CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) recently announced that they will be staging a new club championship that will take the place of the Champions Cup, which will see it’s last competition in 2008. The CONCACAF Champions League will be set up much like the Champions League in Europe. 24 club teams from all sectors of CONCACAF will participate in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The breakdown of the teams participating is:
• 4 teams from Mexico and the U.S.A. (MLS)
• 3 teams from the Caribbean
• 2 teams from Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras
• 1 team from Nicaragua, Canada, and Belize
8 teams will be seeded directly into the first round.
• 2 teams from Mexico and the U.S.A (MLS)
• 1 team from El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador
The remaining 16 teams will play a home and away series to determine the 8 remaining teams for the first round. These games will be played from August 26-28 and September 2-4. When the first round of 16 teams is set there will be 4, 4 team pools that will play a round robin 6 match format, with 3 home games and 3 away games. These first round games will be played from September 16 – October 30.
The top 2 teams from each pool will advance to the knockout phase and will play a home and away elimination series. The quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League will start up again in February of 2009. The semifinals will take place in March and the Final will be played in April. The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League will automatically be the CONCACAF representative in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup.
This year Italian powerhouse AC Milan had the rare distinction of winning the FIFA World Cup Tournament and the Champions League. The European Champions League is in the 16-team knockout phase, which will resume in February of this year.
Author: Jason Green