Revamped CONCACAF Nations League offers Heimir Hallgrimsson’s troops a shot of competing in prestigious tournament
Heimir Hallgrimsson will discover Jamaica’s 2023-24 CONCACAF Nations League (CNL) opponents when the draw takes place in Miami on 16 May.
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz were eliminated from this year’s CNL finals after being held to a 2-2 stalemate by Mexico in March.
So it will be back to the drawing board for Hallgrimsson following this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the CNL format being revamped. However, a place in the highly-lucrative 2024 CONMEBOL Copa America finals is up for grabs.
The former Icelandic head coach could soon be tackling Brazil and FIFA World Cup champions Argentina in competitive action. He was brought in to revive Jamaica’s fortunes, because they have been in such freefall in recent years under former star player Theodore Whitmore.
Jamaica currently sit as the sixth highest-ranked side in the CONCACAF region, lying 50 places behind world no.13 USA.
Mexico (no.15), Costa Rica (no.39), Canada (no.47) and Panama (no.58) sit ahead of the Boyz. While hot on the heels of Hallgrimsson’s troops are El Salvador (no.75), Honduras (no.80), Haiti (no.88) and Curaçao (no.89).
The 2023-24 CNL (scheduled for September, October and November) will serve as a qualifying tournament for the region’s 2025 Gold Cup, while the 2024-25 CNL also offers half-a-dozen six CONCACAF nations an opportunity to tackle the 2024 Copa America.
Both CNL editions will feature 41 teams in a trio of League formats, which will comprise 16 sides in the top top Leagues and nine in League C.
Jamaica are one of 16 nations that will compete in League A of the 2023-24 CNL, expanded from 12 teams, with a new quarter-final round introduced following the group stages.
A dozen of the lowest FIFA-ranked nations will be divided into two groups, with each side playing a total of four games — two at home and two away.
The top two from these groups join the four highest-ranked League A teams in two-legged quarter-finals, with the winners advancing to the CNL finals. These four CNL finalists will automatically qualify for the 2024 Copa America to be hosted in the United States. While the sides who finish fifth and sixth will be relegated to League B.
The League B format remains with 16 teams divided into four groups for robin-round matches, three played at home and three away. Group winners get promoted to League A, and the nations who finish bottom of their group will be relegated to League C.
League C comprises nine minnows divided into three groups for robin-round matches, two played at home and two away. The group winners and the best second-place finisher will be promoted to League B.
2023-24 CNL DRAW
League A | Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba (promoted), Curaçao, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala (promoted), Haiti (promoted), Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua (promoted), Panama, Suriname and USA.
League B | Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Montserrat, Puerto Rico (promoted), St. Kitts & Nevis (promoted), St. Lucia (promoted), St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sint Maarten (promoted) and Trinidad & Tobago.
League C | Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, St. Martin, Turks & Caicos Island and US Virgin Islands.
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