Concacaf has today published an updated men’s international calendar which includes updates on the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
The Concacaf Gold Cup is the Confederation’s flagship men’s international football competition. The 2019 event was expanded from 12 to 16 teams and the Final – competed between Mexico and the USA – was viewed by a record 8.5 million fans.
This event is eagerly anticipated by fans across the region and Concacaf can now confirm the start date for the 2021 Gold Cup will be July 10, 2021, and the Final will take place on August 1, 2021.
The Concacaf Road to Gold Cup Qualifiers were due to be played in the March 2020 and June 2020 FIFA match windows which were suspended.
Concacaf will now work towards creating a centralized Gold Cup preliminary round for those teams which had been due to play the Road to Gold Cup Qualifiers.
This will take place in the United States in the week before the commencement of the Gold Cup group stages. Further details on the format and schedule of this preliminary round will be provided in the coming weeks.
The 12 participating teams in the preliminary round will be: Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
“Many communities across the Concacaf region continue to face very difficult circumstances due to the current public health situation and my thoughts and prayers go out to them,” said Concacaf President Victor Montagliani.
“Given the suspension of the March, June and September FIFA match windows, and with so many of our Member Associations unable to complete a full FIFA rankings cycle, the previous Concacaf Qualifiers were compromised, and a new approach was required.
“With the launch of the Concacaf Nations League in 2018, and the expansion of the Gold Cup in 2019, we have consistently provided more opportunities for all our Member Associations to play and compete on the international stage. That was our starting point for developing this new format and we believe we have struck the right balance.
“All teams now have the chance to compete for direct access to Qatar 2022 and dream of playing at a World Cup, while we have also respected the positions of those nations which had already mathematically qualified for the Final Round under the previous system.
“The love for our game continues to grow across the region and with Concacaf Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Concacaf Nations League Finals and the 2021 Gold Cup now scheduled in this updated men’s international calendar, we have some great football to look forward to later this year and in 2021.
“Our next priorities are to continue progressing plans for the resumption of our club competitions and to ensure we finalize a women’s international calendar for the coming years which supports the continued development of women’s football in our region.” added Montagliani.