By Paul Nicholson
February 15 – Concacaf is breaking the mould with its women’s competitions, not just in their structure and scale, but also in their venue. Monterrey, Mexico, will host the inaugural Concacaf W Championship that will be played July 4-18.
Concacaf traditionally hosts its major championship in the economic and infrastructure powerhouse of the US – the men’s Gold Cup has only ever been hosted in the US. By taking the 8-team W Championship – which qualifies four teams for the 2023 Women‘s World Cup and the winner directly to the 2024 Paris Olympics – Concacaf is widening its major event hosting footprint.
February and April will be unprecedented months for the region’s international women’s football with 140 national women’s teams games being played. 60 of those matches are the qualifiers for the Concacaf W Championship finals which will see 30 nations in action.
Concacaf president and FIFA vice president, Victor Montagliani said: “This year is hugely important for women’s international football in our region, and we are very excited to host our revamped Concacaf W Championship in July in Monterrey, Mexico. The tournament will showcase the very best of Concacaf women’s football to the world, and I believe it will inspire more women and girls across Concacaf to develop a passion for the game.”
Monterrey will split the 16 games across two stadiums, the 51,000 capacity Estadio BBVA (home of CF Monterrey) that was opened in 2015, and the 42,00 capacity Estadio Universitario (home of Tigres UANL) that was opened in 1967. Monterrey is bidding to be one of Mexico’s host cities for the men’s 2026 World Cup.
“We are pleased to work alongside the Confederation to host this important championship in our country,” said Yon De Luisa, President of the Mexican Football Federation.
“At the FMF we are convinced that this effort strengthens our solid strategy to develop women’s football and capitalise on the popularity of our sport to empower more women and girls, as well as inspire them to pursue their dreams.”
The eight teams competing in Monterrey will be split into two groups of four with the top two teams in each group will move on to the semi finals and also qualifying directly to the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The third placed teams in each group will qualify for a 2023 intercontinental playoff.
Before then Concacaf W Qualifiers with split the 30 competing nations into six groups of five. The six group winners will progress to the Concacaf W Championship, where they will join Canada and USA who received a bye directly to the finals.
“We look forward to working hand in hand with the Mexican Football Federation, Liga MX Femenil, the two host venues in Monterrey and other local partners and stakeholders to deliver a truly outstanding Concacaf W Championship this summer,” added Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio.
Concacaf has highlighted 2022 as “a transformative year for the women’s game” in the region with at least 188 official women’s international matches taking place (Costa Rica is hosting the Women’s U-20 World Cup). The competition schedule taking place:
February 2022 (70 matches)
- Concacaf W Qualifiers (30 teams, 30 matches, all teams ranked 3 and below)
- Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, Dominican Republic (20 teams, 40 matches, top three qualify for 2023 FWU20WC joining host Costa Rica)
April 2022 (70 matches)
- Concacaf W Qualifiers (30 teams, 30 matches, top six advance to Concacaf W Championship)
- Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship, Dominican Republic (20 teams, 40 matches, top four qualify for 2023 FWU17WC)
July 2022 (16 matches)
- Concacaf W Championship, Monterrey, Mexico (Eight teams, 16 matches, top four qualify for 2023 FWWC and two teams for 2023 FWWC Intercontinental Playoff)
August 2022 (32 matches)
- FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup Costa Rica 2022 (Four Concacaf teams, 32 matches)
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