The Confederation of North/Central American and Caribbean Association Football is introducing the Men’s Nations League starting in 2019-20. The Men’s Nations League gives all men’s national teams in CONCACAF an opportunity to play competitive matches on a regular basis, and it serves as a qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Men’s Gold Cup.
All 41 CONCACAF member nations take part in the Men’s Nations League, including the six that are not FIFA members [Bonaire, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, and St Martin].
Teams in the Men’s Nations League are divided into three leagues. There are twelve teams in League A, sixteen in League B, and thirteen in League C. Teams in League A play for the Men’s Nations League championship, and teams in Leagues B and C play for promotion to the next higher league.
ALLOCATION TO LEAGUES
In the inaugural Men’s Nations League, the six teams that advanced to the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2018 Men’s World Cup [Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad-Tobago, and the United States] have been automatically placed in League A. Guatemala were serving a FIFA suspension at the time of the qualifying draw and have been placed in League C.
The qualifiers decided the allocation of the remaining teams.
Prior to the inaugural Men’s Nations League, a qualifying competition was held, involving 34 teams. All CONCACAF members took part, excluding the six teams who were automatically placed in League A and Guatemala.
The qualifiers were held SEP 2018-MAR 2019. Each team played four matches, and the teams were ranked on points and goal difference. The top six have been placed in League A, the next sixteen in League B, and the lowest twelve in League C.
- League A: Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, Curaçao, Haiti, Martinique
- League B: Antigua-Barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Rep, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent-Grenadines, Suriname
- League C: Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Is, Cayman Is, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Turks-Caicos Is, US Virgin Is
In addition, the top ten qualify for the 2019 Men’s Gold Cup along with the six teams automatically placed in League A.
- Qualify for 2019 Men’s Gold Cup: Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, Curaçao, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua
In the league phase, each league is divided into four groups, and teams in each group play one another twice. The league phase was held in SEP-NOV 2019.
The draw for the league phase was held on WED 27 MAR 2019 in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
In League A, each group contains three teams. The first placed teams in each group advance to the elimination phase, and the last placed teams are relegated to League B for the next edition of the tournament.
ADVANCE TO ELIMINATION PHASE
In League B, each group contains four teams. The first placed teams are promoted to League A, and the last placed teams are relegated to League C.
In League C, one group contains four teams, and the other groups each contain three teams. The first placed teams are promoted to League B.
The first placed teams in the four League A groups advance to the elimination phase, held in JUN 2020 in the United States.
The teams are ranked by their performance in the league phase. In the semifinal matches, the highest ranked team plays the lowest ranked team, and the second ranked team plays the third ranked team. The winners contest the final match, and the losers contest the third place match.
MEN’S GOLD CUP QUALIFICATION
The top ten teams in the qualifiers also earned qualification to the 2019 Men’s Gold Cup.
The league phase serves as the qualifying competition for the 2021 Men’s Gold Cup. The top two teams in each League A group, plus the first placed team in each League B group, qualify automatically. The remaining four teams at the 2021 Men’s Gold Cup are decided through two rounds of playoffs:
- MAR 2020: The second placed team in each League B group plays off against the first placed team in a League C group over two legs. The winners advance to the second round.
- JUN 2020: Each first round winner plays off against the last placed team in a League A group over two legs. The winners qualify for the Men’s Gold Cup.