New Format For The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup

September 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football [Concacaf] announced a new format for the 2021 edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Concacaf said, “Concacaf has announced an exciting new format for the 2021 edition of the Concacaf Gold Cup, and the introduction of a first ever draw for the prestigious regional tournament.

“The new set-up for Concacaf’s flagship competition will include a Preliminary Round prior to the 16 team Group Stage. The Preliminary Round will include 12 Member Associations competing for the final three spots in the Group Stage. It will be played as a direct elimination format, from July 2nd to July 6th, in a centralized location in the United States.

Concacaf New Format Bermuda Sept 2020

“Additionally, a major change to the Knockout Phase, which follows the Group Stage, will see teams on opposite sides of the bracket meet from the Quarterfinals onwards. In previous Gold Cups, teams have only competed against opponents on the same side of the bracket until the Final. This change will provide more unpredictability and excitement to the competition, which was expanded from 12 to 16 teams for a hugely successful 2019 edition.

“As part of the Confederation’s focus on continuing to deliver a football first philosophy, and to add more anticipation for fans across the region, a first ever Gold Cup draw will take place on September 28th, 2020. Both the Preliminary Round and the Group Stage will be drawn at the event, further details for which will follow in the coming weeks.

“An initial 12 teams booked their place in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage, which will commence on July 10th, 2021, through their performances in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League [CNL].

“They include the winners and runners-up in CNL League A groups, and the winners of CNL League B groups, including Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Suriname and USA.

“The 12 teams will be joined in the group stage by AFC Asian Cup Champions, Qatar, who will compete as a guest as part of a major collaboration between Concacaf and the host country of the FIFA World Cup 2022™.

Gold Cup Preliminary Round

“The Preliminary Round will comprise the 12 national teams who qualified through their CNL performances, including the third placed teams from League A groups, the second placed teams from League B groups, and the winners of League C groups.

“Those teams are Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

“After a knockout format involving the 12 national teams, the remaining three teams at the end of the Preliminary Round will qualify for the Gold Cup Group Stage.

“The Concacaf Gold Cup continues to grow as a competition and we are hugely excited at the prospect of the 2021 edition, particularly as it falls in the Confederation’s 60th anniversary year,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani.

“A new format which provides more excitement for fans allows us to build on a very successful 2019 edition, which included competitive football and great stories. I also believe that having a draw for this competition is a long time coming and fits with our objective to be a truly football first organization. It will provide great anticipation for fans as they look forward to the return of international football in our region.

“We know from last year’s Gold Cup, and the compelling inaugural Concacaf Nations League group stage, that the standards of men’s international football continue to rise in our Confederation.

“I am very confident we will see more of the same in the new Preliminary Round for Gold Cup 2021. With the matches scheduled so close to the group stage it will be a highly competitive and entertaining set of games and I can’t wait to see it unfold.”

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