Concacaf revamps youth championships to provide more games and more competitive edge

February 14 – Concacaf is revamping its competition formats for the its men’s and women’s youth tournaments that will see a minimum 20% increase in the number of matches played. The new look competitions will start in April 2023.
The format sees the creation of three rounds – qualifying stage, group stage, and knockout stage – with an increase in the number of matches in the qualifying rounds, and the aim of more competitive and exciting matchups in the Championship stage.

Men’s Under-17 and Under-20 competitions will start with a six group round robin Qualifying Stage played amongst teams ranked between 7 and 41.

The six group winners will advance to a centralised Group Stage of three groups of four teams each, including the six top-ranked teams (pre-seeded into this round). The top two teams from each group and the two best third places will advance to the knock out stage startng with the Quarter finals.

The four semi finalists will qualify for the respective youth FIFA World Cup.

“This new Concacaf youth competitions format reflects our football first philosophy and our commitment to delivering more competition for all of our Member Associations”, said Concacaf General Secretary, Philippe Moggio (pictured).

“We know that the best way for players to develop is to play and compete in official matches and tournaments. This format will provide more opportunities for all of our federations and their young players to shine on the regional and global stage.”

The Women’s Under-17 and Under-20 competitions will have a slightly different format, opening with a six group Qualifying Stage played amongst teams ranked between 3 and 41.

The Qualifying Stage will also be played in a round robin format and the six group winners will progress to a centralized Group Stage with Concacaf’s two top-ranked teams.

The top two teams from the two groups of four will advance to the semi finals.

The first competition  under the new format will be the 2023 Women’s U-20 Championship.

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