CONCACAF Champions League Announced

So this has FINALLY been formalized and was much needed.

The CONCACAF Champions Cup is going the way of the dinosaur and becoming a UEFA Champions League/Libertadores style event instead which promises to add more drama.

Here are some of the details from the CONCACAF website:

CONCACAF announced today the official launch of the new continental club championship, the CONCACAF Champions League which will commence in August 2008. The CONCACAF Champions League will replace the Champions’ Cup which will cease to exist after the 2008 edition.

The CONCACAF Champions League will see a Confederation record number of 24 teams from all sectors of the CONCACAF region participating. The preliminary round begins in August 2008 with the first CONCACAF Champions League winner to be crowned in late April 2009.

The CONCACAF Champions League will feature four teams from Mexico and USA; three Caribbean sides; two clubs each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama; and one representative coming from Canada, Belize, and Nicaragua.

Eight clubs (two Mexican, two USA, one each from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) will be seeded and progress directly to the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League, while the Caribbean slots have been increased to three teams for this event.

The remaining 16 teams will be paired in eight home-and-away preliminary match-ups taking place from 26-28 August and 2-4 September.

Though I have one question: What’s up with the 1 team from Canada thing? Last time I checked Canada participated in both the USL and MLS and there is currently only one division 1 (MLS) side active in Canada.

Surely that can’t mean that Toronto FC gets an automatic berth every year until they add another Canadian side does it? Even then: Why?

If they must have teams from all nations, then it’s time to fold TFC now or for Canada to create their own league. I don’t see that happening, but it’s a sham if a team as shitty as TFC was on the pitch last year gets and automatic berth into the regional club championship and by extension a possible invite to the wildly lucrative FIFA Club World Cup.

Someone at CONCACAF has some explainin’ to do (which isn’t the first time) but other than that peccadillo; I really love the change.

Things keep on growing in the US and CONCACAF in terms of soccer/football. Exciting times my friends. Exciting times.

Check out the schedule of events after the break

Calendar of Events
End July: All qualification completed, draw for preliminary round
26-28 August: Preliminary Round, First-legs
2-4 September: Preliminary Round, Second-legs
Early September: Group Stage Schedule Announced
16-18 September: Group Stage – Match Day 1
23-25 September: Group Stage – Match Day 2
30 September – 2 October: Group Stage – Match Day 3
7-9 October: Group Stage – Match Day 4
21-23 October: Group Stage – Match Day 5
28-30 October: Group Stage – Match Day 6

24-26 February: Quarterfinals, First-legs
3-5 March: Quarterfinals, Second-legs
17-19 March: Semifinals, First-legs
7-9 April: Semifinals, Second-legs
21-23 April: Final, First-leg
28-30 April: Final, Second-leg
December: FIFA Club World Cup


2 Responses to “CONCACAF Champions League Announced”

  1. 1 CK in dallas
    February 10, 2008 at 6:20 am

    TFC will likely have to compete with the USL-1 teams in Montreal and Vancouver for the Canada spot. If you don’t like how that plays out, you can blame it on the footballing federations, because it would be easiest to allow TFC to qual through one of the four US spots, but USSF won’t likely allow the possibility of a Canadien team to qualify in one of their spots, even if they win MLS, so the MLS itself is powerless. Now to appease the CSA, Canada has to qual through their own spot. If they get it easy, that’s more power to them.

    The only Federation in the world that currently allows a team from outside of their country to qual in Champions League tournies is France who allows Monaco to use one of their slots, but only bc Monaco doesn’t have a footballing federation of it’s own.

  2. 2 footballerslives
    February 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    after a little more digging. (I posted this like 2 minutes after it was announced) I’ve been getting the feeling what you described was the situation.
    It still doesn’t make sense if TFC is allowed to compete.
    A Champion’s League is supposed to be for the Champions of a Federations top flight division. Toronto doesn’t play in a league sanctioned by the CSA (kinda like the Welsh teams that play in the English league system rather than the Welsh system–those are other teams that play outside their Fed, it’s not just Monaco)
    So if the CSA wants to say that the USL teams are their ‘A’ division teams, that’s fine, but to allow a team that plays in another federation’s ‘A’ league to switch to their other federation when it comes down to a money tournament is nuts. It will ultimately do nothing but give TFC a competitive advantage since a large hunk of the prize money will be allowed to be used in allocations (salary cap free money)
    I don’t like it.

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