Ground broken on One Concacaf Home of Football complex in Dominican Republic

By Paul Nicholson

December 2 – Concacaf have unveiled plans for a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art football facility in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic.

The new facility will have several international standard pitches, locker rooms, technical education classrooms and a gym, with scope for further expansion in the future.

Called the ‘One Concacaf Home of Football’, it will also have the capability to host official and friendly competitions and matches in a purpose-built environment.

The confederation officially broke ground on the project at the weekend in what is a somewhat symbolic gesture considering how far the confederation has progressed from near bankruptcy in 2015 when the FBI raided FIFA’s Annual Congress and indicted more than 40 football international – three of them either, sitting, past or interim Concacaf presidents.

Few would have projected that eight years on, under new president Victor Montagliani, the confederation would have gone from being on the verge of bankruptcy and barely being able to offer any support to its federation membership, to completely reinventing their international competition calendar and now launching their own training, education and competition complex.

The last Concacaf facility – the João Havelange Centre of Excellence in Trinidad and Tobago that was built with FIFA grant money and intended as a football centre to be used by all of Concacaf’s nations – ended up in the ownership (disputed) of former Concacaf president Jack Warner, one of the US DoJ’s most-wanted football officials from 2015 who has repeatedly evaded extradition to the US to face multiple alleged crimes.

The selection of a new site for a regional centre was taken with a lot more due process, with a number of territories and sites across the region looked at. “Key consideration was given to transportation and connectivity within the region, accommodation, climate, security, government and local stakeholder support, and a range of other factors,” said Concacaf.

The Dominican Republic has hosted a number of Concacaf youth competitions and group qualifiers over the past couple of years.

The ground-breaking event was led by Montagliani, with representation from Dominican Republic government authorities, including the Executive President of Cap Cana Ciudad Destino, Jorge Subero Medina, the President of the Board of Directors of Cap Cana, Fernando Hazoury, and the country’s Minister of Tourism, David Collado.

Calling the new centre a “hugely important initiative” for the development of regional football, Montagliani said: “The One Concacaf Home of Football will be a tremendous facility for our Confederation and will provide huge benefits to the football development efforts of all of our Member Associations.

“Having a state-of-the-art facility which we can call our own, which will host coach licensing courses, referee development initiatives, and a host of other programs and competitions will be a game-changer for Concacaf and our federations.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1718598370labto1718598370ofdlr1718598370owedi1718598370sni@n1718598370osloh1718598370cin.l1718598370uap1718598370