CONCACAF to launch Women's GOLD CUP
Today CONCACAF revealed its new details for women football in the region and it indeed has some goodies in there. The competitions will take place between 2021 and 2024 and will include the Concacaf W Qualifiers, the Concacaf W Championship, 2023 Road to Concacaf W Gold Cup and the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. According to Concacaf's update, this new structure creates more official match dates for Concacaf senior women's teams where they'll they'll have the opportunity to more than once showcase the talent of this confederation. "I think it's a positive step for the development of the women's game in the region especially for Caribbean teams who do not get a lot of opportunity to compete outside of regional competitions." TTFA's Director of Women’s Football Jinelle James shared with T&T Sport Diary on this new development. "With these events as permanent fixtures on the women's calendar, it should allow Member Associations to keep teams active pre and post World Cup Qualifiers."
The first phase of action begins in November with the 2021 Concacaf W Qualifiers and will serve as the preliminary round of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship which will include 30 Concacaf nations. "This is a seismic development for our women's national team competitions and will transform the women's game in Concacaf," said Concacaf President and Fifa Vice President, Victor Montagliani. The 30-Concacaf Member Association participating, all ranked 3 and below in the FIFA Women’s Ranking as of July 2021, will be divided into six groups of five. After group stage play, where each nation will play two matches at home and two matches away, the top finisher in each of the groups will advance to the Concacaf W Championship, joining the top two ranked Concacaf nations (USA and Canada) who receive a bye straight to the W Championship.
The second phase and the first of two major summer competitions, the 2022 Concacaf W Championship will be up next on the roster. This tournament will serve its purpose as the Confederation's Qualifier to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup as well at the 2024 Olympic Games. The six group winners from phase one (Concacaf W Qualifiers) will be joined by the USA and Canada to make up eight teams, which would then be further divided into two groups of four. After the group stage has been concluded, the top two teams in each group will qualify for the competition’s semifinals and guarantee their place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 while the third placed finished will advance to a FIFA Women’s World Cup intercontinental play-off. At the conclusion of the event, the winning nation will guarantee its place in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Women’s Football Tournament and the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. The runner-up and the third place will progress to a Concacaf Olympic play-in series to be played in September of 2023. The winner of the play-in will also guarantee their place in Paris and the W Gold Cup.
The third tournament will be the 2023 Concacaf W Road to Gold Cup. Countries would be looking to book their spot in the first ever Concacaf Women's Gold Cup.33 Concacaf national teams, not including the two who will compete in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Women’s Football Tournament, will be split into groups within three leagues according to their Concacaf Women’s Ranking as follows:
League A: Top nine ranked nations divided into three groups of three teams
League B: Next 12 best-ranked teams divided into three groups of four teams
League C: Lowest ranked 12 teams divided into three groups of four teams
After home and away group stage play, during the FIFA Women’s match Windows of September, October, and November 2023, the top finishers in each of the League A groups will qualify for the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup Group Stage. The second-place finishers in each of the League A groups and the first-place finishers in each of the League B groups will advance to a W Gold Cup Play-in, scheduled for April of 2023. The three play-in winners will also qualify for the Concacaf W Gold Cup Group Stage.
Finally, we'll have the big guy of the new structure, the women's Gold Cup. The inaugural edition of the Concacaf W Gold Cup will take place in the summer of 2024 and will consist of 12 teams split into three groups of four. The 12 participating nations will be determined as follows:
Winner of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship
Winner of the Concacaf Olympic Play-in
Three League A Group winners of the Road to Concacaf W Gold Cup
Three winners of the Concacaf W Gold Cup play-in
Four guest nations from other Confederations
For the Group Stage, the 12 teams will be split into three groups of four teams each. After single round-robin play, the group winners, runners-up, and the two best third-place finishers will qualify for the knockout stage which will consist of quarterfinals, semi-finals, and a final, where the W Gold Cup champion will be crowned.
2021-2024, we are eager for you!