March 9 – Concacaf has announced detail of the next stage of women’s competition programme with the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup to be played in the US from February 17 to March 10.
The 12-team competition will see eight Concacaf nations compete with four guest teams from Conmebol.
Following on from the success of the men’s Gold Cup, the Concacaf W Gold Cup will also include a six-team preliminary round that will qualify three teams for the final.
“This new Concacaf W Gold Cup will be the flagship event for women’s national team football in our region and will showcase some of the very best women’s football in Concacaf and the world. The tournament will be a celebration of the work we have done so far, hand-in-hand with our federations, implementing our groundbreaking Concacaf W strategy, which was launched in 2019 to prioritize the growth of women’s football at all levels,” said Concacaf president Victor Montagliani.
The US (current world and Concacaf W champions) are the only Concacaf qualified team so far. They will be joined by the winner of the Concacaf Olympic Play-In (Canada or Jamaica) and another six Concacaf teams from earlier qualifying rounds. Conmebol’s teams will be Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay, the semi-finalists from the 2022 Women’s Copa America.
It is a busy year for Concacaf’s women’s national teams. Six will play at the 2023 World Cup in Australia/New Zealand this summer. Following the World Cup that ends August 20 they will go into Gold Cup qualification that begins in September in a format that resembles the tiering of the men’s Nations League.
33 women’s national teams, excluding the two who will compete in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games, will be split into three leagues according to their ranking of March 2023:
- League A: Nine top ranked teams divided into three groups of three teams
- League B: Next 12 best-ranked teams divided into three groups of four teams
- League C: Lowest ranked 12 teams divided into three groups of four teams
Home and away group stage matches will be played in FIFA Women’s match windows of September, October, and November 2023, with the group winners qualifying for the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup Group Stage.
The second place finishers in the League A groups and the first-place finishers in each of the League B groups will advance to Round One of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup Prelims.
Commenting on the progress of Concacaf’s women’s teams, Montagliani said: “I believe we are now truly beginning to see the benefits of that strategy, not least through the performances of the record six Concacaf teams who have qualified for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.”
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org