MIAMI – CONCACAF announced Friday the expanded Caribbean Club Championship, a two-tier regional club championship representing the newest addition to the Confederation’s club competitions platform.
The Tier 1 Caribbean Club Championship, which launches on January 31, 2018, will feature eight professional clubs from four Member Associations – the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. The Tier 2 competition will consist of clubs from twelve Caribbean Member Association leagues that do not presently meet the minimum CONCACAF Club Licensing requirements.
Together, the new regional qualifying championships will serve as the Caribbean qualifying tournament for the Scotiabank CONCACAF League and the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, and open the door for wider participation of Caribbean clubs in Confederation championships.
“CONCACAF is united behind restructuring football in the Confederation in a way that benefits stakeholders throughout the region,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani. “The new, expanded Caribbean Club Championship is both the result of our efforts and additional fuel for the growth of the game in the region.”
The eight clubs set to participate in the 2018 edition of the Tier 1 Caribbean Club Championship are (in alphabetical order by Member Association): Atlantico FC (DOM), Club Atletico Pantoja (DOM), Racing FC (HAI), Real Hope FA (HAI), Arnett Gardens FC (JAM), Portmore United FC (JAM), Central FC (TRI) and W Connection (TRI). The eight participating clubs qualified via their local leagues (winners and runners-up).
W Connection FC and Atlantico FC will each host four-team, round-robin groups. The two group winners and the two second-place finishers will advance to the final stage, which will be disputed later in the year.
The initial Tier 2 competition is scheduled to begin the first week of April 2018. The participating clubs are (in alphabetical order by Member Association): SV Deportivo Nacional (ARU), Weymouth Wales FC (BRB), Real Rincon (BOE), Bodden Town FC (CAY), RKSV Centro Dominguito (CUW), Hard Rock Sports Club (GRN), USR Sainte-Rose (GPE), Guyana Defence Force (GUY), Club Franciscain (MTQ), Cayon FC (SKN), Avenues United FC (VIN) and Inter Moengotapoe (SUR). Further details on structure and hosting will be announced in the coming months.
The winner of the Tier 1 2018 CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship will qualify directly to the 2019 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, while the runner-up and third place finishers will qualify for the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League. The fourth-place finisher will face the winner of the Tier 2 competition in a playoff match to determine the third club that will represent the Caribbean in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League.
The draw for the Tier 1 competition will take place on Thursday, December 21, 2018, at the CONCACAF Headquarters in Miami.
The draw will be executed using a double-blind system involving four pots. Pots 1 and 2, will be the “Team Pots,” and will contain the names of the participating clubs. Pots A and B, “Group Pots,” will be used to sort the participating clubs into their respective groups.
As group stage hosts, W Connection FC (TRI) and Atlantico FC (DOM) will be placed in Pot 1. All other participating clubs will be placed in Pot 2. In accordance with the competition regulations, clubs from the same Member Association may not be allocated in the same group.
The draw will be broadcasted on www.CONCACAF.com.