Concacaf has unveiled a revamped women’s championship tournament and a new W Gold Cup set to begin in 2024, the confederation announced on Thursday.
These changes will more than double the number of international matches on the women’s calendar in the region.
“This is a seismic development for our womenâ€™s national team competitions and will transform the womenâ€™s game in Concacaf,â€ Concacaf president and FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani said in a statement. â€œWhen we launched our Concacaf W strategy in 2019 we committed to providing more opportunities for all member associations. This new ecosystem wholeheartedly delivers on that and the inclusion of an inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup as a central part it is a truly exciting step in our journey to further elevate womenâ€™s football.”
Set to kick off in 2022, the W Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 W Gold Cup. The eight participating nations, which includes Canada, the United States and six other nations from the Concacaf W Qualifiers, will be divided into two groups of four teams. The top-two finishers in each group qualify for the semifinals and guarantee a place in the World Cup. The winner also books a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics and the W Gold Cup. The runner-up and third-place side will progress to a Concacaf Olympic play-in series to be played in September 2023.
The W Gold Cup will feature a qualifying format similar to the men’s Concacaf Nations League format, where teams are split into three “leagues” before the field is whittled down.
League A: Top nine ranked nations divided into three groups of three teams
League B: Next 12 best-ranked teams divided into three groups of four teams
League C: Lowest-ranked 12 teams divided into three groups of four teams
The winners of each League A group will qualify for the W Gold Cup. The runners-up finishers in League A and the first-place finishers in each of the League B groups will advance to a W Gold Cup play-in to be played in April 2023. The three play-in winners will advance to the W Gold Cup.