Sports — 11 August 2018
Can Belize make the Top 10 in inaugural Concacaf Nations League qualifying phase?

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 9, 2018– Well, our women have climbed into the top echelons of Central American volleyball, with their splendid showing this past week in the 20th Central American Women’s Volleyball Championship, defeating the reigning champion, Costa Rica, on our way to a silver medal in the tournament.

In a few weeks’ time, our men’s National Football Team will play the first of four matches in the qualifying phase of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League tournament.  Of the 34 participating Concacaf teams, the Top 10 will qualify directly to the 2019 Gold Cup, which begins in September 2019.

This is serious business; and our national team is getting ready to take the field for their game 1 against Bahamas on Friday, September 7, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium.

Our other 3 games will be:  October 14 against Montserrat in Montserrat; November 16 against Puerto Rico in Belize; and on March 23, 2019, against Guyana in Guyana.

(See more details in the Concacaf release below.)

Schedule and Kick Off Times Confirmed for the Inaugural Matches of the Concacaf Nations League Qualifying Phase

Thirty-Four Concacaf Member Associations will compete in the official FIFA Match window in September

Miami (Thursday, August 9, 2018)

 The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) today confirmed the schedule, kick off times and venues for the inaugural matches of the Concacaf Nations League qualifying phase, which will take place during the September 2018 FIFA Match window.

The official draw, which determined the matchups for the Concacaf Nations League qualifying phase was conducted on March 7, 2018 following the launch of the Concacaf Nations League in Miami, FL. Prior to the draw, a computerized master schedule was produced for the one-off qualifying phase. The computer model ensured that no two teams will face each other more than once and that each team will play two home and two away matches.

  Following all 68 matches of the Concacaf Nations League qualifying phase, to be played in September, October, and November 2018, and March 2019, the total points for each team will be compiled into an aggregate table, ranking the participating teams from 1-34 based on their on-field results. The final standings of the qualifying phase will determine how teams are placed into Leagues A, B and C for the inaugural Concacaf Nations League Group Phase, set to kick off in September 2019.

Additionally, the top ten ranked countries of the Nations League qualifying final table will qualify automatically into the expanded edition of the 2019 Gold Cup, joining the six previously qualified teams that participated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Hexagonal, for a total of 16 participating Gold Cup nations.

The Concacaf Nations League is a new centralized men’s national team competition representing a new era of national team football for Concacaf Member Associations.

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Deshawn Swasey

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