atletico San Cristobal 3, Delfines del Este FC 0
Moca FC 0, Bauger FC 0
Barcelona Atletico 1, Atlantico FC 0
Atletico Pantoja 2, Universidad O&M 1
(ABOVE) CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Sanz (middle, right) and Federacion Dominicana de Futbol President Osiris Guzman (middle left) at the Liga Dominicana de Fútbol's inauguration ceremony on March 8, 2015, in Santiago, Dominican Republic.