CONCACAF to adopt with League of Nations format for member countries | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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CONCACAF to adopt with League of Nations format for member countries

November 16, 2017 - 2:41 PM

TORONTO - CONCACAF has approved a "League of Nations" format for play within the 41-country confederation that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

In essence, it creates a three-tiered league which the confederation says will "maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches" of its members.

The competition will be used as qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and to determine seeding in World Cup qualifying.

CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, a Canadian, calls it a "watershed moment" for the confederation.

Europe has already announced similar plans for the UEFA Nations League.

While more details are expected in early 2018, CONCACAF says a preliminary series of matches played across four different dates beginning next September will be used to seed its member associations into their respective leagues.

The leagues will have promotion and relegation.

Canada is currently ranked 10th in CONCACAF and 96th in the world. The teams above it in the region are Mexico, Costa Rica, the U.S., Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and Curacao.

The European plan calls for 55 national teams divided into four leagues based on October 2017 rankings.

The top-tier League A features Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Croatia and the Netherlands.

The bottom league is home to minnows like the Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar.

With Europe opting for the league, the pool of available teams for friendlies is considerably diminished. CONCACAF says its calendar will still allow for a "limited" opportunity for international friendlies.

League of Nation games will only be played during FIFA international windows.

CONCACAF says the new format will provide "quality football" for larger members. For smaller ones, it will offer more opportunities to play.

Saint-Martin, it notes, played in just two competitive matches from 2014 to 2016.

Canada, which during some recent international windows has played just one game, should benefit by getting more matches as well as a chance to test itself regularly against teams it will have to beat to qualify for the World Cup.

Of course, its opposition will get the same benefits. And the format could make for more travel for its players based overseas.


Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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