MIAMI – Concacaf Thursday announced the structure of a new senior women’s national teams football calendar that will begin in 2021 and include major centralized summer tournaments in 2022 and 2024.
The Concacaf Council approved this structure of new competitions with the aim of transforming women’s national team football across the entire confederation.
The new calendar prioritizes providing more official match dates for all Concacaf region women’s senior national teams and ensuring there is elite competition to showcase the highest level of women’s international football. Through this new calendar, Concacaf will more than double the number of official senior women’s national team matches compared with the current cycle of competitions.
This followed the launch in June 2019 of Concacaf W – the Confederation’s women’s football strategy – which has focused on working with Concacaf member associations to grow all aspects of women’s football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The structure of how the new competitions will be organized, and the formats, are as follows:
Concacaf Women’s National Team Competition 2021/22 – World Cup qualification
Group Stage – FIFA Windows of November 2021 and April 2022
Concacaf women’s national teams ranked 3 and below in the FIFA Rankings will be drawn into six groups of five *
Each team will play a total of four matches (two at home and two away)
At the end of the group stage, the six group winners will qualify for a centralized Finals event
The top two Concacaf nations in the FIFA rankings from August 2020, USA and Canada, will not compete in the group stage and will receive a bye straight to the finals;
* Should more than 30 Concacaf members association participate in this competition, a play-in would be organized ahead of the group stage.
Centralized finals event – July 2022
The six group winners will be joined by the top two Concacaf ranked nations (USA and Canada)
The eight nations will be split into two groups of four
After single round-robin play, the two group winners will qualify for the knockout rounds
The final event will qualify Concacaf teams into the Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
Concacaf Women’s National Team Competition 2023/24 – Women’s Concacaf Nations League
Group Stage – FIFA windows of September, October, November 2023 (and April 2024 play-in)
Concacaf national teams* will be split into groups within three leagues
Home and away matches will be played within league groups
The three top league group winners will qualify directly to the finals event in Summer 2024
The second league group winners and runners-up from the top league will have an opportunity to compete in a play-in to qualify for the finals
The Concacaf women’s national teams which compete in the Summer 2024 Olympic Games will not compete in the group stage and will receive a bye directly to the finals.
Centralized Finals Event – June 2024
The finals of the 2023/24 Concacaf women’s national team competition will consist of 12 teams split into three groups of four, including:
The two Concacaf national teams which compete in the 2024 Olympic Games (they receive a bye directly to the finals of this competition)
Six Concacaf national teams which qualify through the group stage and play-in
Four guest national teams from other confederations
After single round-robin play, the three group winners, the three group runners-up and the two best third-place finishers will qualify for the knock-out stage which will consist of quarterfinals, semifinals and a final.
The qualification of Concacaf women’s national teams to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be structured through this new calendar of competitions. Further information on how Olympic qualification will be determined will be communicated in due course.
“This is a milestone moment for our Concacaf W strategy, and I am hugely excited by the prospect of launching these new Concacaf women’s national team competitions,” Concacaf president Victor Montagliani said in a statement. “I strongly believe they will provide a development pathway for all of our member associations, while at the same time creating strong and competitive finals events to showcase the very best of women’s national team football in our region.
“These new competitions will help us further harness the growth in women’s football that we have seen in this region as a result of the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups. I am confident they will have a very positive impact on the women’s game at all levels in Concacaf.”
Added Concacaf head of women’s football Karina LeBlanc: “As a former international player who is now on the administrative side driving forward the Concacaf W strategy I am truly excited by this development for women’s football in the region.
“These new competitions will be transformative for the confederation by providing a consistent structure of matches for all member associations. They will accelerate the growth of the women’s game in Concacaf and I can’t wait for them to get started next year.”
The names and brands of the new Concacaf women’s senior national team competitions are still to be determined and will be announced in 2021.