For Immediate Release
Contact: Steven Torres, Media Officer
CONCACAF +1/212 308 0044
CONCACAF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE TIGHTENS STADIUM STANDARDS FOR NEXT YEAR’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
NEW YORK (Friday, 7 November 2008) - The initial success of the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League™ led the confederation’s Executive Committee on Friday to require teams participating in next year’s tournament to find a suitable stadium within its own country or risk being replaced.
The seven-member board. led by CONCACAF President Jack Warner of Trinidad & Tobago, agreed to tighten the stadium standards after allowing teams in this year’s inaugural tournament to play its home games within its region if its regular home venue did not have adequate facilities such as power supply, floodlighting and locker rooms.
The method of replacing disqualified teams also was approved. Three Caribbean teams advance to the Champions League through a regional tournament and therefore would simply elevate the fourth-place finisher. If any of the 12 qualified Central American teams are precluded, it would be supplanted by a club from Honduras based on results from this year’s Champions League.
Other Champions League news included the quarterfinal draw being set for 10 December, when each group winner will be paired against a group runner-up for the two-leg knockout round set for 24-26 February and 3-5 March.
The board also decided to review its qualifying procedures for the men’s U-17 and U-20 championships beginning in 2011. The present system has both Central America and the Caribbean staging separate qualifying tournaments to determine two berths each in the eight-team championship, and then having one team from each region play off to determine a fifth place. The three North American teams: Canada, Mexico and the United States, qualify automatically. The matter was sent to the youth committee to devise specific proposals.
Additionally, the committee was informed that the six teams advancing to the final round of World Cup qualifying will learn their match schedule during a draw to be staged 22 November in South Africa in conjunction with the FIFA Confederations Cup draw. The USA, Costa Rica and El Salvador already have clinched their places in the “hexagonal” with the remaining three places to be decided 19 November.
CONCACAF “The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football” is one of six continental confederations of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and serves as the governing body of football in this part of the world. It is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.