The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) yesterday announced Jamaica as host of the upcoming CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, scheduled for January 2015.
The cities of Kingston and Montego Bay will be the venues for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship Jamaica 2015, which kicks off on January 9. The National Stadium in Kingston and the Montego Bay Sports Complex will each play host to group phase matches, with the final round to be played in Montego Bay on January 24.
“Jamaica has a strong sporting culture, and I am sure Jamaicans will once again create a passionate atmosphere for the championship,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.
The 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship will include a field of twelve teams: five from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), four from the Central American Football Union (UNCAF), and three from North America. Qualifying in Central America and the Caribbean is currently underway.
The tournament will crown the Confederation champion at this age level, and qualify four teams to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. Mexico is the two-time defending CONCACAF under-20 champion, having claimed the title in Puebla, Mexico in 2013 and in Guatemala City in 2011.
This year, a new format favoring development and competition will be introduced to the Under-20 Championship. The twelve qualifying teams will be divided into two groups of six, to play a round-robin format on the first five match days.
The resulting top team from each group will earn a direct berth to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, and a place in the championship match on the final day.
However, more than the winner’s trophy will be on the line on the final competition day — January 24 in Montego Bay. The second- and third-place teams from each group will be re-seeded into a four-team table, based on points obtained during group play. The top team from that table will play the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face off against the third-ranked nation, with the winners of each of those two final-day matches securing one of the two remaining tickets on offer to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
This new tournament structure backs enhanced competition in determining the Confederation’s prized World Cup bids. Additionally, development is emphasized by assuring all twelve competing teams multiple high-level, competitive matches. During the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship Jamaica 2015, all eleven match days will feature triple-header action, with a record 33 total games set to be contested among the finalists.
Information on the draw for the tournament will be announced in coming weeks.
CONCACAF Under-20 Championship Jamaica 2015
Dates: January 9 – January 24, 2015
Location: Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica
Stadiums: National Stadium (Kingston) and Montego Bay Sports Complex
Participating Teams: 12
Caribbean Football Union: 5 Teams
North America: 3 Teams
Central American Football Union: 4 Teams