Details are slowly emerging about the new format for the CONCACAF Champions League and how team quality for it.
CONCACAF announced today details about the new 16-team tournament that begins this fall, the champion of which qualifies for the next year’s Champions League. The tournament will include 13 teams from Central America and three that qualify via the Caribbean Club Championship. Two teams from each of Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua, as well as one team from Belize, join the three Caribbean teams in the new tournament.
For the 2017 edition, due to the continued FIFA suspension of the Guatemalan federation, three teams will replace those set to compete in the 2017 CONCACAF League and 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. Panama and Honduras will each have an additional team in the 2017 CONCACAF League, while the second-place Costa Rican team will qualify for the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League.
The champion will join the Canadian Cup Champion, the Caribbean Club Champion, the overall champions of Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, and Guatemala, four Mexican teams, and four US teams (including FC Dallas) in the subsequent Champions League next spring.
The draw for the new league will take place on May 31 in Miami, FL. The tournament itself is set to begin play this August for qualification into the 2018 Champions League.