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 national women’s team competitions and it will transform women’s football at Concacaf,” Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani said in a statement. “When we launched our Concacaf W strategy in 2019, we made a commitment to provide more opportunities for all member associations. This new ecosystem responds fully to that and the inclusion of a first Concacaf W Gold Cup as a centerpiece is a truly exciting step in our journey to further elevate women’s football. “
The W Championship, which begins in 2022, will serve as a qualifier for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 W Gold Cup. The eight participating nations, including Canada, the United States and six other qualifying nations of the Concacaf W, will be divided into two groups of four teams. The first two in each group advance to the semi-finals and guarantee a place in the World Cup. The winner also reserves a place at the 2024 Summer Olympics and the W Gold Cup. The finalist and third team will advance to a Concacaf Olympic play-in series which will 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 pitch is reduced.
Call A: The nine ranked first nations divided into three groups of three teams
League B: The next 12 top-ranked teams split into three groups of four teams
League C: The 12 lowest-ranked teams divided into three groups of four teams
The winners of each League A group will qualify for the W Gold Cup. The League A finalists and the top of each of the League B groups will advance to the W Gold Cup match to be played in April 2023. The three play-in winners will advance to the W Gold Cup.