CONCACAF League of Nations announced

Canada, Mexico, Saint Pierre & Miquelon, United States of America

CONCACAF League of Nations announced

Blue Lou
Joined: 21 Jan 2009, 04:52

16 Nov 2017, 21:03 #1

CONCACAF League of Nations Confirmed; Year-Round Unified Competition Platform for All 41 Confederation National Teams

New national team competition format to provide more quality, meaningful competition for all CONCACAF national teams; Schedule and structure to be unveiled by early 2018

Miami (Thursday, November 16, 2017) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today its Council’s approval of the CONCACAF League of Nations, a new national team competition platform designed to maximize 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. 

The new CONCACAF 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.

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. The Confederation’s 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.” 

CONCACAF has worked with its 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.  

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

Questions
 


What is the CONCACAF League of Nations?

The CONCACAF League of Nations is a new national team competition platform created to maximize the match dates presented within the FIFA international calendar. It has been designed to give the Confederation’s national teams the opportunity to compete on a more consistent basis, while opening the door to national team development for all.

Why has the CONCACAF League of Nations been created?

The CONCACAF League of Nations has been created to provide an avenue for more meaningful and quality football for all CONCACAF Member Associations, while uplifting the profile of national teams. In an era where the significance of friendlies has been reduced, the League of Nations will uplift the international game.

At the heart of the matter, the League of Nations is about uniting the Confederation through competition, while providing increased access to our game for fans and competitors.
Everybody wins.

What is the format?

The new CONCACAF 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.

What are League of Nations’ advantages?

The League of Nations will allow for CONCACAF Member Associations to create, cultivate and capitalize on a truly comprehensive national team development program through regular competition. Rather than many teams playing on a sporadic basis – maybe only competing in two matches during a World Cup Qualifying cycle and a handful of games in a regional tournament every two years -- they will play regularly. This will give Member Associations more time to work with their players, inspire the next generation of footballers and make the national team more visible to all stakeholders.

With amplified fan engagement, opportunities to create and build commercial relationships will become more plentiful.

For many smaller Member Associations, the League of Nations promises to offer needed opportunity among those that historically have lacked the tools and structure to develop at the national team level. The League of Nations will greatly increase the number of matches in a typical four-year cycle; in some cases, by a large factor. The tournament format facilitates an on-going national team project, instead of short-term World Cup qualifying series.

As examples, Saint-Martin played in two competitive matches – both in Caribbean qualifying for CONCACAF Gold Cup – from 2014-16. Thanks to the League Nations, that same Member Association will take part in 12-16 consequential encounters.

The same goes for the likes of Belize, which stands to increase from 14 competitive matches over the same period to 18-30.

Whole nations will keep the dream alive, participating in competitive international football year-round.

For larger Member Associations, the League of Nations will deliver quality football – uniting CONCACAF’s best -- in a structured format with significant performance prizes at stake.

Competitive balance is assured, as teams will play nations similar in strength. The League of Nations will consolidate the qualification process for international tournaments such as the Gold Cup, while also informing a CONCACAF ranking system that will be used as the basis for future World Cup Qualifying seeding.

All of this will result in a fairer, more balanced process.

Will this mean more demands on players?

The League of Nations is played only during available windows on the FIFA match calendar, so it will not create additional demands on players that compete internationally on a regular basis. For players from smaller nations whose national teams sometimes play infrequently, the competition will provide the platform for them to display their talents more consistently.

Is this the end of friendlies between CONCACAF teams and those from other confederations?

While the opportunities for friendlies within the FIFA international match calendar will be limited, there will still be space for these types of encounters. In broader terms, the League of Nations aligns CONCACAF with the general movement in the world of international football, away from low-stakes friendly matches.

Why is CONCACAF employing a system of promotion and relegation for the League of Nations?

CONCACAF understands that in the League of Nations format, promotion and relegation will serve as a significant motivating factor and reward element for continued improvement. Different from a club- or franchise-based system in which independent leagues may determine their own formats and structures based on local criteria, competitiveness will be enhanced in the League of Nations by the promise of promotion for top performing teams.

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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

17 Nov 2017, 12:24 #2

> What is the format?
>
> The new CONCACAF 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.


Could have done with a bit more detail here.  Presumably they have actually got that far.

41 into 3 divisions suggests 14 14 13, unless the divisions are to be made up of sub-groups.   The 3rd division, and possibly the 2nd division, are likely to run at a considerable loss.   Will this be fully subsidised by the top division?

Will CONCACAF's historical tactic of playing as many big games as possible in the USA still stand?
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

17 Nov 2017, 12:26 #3

It's also not clear whether this is going to replace World Cup qualifying.   It says it will be used as a ranking system for WCQ seeding (which suggests not), but in order to fit everything in the WCQ format would have to be substantially condensed from the current marathon.
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Blue Lou
Joined: 21 Jan 2009, 04:52

04 Dec 2017, 23:12 #4



According to Horace Reid (CONCACF Caribbean development officer) It'll replace Caribbean Cup (and presumably the Copa CentroAmericana) as qualifiers for the Gold Cup but it's up to the CFU (and UNCAF) whether they want to continue the tournament.
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