The participants and format for the inaugural FC Giants Cup were announced today by Chuck Blazer, General Secretary of the Football Confederation. The Giants Cup was approved last November as one of two major club competitions each year, the second the Champions Cup, which has been the Confederation's premier club competition since 1962.
While the criteria for entry into the FC Champions Cup is success in domestic competition, the clubs with the best attendance as verified by their national associations are eligible for entry into the Giants Cup, the single-most objective criteria of a club's popularity and stature as a giant among its fellow competitors.
For the inaugural event, 12 clubs are inscribed to take part - four from the North Zone (two each from the USA and Mexico), six from the Central Zone and two from the Caribbean Zone. Preliminary round matches will be played in the Central and Caribbean zones to determine the usual format for FC club competitions, with four North Zone teams on one side of the draw, and three Central Zone and a single Caribbean Zone participant on the other. A blind draw was held to determine the order of matches in each two-leg series, as well as the pairings for each round of the competition.
The winning club in the Giants Cup will receive $50,000, with the runner-up set to earn $40,000. The winner of the third-place match will receive $35,000, with the fourth-place side garnering $30,000.
In addition, the winner and runner-up of the inaugural Giants Cup will also gain a berth in the first FC Clubs Cup, to be held in early 2003. The winner and runner-up of the 2002 Giants Cup, along with the top two of the FC Champions Cup in both 2001 and 2002, will also advance to the Clubs Cup, which will determine the FC's representatives in the FIFA Club World Championship beginning in 2003.
The Giants Cup will be played over two legs until the semifinals and finals, played in a "final four" at a single venue. The preliminary rounds will be played within the next month, with the first legs of the quarterfinals set for 3/4/5 April 2001, and the return legs for 10/11/12 April. The final tournament will be played 27 and 29 April.
Participants in the 2001 FC Giants Cup:
NORTH ZONE: CF America, CD Guadalajara (Mexico); D.C. United, Columbus Crew (USA)
CENTRAL ZONE: CD Saprissa (Costa Rica); CD Aguila, Alianza FC (El Salvador); CSD Municipal, CSD Comunicaciones (Guatemala); CD Motagua (Honduras)
CARIBBEAN ZONE: Arnett Gardens FC (Jamaica); SV Transvaal (Suriname)
2001 FC GIANTS CUP
07.03.2001: SV Transvaal v Arnett Gardens FC
14.03.2001: Arnett Gardens FC v SV Transvaal
07.03.2001: CSD Comunicaciones v CD Motagua
14.03.2001:CD Motagua v CSD Comunicaciones
07.03.2001: CSD Municipal v CD Aguila
14.03.2001:CD Aguila v CSD Municipal
07.03.2001: Alianza FC v CD Saprissa
14.03.2001:CD Saprissa v Alianza FC
03/04/05.04.2001: winner Series A v D.C. United
10/11/12.04.2001: D.C. United v winner Series A
03/04/05.04.2001: winner Series B v CD Guadalajara
10/11/12.04.2001: CD Guadalajara v winner Series B
03/04/05.04.2001: winner Series C v CF America
10/11/12.04.2001: CF America v winner Series C
03/04/05.04.2001: winner Series D v Columbus Crew
10/11/12.04.2001: Columbus Crew v winner Series D
WINNER SERIES 1 v WINNER SERIES 2
WINNER SERIES 3 v WINNER SERIES 4