July 28 – Concacaf has scheduled the 2021 Gold Cup in the US for next July, and in a unique revamp of qualification – and to take account of lost international windows due to the Covid pandemic – the preliminary rounds will see the 12 competing teams centralised in the US.
They will play off for the last four Gold Cup spots in the week before the finals proper kick off, giving many of the competing nations their first taste of major tournament play.
One of the big successes of the expansion of the 2019 Gold Cup was the opportunity it gave more nations who had never previously qualified for the finals.
All 12 teams competing in 2021 for the four final slots will get an opportunity to experience the Gold Cup atmosphere, with all matches to be played July 2-6, before the Gold Cup group stages kick off July 10. The final will be played August 1.
The 2019 Gold Cup, the blue riband event for Concacaf men’s national teams, was expanded for the first time to 16 teams and proceeded to break a host of fan records from social media to attendance, with the Mexico vs US final being watched by a record 8.5 million fans.
It expanded the Gold Cup platform both as one of the world’s key competitions played by national teams, but also the commercial platform for Concacaf sponsors and partners.
The Concacaf Road to Gold Cup 2021 Qualifiers were due to be played in the March 2020 and June 2020 FIFA windows which were suspended.
The 12 participating teams in US in July for the preliminary round will be: Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Concacaf said that more details will be released later in the year.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com