Copa Centroamericana format revised
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Action from the Copa Centroamericana game between Panama (white jersey) and Nicaragua on September 10, 2014, in Houston. (Photo: Mexsport)

MIAMI -- The Central American Football Union (UNCAF) notified its members Saturday that the format for next year’s Copa Centroamericana will be changed as a result of Guatemala not being able to participate due to FIFA’s suspension of the Federación Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala.

Guatemala was indefinitely suspended by FIFA on October 28, a move that saw all of teams representing or sanctioned by the Federation be barred from participation in international play. 

Because the logistics and preparation for international tournaments require a definitive amount of preparation and lead time, and in fairness to other participating member associations, CONCACAF and UNCAF set deadlines for tournaments approaching in the next calendar year. 

The reinstatement deadline for prospective Copa Centroamericana participation was Friday, which necessitated a decision regarding the tournament’s structure. 

As a result, the six remaining teams will play each other once in a “round robin” from January 13-22, 2017, in Panama. The team with the most points at the end of five matchdays will be declared the champion. That side and the next top three finishers will qualify automatically for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The fifth-place team will face the fifth-place squad from the Caribbean for the last berth in the biennial Confederation event.  

2017 Copa Centroamericana

Panama City, Panama

January 13-22, 2017 

Schedule

Friday -- January 13, 2017

Honduras v Nicaragua

Costa Rica v El Salvador

Panama v Belize 

Sunday -- January 15, 2017

Belize v Costa Rica

El Salvador v Honduras

Panama v Nicaragua 

Tuesday -- January 17, 2017

El Salvador v Belize

Costa Rica v Nicaragua

Panama v Honduras 

Friday -- January 20, 2017

Nicaragua v Belize

Honduras v Costa Rica

Panama v El Salvador 

Sunday -- January 22, 2017

Belize v Honduras

El Salvador v Nicaragua

Panama v Costa Rica