CONCACAF announces League of Nations

Cayman to benefit from more national team matches

The Cayman Islands National Men’s Football Team is set to see more regular competition following the announcement that the CONCACAF League of Nations will begin next year.

CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football announced its Council’s approval of the competition on 16 November at a meeting in Miami. It is designed to maximise the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all 41 CONCACAF member associations. The announcement comes following a year-long development and consultation process involving the Member Associations and key stakeholders, CONCACAF officials said in a statement.

The new League of Nations will be based on a league structure. All 41 CONCACAF Member Associations will be included, divided in three different leagues, based on their sporting level, with a champion to be crowned at the end of each edition. To seed Member Associations into their respective leagues, the League of Nations will begin with a preliminary series of matches played across four different dates beginning in September 2018.

Further details about the schedule and structure are to be unveiled by early next year.

“The new tournament will bring meaningful home and away matches featuring competition for League titles and performance prizes, and will include promotion and relegation within the system of three leagues,” CONCACAF stated.

National teams will also contend via the League of Nations structure for the right to play international championships such as the Gold Cup. Additionally, the League of Nations will inform a CONCACAF ranking system that will be used as the basis for future World Cup qualifying seeding.

“This is a watershed moment for CONCACAF. By focusing on football to provide all our teams with year-round, quality competition, the League of Nations platform means everyone wins,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani. “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.”

Officials said they have worked with Member Associations over the past year to develop a competition for national teams, with the goal of improving the quality and standing of football within the CONCACAF region.

“The process for developing this new competition, anchored on the key principle of providing more meaningful games to all CONCACAF Member Associations’ national teams in order to increase competitiveness and leverage value intrinsic in the national team platform, entailed extensive consultation and discussions with all key CONCACAF stakeholders,” the statement said.

This new development is a reflection of the ONE CONCACAF vision of President Montagliani. It allows CONCACAF nations that haven’t historically been top performers to benefit from a wider window of opportunity, not only for competitive matches but for gaining access to top level international competitions. That increased participation is expected to spur regional development, and keep the dream of international football alive year-round for more nations.

The Cayman Islands national team last played in 2015 during the early stages of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when they drew two matches against Belize. Cayman languishes near the bottom of the international rankings at 202 of 211 nations. Only the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Bahamas rank lower among CONCACAF members.

Click here for further details about the CONCACAF League of Nations.


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