Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020. 6:47 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Belize’s regional confederation CONCACAF has endorsed the decisions of worldwide parent FIFA concerning the men’s and women’s international match calendars and expressed sympathy with members ravaged by COVID-19.
The organization states that “rescheduling of competitions, and agreements on new international match dates, provide some encouragement across the football world and enable CONCACAF to progress our planning to resume men’s and women’s international football when it is safe to do so.”
FIFA’s governing council received a report by a working group on the international women’s calendar which recommended new dates for the Under-20 and Under-17 Women’s World Cups, the latter of which is Belize among regional qualifiers for. The Confederations are continuing to work on reorganizing dates for 2021 and 2022.
On the men’s side, the September 2020 window for World Cup qualification is closed and matches will be played in June 2021, four games rather than the usual two.
In its release, CONCACAF said it is exploring options for changing the World Cup qualification process, which currently involves separate tournaments to determine the four qualifiers among a ‘Super Six’ and the rest of the field. The original qualification process which would produce up to four qualifiers featured a Hexagonal Tournament of the top six regional teams per FIFA rankings, in which the top three would automatically qualify and the fourth-place finisher would take on the winner of a multi-stage tournament involving the rest of the field to advance to an intercontinental playoff for the fourth spot.
CONCACAF also has to reschedule the ‘Road to the Gold Cup’ qualifiers and Nations League Finals tournaments and promised updates on its schedule as it is developed.
Belize’s Verdes F.C. is also awaiting word on its participation as Belize’s champion in the CONCACAF League for Clubs, a stepping stone to the CONCACAF Champions League.
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