CONCACAF officially announced the new League of Nations competition, set to begin in September, 2018. The press release confirmed an earlier report that the confederation was set to follow UEFA’s example and form a league structure for their national teams.
Though the specifics won’t be released until early 2018, CONCACAF confirmed that all 41 nations in the region will play across three leagues with promotion and relegation. CONCACAF added that they will use the tournament for Gold Cup qualification as well as a CONCACAF-only ranking system that will be used for World Cup qualifying seeding.
“This is a watershed moment for CONCACAF,” confederation president Victor Montagliani said. “By focusing on football to provide all our teams with year-round, quality competition, the League of Nations platform means everyone wins. “This new tournament is highly beneficial to all our Member Associations and fans everywhere, since it provides significant opportunities to play important competitive matches with increased regularity throughout the year.”
Following UEFA’s model for Europe’s Nations League, the expectation would be for CONCACAF’s League of Nations to take the bulk of dates on the international calendar. This would replace friendlies with League of Nations games. In a FAQ for the new competition, CONCACAF answered a question about the League of Nations’ purpose.
“The CONCACAF League of Nations has been created to provide an avenue for more meaningful and quality football for all CONCACAF Member Associations, while uplifting the profile of national teams. In an era where the significance of friendlies has been reduced, the League of Nations will uplift the international game. At the heart of the matter, the League of Nations is about uniting the Confederation through competition, while providing increased access to our game for fans and competitors. Everybody wins.”