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Concacaf changes Champions League format for 2024, reintroduces Central American Cup to qualify

Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2022. 3:51 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Concacaf

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Concacaf changed the Champions League format for its 2024 championship reintroducing a Central American Cup to qualify to the new 27-team Concacaf Champions League.

Concacaf announced on Wednesday that the Concacaf Council approved the qualifying format for the Confederation’s expanded Concacaf Champions League (CCL). Concacaf said the decision was reached after extensive consultation with stakeholders, including Member Associations, leagues, and clubs.

Last September 2021, Concacaf said that from 2023, it would hold three regional cup competitions starting October of each year, along with other leagues and cups, to qualify clubs for a new expanded Concacaf Champions League.

The qualifying process for the 2024 Concacaf Champions League starts next year.

“The new and expanded Concacaf Champions League will continue to be played in a direct elimination knockout stage format and will be composed of five rounds (Round One, Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final),” said Concacaf.

Of the 27 clubs that qualify to the CCL, five will get a bye to the Round of 16: three from North America and one each from Central America and the Caribbean.

The North American process will see clubs from the United States, Mexico and Canada competing. The competing leagues are the Canadian Premier League, Canadian Championship, US Open Cup, the MLS and Liga MX. Eighteen teams from North America will qualify to the CCL.

Six teams will qualify from Central America from a 20-team Central American Cup which will have one team from Belize, two from Nicaragua, and three from all the others. That makes a total of 18 clubs. Concacaf will determine how the other two teams competing in the tournament will be decided. The 20 Central American clubs will be divided into four groups of five teams each.

The Concacaf Champions League doesn’t favour the Caribbean, which has the most member states in Concacaf. The Caribbean will hold a ten-team competition with two teams from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, plus two more. As with Central America, Concacaf said that after further consultation it will announce the criteria for qualifying the two remaining clubs. Three teams from the Caribbean will qualify to the CCL.


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