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Caribbean Cup will be huge - Burrell

Published:Wednesday | September 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Captain Horace Burrell says the 2014 Caribbean Cup final phase to be played in Montego Bay in November 9-18 will be huge for Jamaica.

"The Caribbean Cup will be huge," Burrell told The Gleaner at a reception for the Reggae Boyz hosted by the Japanese embassy, located at Seymour Drive.

"The winner of the Caribbean Cup will advance to the Copa America Centenario Cup in 2016. That is huge. In addition, you would also qualify for the Gold Cup next year," he added.

full strength team

Burrell promised that Jamaica will be at full strength for the Caribbean's premier tournament.

"We will have the strongest squad available. The full compliment will be available for selection," he assured.

The 2014 Caribbean Cup will be the 18th edition. The final competition stage consists of eight teams, including hosts Jamaica and defending champions Cuba, and is scheduled for November 9-18 in Montego Bay.

For the first time, the competition and its qualifying stages have been scheduled to take place during officially sanctioned FIFA international match periods. The change was made to assist the National Football Associations selecting high profile Caribbean players whose clubs would be otherwise reluctant to lose the players' service while on international duty.

"It would ensure the tournament has star power," Burrell noted.

The top four teams qualify for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup automatically, while the fifth-placed team will play-off against the fifth-placed team from the 2014 Copa Centroamerica tournament.

The winner of the tournament will qualify for the Copa America Centenario, a 16-team tournament of CONMEBOL and CONCACAF national teams to be held in the United Staes in 2016.

Before the Caribbean Cup, Jamaica will tackle Japan in a friendly international next month in Japan - the reason why the embassy hosted the reception on Monday night.