Costa Rica (pictured) celebrates after winning the 2013 Copa Centroamericana title. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
In celebration of UNCAF’s 25th anniversary, tournament to be played Sept. 3-13, serves as qualifier for 2015 Gold Cup and Centennial Cup America 2016
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (Tuesday, May 20, 2014) – The Central American Football Union (UNCAF) today officially confirmed that it will play the Central American Cup in the United States from September 3-13, 2014. In addition to providing a series of berths in important international tournaments, the Central American Cup USA 2014 will serve to celebrate UNCAF’s upcoming 25th anniversary.
This edition of the tournament – the region’s championship for national teams and a qualifying competition for the CONCACAF Gold Cup – will include unique details and features as Central American countries begin their quest towards the prestigious FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 (six continental champions, reigning World Cup champion and tournament host) and the Centennial Cup America 2016 (10 nations of CONMEBOL in South America, plus six teams from CONCACAF).
The Central American Cup will once again decide several teams that will qualify for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a biennial tournament that determines the champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The champion of the 2015 Gold Cup will then participate in a play-in match against the 2013 champion United States for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
In addition, the Central American Cup will also hand its champion a direct route to the recently-announced Centennial Cup America 2016, also be played in the United States.
The Central American Cup 2014 will initiate the next World Cup cycle, with an eye towards Russia 2018, meaning the competing teams will be looking to use the event as a springboard to begin the four-year period with a strong performance. The Central American Cup is sure to be highly competitive, since it will include two teams arriving with their full complement of star power, fresh from competition in the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 – Costa Rica and Honduras.
Costa Rica is the current Central American Cup champion and has lifted the trophy a record seven times. Honduras is next with three titles, while Guatemala and Panama have won one apiece. Belize, El Salvador and Nicaragua round out the list of participants.
The Central American Cup has been contested 12 times, starting in 1991. Costa Rica and Honduras have hosted it three times each, while it has been played in El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama twice.
Last February, the Executive Committee of UNCAF revised in detail the possible date options for the event, in order to allow Central American national teams to call on their top stars for this tournament. The match dates have been selected to coordinate with FIFA’s international calendar, so that all teams can play the tournament with their “A” teams.
The event’s Organizing Committee, headed by CONCACAF and Soccer United Marketing, expects to announce host cities for this historic event in the coming weeks.