- The CONCACAF Champions Cup will replace the UEFA Champions League starting in 2024
- The new expanded continental tournament will include 27 clubs and 51 matches
- Champion will earn $5 million+ from Concacaf in prize money and distributions
Miami, FL (Tuesday, June 6, 2023) – In September of 2021, CONCACAF launched an entirely new structure for men’s club competitions and can now confirm that it will include a completely renamed and rebranded annual men’s club tournament: CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Starting with the 2024 edition, the CONCACAF Champions Cup will replace the UEFA Champions League as the premier continental men’s tournament, crowning a club’s regional champions and providing a path to qualification for the new and expanded FIFA Club World Cup.
The name “CONCACAF Champions Cup”, which is part of the complete branding with a vibrant and modern visual identity, is inspired by the rich history of this tournament. The core of the brand is “epic battles for greatness,” symbolizing how tough this competition is to qualify, compete and win the CONCACAF Club Championship. Since 1962, when the first edition of this tournament was formed, 30 different clubs have won this title, highlighting the range of competition and the great diversity of champions we have in CONCACAF.
CONCACAF’s original continental club competition had the same name and through its 61-year heritage (1962-2008: CONCACAF Champions’ Cup; 2008-2023 CONCACAF Champions League; 2024 and later: CONCACAF Champions’ Cup), there have been 30 different winners in this tournament, From Club Lyon last Sunday, once again through the list of top clubs from Central America, North America and the Caribbean.
CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice-President Victor Montagliani said:
“The CONCACAF Champions Cup will take continental football in our region to the next level. It will raise the bar for leagues and clubs across CONCACAF, and the competition’s new name, along with this vibrant new branding, allows us to celebrate our rich history while looking forward to a great future for football.” International clubs in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
“The new CONCACAF club ecosystem will provide more great rivalries that we know footballers want to play in and that fans want to see. Clubs across the region will have to be at their best to compete to win the CONCACAF Champions Cup and earn the right to represent the region in The revamped and expanded FIFA Club World Cup, which begins in 2025.”
New expanded format with more participating clubs from Central America, the Caribbean and North America
As previously announced, the new structure also includes three regional CONCACAF Cup competitions, which will help further the growth and upgrading of clubs and leagues in CONCACAF.
These include a new CONCACAF Caribbean Cup that will crown a Caribbean champion, a new CONCACAF Cup Central America that will crown a Central American champion, and an expanded League Cup between MLS and Liga MX clubs. All three regional cups will have direct berths for qualification to the new CONCACAF Champions Cup.
The top clubs in North America will continue to have the opportunity to qualify through domestic leagues (Liga MX, MLS, CPL) and cup competitions (US Open Cup and Canadian Championship).
Significant increase in cash distributions and prize money
In each edition, beginning in 2024, the CONCACAF Cup champion will receive US$5 million in handouts and prize money, more than five times more than in the CONCACAF Champions League era.
The CONCACAF Champions’ Cup will continue to be played in a direct knockout qualifier format, and will consist of five rounds: Round 1, Round 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final.
Each of the first four stages will involve home and away play, while the final, where the regional champion will be crowned, will be played as a single match on a weekend date.
Of the 27 clubs that will participate, 22 will start play in the first round and five of them will receive a bye to the round of 16. The club qualification process will be broken down for each region (more details are available in the video below).
CONCACAF General Secretary Philippe Mogyu added:
“We are very excited about this new ecosystem and for the inaugural edition of the new and expanded CONCACAF Champions Cup next year. When considering the tournament name options, we did significant research among stakeholders, including with fans. Preserving the word ‘champions’ was paramount For us to highlight that this tournament is at the top of CONCACAF’s club hierarchy, and we also feel that moving away from the ‘Champions League’ allows us to develop a unique identity for our club competition.By returning to the original tournament name, we will have the opportunity to connect the last 61 years of continental football. In CONCACAF, what’s coming in the future.”
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