CONCACAF: New tourney to benefit Caribbean nations coming
MIAMI, Florida (CMC):
CONCACAF is seeking to help resolve an issue that has plagued the development of the game in the region.
The governing body for the game in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean will launch a new Nations League competition next September that will feature all 41 members.
CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani said the format will be similar to the UEFA Nations League in Europe, and it will help to alleviate the challenge of regular competitive action that many Caribbean nations face.
"This new tournament is highly beneficial to all our member associations and fans everywhere, since it provides significant opportunities to play important competitive matches with increased regularity throughout the year," Montagliani told the Reuters news agency.
"The biggest difference between our Nations League and the UEFA is that their nations were already playing a significant number of games ... But for us, it is to allow our countries to play a minimum number of games over a four-year window.
"Our bigger countries have the capacity to do that, but our system was, in my opinion, archaic, and you had countries who were playing four to six games in a four-year period. It is kind of hard then to develop football in any capacity."
The national teams taking part in the tournament are expected to be split into three divisions, based on their "sporting level" with promotion and relegation. It will also serve as a qualifying route to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Montigliani said that the new tournament had already been warmly welcomed by presidents of national associations, many of which have never featured in the FIFA World Cup Finals and struggle to organise and finance friendly matches.
They all agree, however, that there was serious need for matches in order to help their national teams progress and CONCACAF will ensure that they all have the resources to feature in the competition.
Details of the tournament are expected to be to be rolled out in February.