Players from Jamaica's Waterhouse FC acknowledge the crowd in Mirebalais, Haiti, after winning its CFU Club Championship group on March 25, 2014. (Photo: Yonel Louis)
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Waterhouse FC (Jamaica), Puerto Rico Bayamon FC (Puerto Rico), and Alpha United (Guyana) will represent the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) in the 2014/2015 CONCACAF Champions League, it was announced Monday.
The decision was taken by the CFU Executive Committee after consultation with CONCACAF officials and the three first-round group winners, who were to join Haiti’s Valencia in the semifinals.
It was originally announced that the pair of eventual finalists and the winner of the match for third place would receive the region’s berths in the confederation competition.
Damien E. Hughes, CFU General Secretary explained that the Fédération Haïtienne de Football did not confirm that Valencia – which was given a bye to the final round based on its status as the best Caribbean performer in last year’s CCL -- was an active member of its association during an on-going dispute.
“While we had an outstanding qualifying round of the tournament, we were excited by the prospects of inviting last year’s best Caribbean performer at the CONCACAF Champions League, Valencia FC, to take their predetermined final four spot when we were informed that the club remains at odds with its national federation,” said Hughes. “A decision of principle, interpretation of the tournament rules, and fiscal prudence were the factors that went into the final decision.
“With three spots available and three group winners determined, it did not make practical sense to put the teams through further expense that they could apply at the CONCACAF level since Valencia could not participate. This decision was supported and endorsed by CONCACAF.”
Hughes added that while the three group winners would advance to the CCL, their actual participation was contingent on them meeting CONCACAF’s minimum standards and regulatory requirements of participation.
Failure by any of these teams to meet these necessities will result in Centro Dominguito of Curacao – the best overall second place team in CFU Club Championship group play – taking their place.
The CFU Club Championship Cup is the Caribbean’s annual club championship that doubles as a qualifying tournament for the CCL.