Although US soccer is not the most popular sport in the region, it is starting to gain more and more importance these days . With many soccer matches that are currently taking place, the acronym CONCACAF keeps on showing up. If you are a soccer enthusiast you might already know a thing or two about this tournament and about its history. If not, then read ahead to learn more about it.
In 1961, the Football Confederation of Central America and the Caribbean (CCCF) merged with the North American Football Confederation (NAFC), which resulted in the creation of CONCAF ( Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football ). It represents the governing body for soccer in this region and it is one of the six continental authorities in charge of administrating the game along with the world governing body, FIFA.
CONCACAF comprises of 40 member associations, among which we can also find states such as Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana. These three states are on the South American continent. Also, among the 40 members there are five associate members. They are: the Dutch territory Sint Maarten, Frenc Guyana and French department of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint- Martin. They have a special status which allows them to take part in CONCACAF events, but not in FIFA ones.
One of CONCACAF’s main attributes is the organization of competitions. It also provides training courses in both technical and administrative aspects of the game. An other attribute is to help increase visibility for the sport throughout the region.
Tournaments take place every four years for both clubs and national teams in the region. Among them we can find qualifying tournaments (including regional championships) for: the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFA tournaments at under-17, under-20 and under-23 youth levels as well as the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and the FIFA Futsal World Cup.
CONCACAF is also supported by the following regional entities : CFU which stands for Caribbean Football Union and UNCAF which stands for Union Centroamericana de Futbol. They organize regional and qualification events for both men and women and also for club teams to various CONCACAF tournaments.
In elections at the CONCACAF Congress each member has one vote. The smallest association union in the region is the North American Football Union and it has only three members. However, these members are strongly supported by their sponsors in commercial and marketing aspects. Also, these three states have the highest population in the region.
Now that you know a thing or two about CONCACAF you should start watching the soccer matches. They are quite interesting and sometimes get really intense. Even better, you should find a team to root for or you can make bets with your friends. This way you will be more eager to watch the matches and more interested in who wins or loses.
All that you have to do is look for the schedule. Then, you mark your calendar, gather with your friends and have fun.