Concacaf to draw Nations League groups that will decide 2023 Gold Cup qualification

April 4 – Concacaf is sticking with the 12-team Gold Cup Prelims as the route to deciding the final places at the 16-team 2023 Gold Cup, with its Nations League.

The 2022/23 Nations League groups – which will be drawn today in Miami – will qualify 12 teams automatically to the Gold Cup finals as well as the 12 teams for the Gold Cup Prelims.

The group draw for the second edition of the Concacaf Nations League will see the continuation of a three League format, with home and away round robin play in the international match windows in June 2022 (double window) and March 2023. The Nations League Group Stage will be followed by the Concacaf Nations League Finals in June 2023 which will consist of semi-finals, third place match, and final. That will take place before the Gold Cup proper.

The Gold Cup Prelims were introduced in 2021 to provide a pathway to the finals after Covid had wiped out the 2020 international season. The Prelims were centralised as a knock-out tournament in Florida the week before the Gold Cup Finals proper kicked off. What was originally a fix to overcome the lost fixtures dues to the covid pandemic, turned into a huge success, opening up the Gold Cup nations who had never before had the Gold Cup tournament experience.

It is unclear whether the Prelims will qualify three of four teams for the Gold Cup group stages. Qatar are scheduled to participate but there is potentially a date clash with Asian Cup also due to be played in the Summer of 2023.

Gold Cup qualification breakdown

The League A group winners and runners up (eight teams) and the League B group winners (four teams) will qualify directly to the 17th edition of the Gold Cup.

Qualifiers for the Gold Cup Prelims will be the League A third-place finishers (four teams), the League B second place finishers (four teams), and the League C group winners (four teams).

Today’s draw for Leagues A, B, and C has seen teams seeded based on their results of the 2019 CNL Group Stage (available below), including a promotion and relegation system with the bottom team in each group relegated and the top team in each group promoted.

Qualifying teams:

League A (12 teams): Canada, Costa Rica, Curaçao, El Salvador (promoted), Grenada (promoted), Honduras, Jamaica (promoted), Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Suriname (promoted), and the United States.

League B (16 teams): Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas (promoted), Barbados (promoted), Belize, Bermuda (relegated), Cuba (relegated), Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe (promoted), Guatemala (promoted), Guyana, Haiti (relegated), Montserrat, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago (relegated).

League C (13 teams): Anguilla, Aruba (relegated), Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica (relegated), Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis (relegated), Saint Lucia (relegated), Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Draw procedure:

League A
Pot 1: Mexico, United States, Canada, Costa Rica
Pot 2: Panama, Jamaica, El Salvador, Honduras
Pot 3: Martinique, Curaçao, Suriname, Grenada

League B
Pot 1: Haiti, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba
Pot 2: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua, Bermuda
Pot 3: Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Pot 4: Belize, Montserrat, Barbados, Bahamas

League C
Pot 1: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Bonaire, Saint Lucia
Pot 2: Dominica, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands
Pot 3: Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, US Virgin Islands, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands

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