MIAMI, United States, CMC – Continental governing body, CONCACAF, has announced an expansion to the Caribbean Club Championship, adding a second tier which will see 12 amateur clubs vying for a place in the CONCACAF League and Champions League.
The first tier of the championship will comprise eight professional clubs from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and will kick off January 31, next year.
Tier two, meanwhile, will see a club each from Grenada, Aruba, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Cay-man Islands, Guadeloupe, Cura-cao, Bonaire and Martinique, doing battle from April next year.
“CONCACAF is united behind restructuring football in the confederation in a way that benefits stakeholders throughout the region,” said CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani.
“The new, expanded Caribbean Club Championship is both the result of our efforts and additional fuel for the growth of the game in the region.”
Jamaica’s Arnett Gardens FC and Portmore United, T&T’s Central FC and W Connection, along with Haiti’s Racing FC and Real Hope and Atlantico FC and Club Atletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic, will be the eight clubs contesting tier one.
W Connection FC and Atlantico FC will play hosts to two four-team, round-robin groups, with the two group winners and the two second-place finishers advancing to the final stage later in the year.
The overall winners qualify directly for the Champions League.
However, the runners-up and third place finishers will head into the CONCACAF League, while the fourth-place finishers will clash with the tier two champions in a playoff, to determine the third club that will represent the Caribbean in the CONCACAF League.
The clubs competing in the second tier will be SV Deportivo Nacional of Aruba, Weymouth Wales FC of Barbados, Real Rincon of Bonaire, Bodden Town FC of Cayman Islands, Curacao’s RKSV Centro Dominguito, Grenada’s Hard Rock Sports Club, Guadeloupe’s USR Sainte-Rose, Guyana Defence Force, Club Franciscain of Martinique, Cayon FC of St Kitts, SVG’s Avenues United FC and Suriname’s Inter Moengotapoe.
The draw to determine the composition of groups for the tier one tournament takes place here Thursday.