Miami, Florida, 3 de mayo de 2014.- El ex futbolista internacional trinitario Shaka Hislop confía en que la Copa América Centenario 2016 de fútbol anunciada el pasado jueves manifestará una nueva dimensión para el desarrollo del fútbol en el Caribe.
Por Michael Bascombe – firstname.lastname@example.org
La Confederación de Norte, Centroamérica y el Caribe de Fútbol (Concacaf) y la Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (Conmebol) anunciaron en conjunto esta edición extraordinaria de la Copa América, en conmemoración del centenario de vida de la Conmebol, y que tendrá por sede los Estados Unidos, del 3 al 26 de junio de 2016, por primera vez fuera del territorio de Sudamérica.
“Estoy emocionado por esto, pues se abrazan ambas confederaciones en su totalidad”, dijo Hislop, en respuesta a la iniciativa y su significado para el fútbol en el Caribe.
“América del Sur, por supuesto, totalmente representada y no sólo con México y EE.UU. como representantes de la CONCACAF, porque se garantiza representación centroamericana y del Caribe también. Creo que es fantástico para el fútbol de la región”, añadió.
Estados Unidos y México estarán directamente clasificados para el torneo, al igual que los diez países de América del Sur: Argentina, Brasil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay y Venezuela.
Otros dos representantes de la Concacaf serán los campeones de la Copa del caribe, en Noviembre y la Copa de la UNCAF, de Centroamérica.
Los otros dos sitios para la Concacaf surgirán de dos playoffs entre los cuatro mejores equipos ubicados en la Copa del Oro 2015 que no estén ya clasificados por las vías ya mencionadas.
Shaka Hislop welcomes Caribbean’s inclusion in Copa America
By Michael Bascombe – email@example.com
Miami, Florida, May 3, 2014.– Former Trinidad and Tobago international footballer Shaka Hislop believes the Centennial Cup America announced on Thursday could be a new dimension in the development of football in the Caribbean.
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) jointly announced that the Centennial Edition of the Copa America will be played in the United States in 2016.
The Centenary Cup will be contested for the first time outside of South America and will be held in cities across the United States in the summer of 2016, beginning June 3 and ending on June 26.
“I am excited by it and it embraces both confederations in their entirety,” said Hislop, reacting to the initiative and its meaning for football in the Caribbean.
“South America, of course, fully represented and not just with Mexico and USA as the powerhouses of CONCACAF but it guarantees Central American and Caribbean representation as well. I think it’s fantastic for how encompassing it is for the region’s football”.
“CONCACAF plays a key role in the development of the sport in the Americas and as much as we look at the long history of Copa America and its importance in the global game I think now CONCACAF has an added dimension to it. Between the two Confederations representing over one billion people, some 30 per cent of the world’s population, biggest audiences and certainly some of the greatest passions of the game, I think to have that all under the one umbrella spells for as brighter future as it has been in the past.”
At least one team from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) is guaranteed a place among the field of 16 teams which includes CONMEBOL’s 10 Member Associations and six competitors from CONCACAF.
“I have always felt that the development of football is something that you can’t accomplish on your own. So it’s great to see CONCACAF as a wider body and CONMEBOL embrace the development of football in the Caribbean. To have a Caribbean team participate in this higher level spells for the advancement of the game in the region,” said Hislop, who made 26 appearances for Trinidad & Tobago, including the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Also hailing the football initiative is former midfielder and coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, Theodore Whitmore.
He said that this is an indication of the many strides made in the development of football in the Caribbean and will provide more quality football for regional players.
“It’s an historic moment to have the Copa America coming to this region and a chance to have the CONCACAF teams to participate”, he said.
“For Jamaica, it will also be historic to play in such a tournament and also give the countries more time to participate fully. We (Jamaica) need to qualify for the Gold Cup, this is the only way we could be part of this historic tournament.”
The United States and Mexico will be automatic qualifiers for the tournament and will join South American giants Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Additional CONCACAF representatives will include the 2014 champion of the Caribbean Cup in November and the champion of UNCAF, winner of the Central American Cup.
The final two CONCACAF teams to earn a ticket to the Centennial Cup America 2016 will be determined by a four-team playoff. The four national teams advancing furthest in the 2015 edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup that are not the ones already qualified to the Centennial Cup America (Mexico, the United States, CFU winner and UNCAF winner), will dispute playoff matches to determine the final two CONCACAF qualifiers to the Centennial America Cup.
The teams advancing to the playoff round will be seeded one through four according to their performance in the 2015 Gold Cup. The highest seed will then face the fourth seed, and the second seed will face the third seed in a playoff doubleheader, with the winners of each of those two matches advancing to the Centennial Cup America.