Webb focuses on regional development
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
President of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Jeffrey Webb says the focus is on developing the region's football in order that one day a team from the area can lift a World Cup title for the first time.
"The priority is to continue to focus on development in CONCACAF as we have never won a FIFA tournament," Webb said during the launch of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
The tournament will run from January 9-24 at the National Stadium and Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James. Twelve nations will battle for the CONCACAF Under-20 crown, as well as four spots to the 2015 FIFA World Cup in New Zealand.
With regards to the championship, Webb, who is also a FIFA vice-president anticipates a "very exciting and competitive tournament".
"This one will be exciting and challenging for host Jamaica and the other competing nations. I wish the best four teams will qualify for the Under-20 World Cup and represent the region well," Webb, who is also chairman for the World Cup in New Zealand said.
change in format
"The staging of the 25th edition of the tournament has seen a change in format. The previous format was not good value. We wanted the teams to get more opportunity to develop by playing more games against each other," Webb said.
He also thanked Scotiabank for their initiative to sponsor tournaments in the region.
In response, Heather Goldson, Scotiabank's regional marketing director confirmed her company's partnership with CONCACAF until 2018.
"This deal will run until 2018 and covers tournaments in CONCACAF, starting with the Under-20 championship in Jamaica," Goldson said, declining to offer the full financial details.
Meanwhile, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell says it will cost US$1.2 million ($137 million) for accommodation and food for the 12 teams and officials.
"I'm disappointed with the support from the hotels. The tourism sector is set to benefit, especially in western Jamaica, but the support is not forthcoming," the outspoken Burrell, who is also a CONCACAF vice-president lamented.