Sports — 08 September 2018
Belize vs Bahamas on Friday in Concacaf Nations League qualifier, on the path to Gold Cup

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 6, 2018– First of all, our apologies for stating Thursday instead of Friday for this big international game on page 18 of our Tuesday issue.

Starting tomorrow, Friday, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Belize embarks on a series of four international matches over the next few months, as part of a qualification process in the recently launched Concacaf Nations League.  Our other scheduled games in this series will be on October 30 against Montserrat in Montserrat, on November 16 against Puerto Rico in Belize, and on March 23 of 2019 against Guyana in Guayana.

To better understand the implications of these international matches on Belize’s long term aspirations to the Concacaf Gold Cup, and ultimately the FIFA World Cup, we share some portions of articles below from Concacaf.com:

Concacaf Nations League Officially Launched

Miami (Tuesday, March 6, 2018)

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) today announced the details and structure of the Concacaf Nations League, a new centralized men’s national team competition representing a new era of national team football for Concacaf Member Associations.

The Concacaf Nations League begins in September with a one-off qualifying phase, while the group phase, consisting of three tiered leagues will kick off in 2019.  The top league will end with a Final to crown the Nations League champion, and the competition will also serve to unify the qualifying path for the region’s national teams to the newly expanded Gold Cup…

The inaugural Concacaf Nations League competition will be played in the official FIFA match windows in September, October and November, 2019 with a Final Championship to be played in March 2020. All eligible Concacaf Member Associations will be assigned by sporting performance into three leagues: A, B and C…

The first edition of the Concacaf Nations League will begin with a one-off Concacaf Nations League Qualifying phase, which will determine which teams are assigned to each league. By virtue of having qualified for the Hexagonal Round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Russia 2018, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, the United States and Trinidad & Tobago have earned the right to be seeded directly into League A, and therefore will not participate in Nations League Qualifying…

The draw for Nations League Qualifying…has sorted the 34 Participating Member Associations into 68 total fixtures, to be played on FIFA match dates from September 2018 through March 2019…

The results of Nations League Qualifying will be compiled into an aggregate table, ranking the participating teams 1-34 based on points earned, goal difference and a series of additional tie breakers. The table will be used to divide teams into Leagues A, B and C for the first full edition of the Concacaf Nations League. The top six teams from the aggregate table will join the six World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal Round participants in League A, the next 16 teams will qualify for League B, and the remaining teams will be assigned to League C.

The top ten finishers in the Nations League Qualifying final table will also join the six World Cup Hexagonal Round nations in the 2019 Gold Cup which has recently been expanded to 16 teams, providing additional access to top-level football for more of Concacaf’s Member Associations.

Concacaf Announces Updated September Ranking and Gold Cup Seeded Nations

Concacaf.com

Miami (Friday, August 31, 2018)

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) made public today the Concacaf Ranking for the month of September.  The updated ranking, as of August 31, 2018 confirms the top four ranked teams – Mexico (#1), United States (#2), Costa Rica (#3), and Honduras (#4) as the seeded nations for the 2019 Gold Cup…

The Concacaf Ranking is a modern indexing system for the Men’s senior national teams in the region. As previously announced, the ranking plays a key role in determining qualification and seeding for regional and international championships, such as the Gold Cup, and will be updated on a monthly basis…

…The complete groups and the full schedule will be announced early next year, once all nations have qualified for the Gold Cup via the Concacaf Nations League Qualifier, to be played in September, October, and November of 2018, and March of 2019.  Next summer’s tournament will be the first to feature an expanded version, with 16 countries vying for continental glory in what is set to be the largest Gold Cup in history…

Taking place every two years, the Concacaf Gold Cup is the official national team championship of the region, which includes North and Central America and the Caribbean.  Drawing large crowds and millions of television viewers across the region, the Gold Cup is a celebration of soccer, sportsmanship, and culture.

The 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company, Cerveza Modelo, Nike, Scotiabank, and Toyota.  The tournament will be broadcast nationally on the Univision and FOX family of networks and transmitted on radio in Spanish by Fútbol de Primera Radio Network, and broadcast by television partners in countries around the world.

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Deshawn Swasey

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