PANAMA CITY, Panama (November 14, 2012) – FIFA World Cup and European champion Spain visited Panama in an historic match Wednesday before an enthusiastic crowd at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium.
Panama’s First Lady, Honourable Marta Linares de Martinelli, presented the V Centenario Cup to the Spanish National Team that defeated Panama 5-1 in the friendly match. The emblematic trophy was offered by the Prince of Asturias and commemorates the fifth century of the Pacific Ocean discovery.
Prior to kick-off, CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb presented a gift to PANDEPORTES’s Director, Javier F. Tejeira, for his contributions to football in Panama. He also honored Mexican referee Mauricio Morales with a medal of recognition for his legacy as international referee on the day of his last match. Morales officiated his first international game on May 8, 2000, and has enjoyed more than a decade as a FIFA official.
“We are once again honored by the Spanish delegation’s presence and are delighted that Panama has hosted them in Central America,” said President Webb. “It was a fantastic game that served to meet two of our primary objectives: develop football in CONCACAF and foster true passion for the game. This match against the FIFA World Champion reinforces those principles.”
This is Spain’s fifth trip to the CONCACAF region in slightly more than two years to face one of this region’s national teams. Since August 2010, Spain has met Mexico in Mexico City, the United States in Foxboro, Costa Rica in San Jose and, most recently, posted a narrow 2-1 victory over Puerto Rico in Bayamon.
Panama has progressed to the last stage FIFA World Cup qualifying. Last week, it learned of its Hexagonal schedule at the draw in Miami. The Panamanians, who are looking to make their first appearance at the world finals in Brazil, will open the final round at home against Costa Rica on February 6.