Miami – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced yesterday that the Dominican Republic will host the inaugural edition of the CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield, scheduled to be played from April, 13 – 21, next. The Guyana Defense Force, the nation’s Elite League champions has been drawn in Group ‘B’.
The newly launched championship forming the base of the CONCACAF club competition platform the Caribbean Club Shield features twelve teams from twelve different Member Association leagues, all of which are working with CONCACAF’s Development Department towards a long-term vision to professionalise the club game across the region.
The Dominican Republic was selected as host of the inaugural Caribbean Shield after a detailed regional evaluation process.
“CONCACAF is proud to announce that the Caribbean Shield will be launched in the Dominican Republic. It was of the utmost importance to our team at CONCACAF to find the right stage for this developmental tournament, and provide a great environment to these twelve champion clubs to experience international football,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani. “Along with on-going club licensing and league development efforts in the Caribbean, the Shield represents the Confederation’s ONE CONCACAF commitment and robust efforts to support and develop club football in the Caribbean.”
The participating clubs for the 2018 Caribbean Shield are (in alphabetical order by Member Association): SV Deportivo Nacional, Aruba, Weymouth Wales FC, Barbados, SV Real Rincon, Bonaire, Bodden Town FC, Cayman Islands, RKSV Centro Dominguito, Curacao, Hard Rock Sports Club, Grenada, USR Sainte-Rose, Guadeloupe, Guyana Defence Force, Guyana, Club Franciscain, Martinique, Cayon FC, St. Kitts and Nevis, Avenues United FC, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Inter Moengotapoe, Suriname.
These clubs represent Member Associations with up-and-coming leagues, working their way towards full professional standards, following the CONCACAF league professionalisation roadmap.
CONCACAF’s wide-ranging club licensing and league development programs are designed to raise the level of the club game throughout the region, creating more access and opportunity for development of players and officials, and resulting in further growth and an improved level of competition throughout the CONCACAF club competitions platform.
In addition to meaningful competition on an international stage, the Caribbean Club Shield provides clubs from Member Associations from across the Caribbean a direct pathway to the Confederation’s top regional club championships.
Together with the Caribbean Club Championship, now underway and featuring eight professional clubs from the four club leagues in the Caribbean with the highest professional standards – the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago — the Caribbean Club Shield will serve as a qualifying tournament for the Scotiabank CONCACAF League, and open the door for wider participation of Caribbean clubs in Confederation championships at the highest level.
The winner of the 2018 CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield, if it fulfills CONCACAF Regional Club Licensing criteria, will have the opportunity to face the fourth-place finisher of the 2018 Caribbean Club Championship in a playoff match, to determine the fourth Caribbean representative in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League.
2018 CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield – Clubs: 12 from 12 Caribbean Member Associations
Group A: SV Deportivo Nacional (ARU), Inter Moengotapoe (SUR), Weymouth Wales FC (BRB) and USR Sainte-Rose (GPE).
Group B: Guyana Defence Force (GUY); Avenues United FC (VIN); Hard Rock Sports Club (GRN) and SV Real Rincon (BOE).
Group C: Cayon FC (SNK), Bodden Town FC (CAY), RKSV Centro Dominguito (CUW) and Franciscain (MTQ).
Competition Format: The twelve participating clubs will be sorted into three groups of four for the Group Stage. After round-robin play, the three group winners, plus the best second-place finishers will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will automatically qualify to the championship final.
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