BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Junior Sugar Boys - St. Kitts and Nevis’ Under 20 team - will enter the 2020 CONCACAF Championship in the group stages, based on information released by the zonal body.
Details released yesterday (Nov. 12) confirmed changes that were made for the tournament, including the fact that it would be distributed over three stages in February, June and July of 2020.
CONCACAF said that unlike the previous format, which included regional qualifiers in the Caribbean and Central America and one final Championship, “the redesigned competition mirrors the format used for the men’s under-17, women’s under-17 and women’s under-20 competitions, ensuring that all participating teams have an opportunity to qualify for a FIFA World Cup and to play more top-level competitive football matches”.
The first stage of the competition will kickoff in February 2020 and will comprise 17 teams ranked from 17-41.
Those teams will be divided into three groups of four and one group of five. After round-robin play, the top finisher in each group will advance to the knockout stage.
The following teams will be participating in the qualifying leg of the competition = Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the US Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, team St. Kitts and Nevis will await the second round group which will take place in June.
According to CONCACAF, the top ranked 16 participating teams would be divided into four groups of four.
After round-robin play, the top three teams in each groups will advance to the knockout stage.
The participating countries for the group stage are Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.
While the final round of the competition will take place immediately following the second stage.
All knockout round matches (round of 16, quarter final, semi-final and final) will be played in a single match elimination format, with the semi-finalist qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2021.