CONCACAF Announces Match-ups for Champion’s League Play 2018

SOUTH FLORIDA – On Wednesday March 7, CONCACAF, (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) held its draw to determine the preliminary match-ups for the inaugural CONCACAF League of Nations scheduled to begin play in September 2018.

All 41 member CONCACAF organizations will be taking part in Champion’s League Play which will be tiered into 3 different groups (Group A,B,C) commensurate with the individual team’s level of competition.

35 of those teams took place in the draw; the six teams who advanced to the final round of qualifying for this year’s World Cup, automatically received byes from first round play.  Those teams have been placed into Group A (the top tier of the Champion’s League).  Three of the six teams Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama are representing CONCACAF in the upcoming World Cup, scheduled for June.

Notable among other Group A contestants are Jamaica and Haiti, both regional powerhouses.

The draw was held at Temple House, a prestigious venue adjacent to South Beach’s residential district.  It boasted in its attendance, representatives from all 41 of CONCACAF’s member associations.

CONCACAF Announces Match-ups for Champion’s League Play 2018CONCACAF’s President Victor Montagliani espoused confidently that the new League of Nations will allow CONCACAF Football to develop to the level that will pull it abreast of anyone else in the world.

The League of Nations replaces the previous system of international friendlies.  One of its functions will be to help alleviate some of the difficulties, both financial and logistical that many teams experienced in securing meaningful (friendly) competition.  The preliminary stage, slated to begin in September of this year, will boast a total of 68 games.

Games will be contested in September, October, November 2018, with the final series of first round match-ups being held in March of 2019.

Within CONCACAF there has been widespread praise for the new tournament.  Vice President Philippe Moggio is confident that the tournament aligns itself with CONCACAF’s four core principles; UNITY, FOOTBALL, ACCESS, and QUALITY.

President of Grenada’s Football Association Cheney Joseph believes that the new tournament is good for Grenadian Football, however he wished that Grenada had been higher in the rankings.  “I wished we were considered higher up in the ranking, as I don’t think it was the best draw one could have wanted… as you know we are a passionate people in Grenada and would probably would have preferred to have Curacao at home rather than French St Martin.  Curacao is an emerging powerhouse especially with their ability to attract players within their diaspora, many Europe based. “We are away to Curacao, then we go home for Cuba, home against French St Martin and then away to Puerto Rico, and it’s not easy in my opinion”.

St Kitts and Nevis’s Football Associated president Anthony Johnson is happy with his team’s draw.

“We are very satisfied as we have both Puerto Rico and Canada at home in St Kitts and then we travel to Suriname and French St Martin, so it was a competitive draw and we expect to be fully prepared for the tournament and we expect good results,” he said.

The Kittitian noted that already excitement is building in his country at the prospect of hosting high-quality competitive matches on a more consistent basis, a rarity in the past.

“I know that the public is excited and they will become more aware about the details in the coming days, and I think the excitement will increase given particularly the countries we will be playing against on home soil.

“I expect the public to come and support us… we have already confirmed a game against the Dominican Republic on the 25th of March and we are in discussion with a number of other countries, and we expect an announcement very shortly on a game on home soil in April — and we hope that will be against one of the top countries in the region,” Johnson ended.


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