Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Jamaica open Nations League against Cayman

Published:Thursday | March 8, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore.

Jamaica will play The Cayman Islands at home in their opening CONCACAF Nations League match when the tournament kicks off in September with 17 games. The Reggae Boyz play their second game away to Bonaire in October, then host Suriname in November, before ending their group stage fixtures away to El Salvador in March 2019, this after tournament details and fixtures were announced at Tuesday's launch in Miami. The qualifying phase will be played from September 2018 to March 2019.

Thirty-four teams divided into four pots based on seeding will play four matches each - two home and two away - and based on their results, will be placed into one of three tiers of the inaugural edition of the competition, with the top league to end with a final to crown the Nations League champion. The tournament will also serve as qualifiers for the newly expanded Gold Cup.

THREE LEAGUES

There will be three leagues, A, B and C, and group matches will be played on the official FIFA dates, with a championship finals to be played in March 2020.

However, all six qualifiers for the CONCACAF Hexagonal Round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Russia 2018 (Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, the United States, and Trinidad & Tobago) have earned the right for direct seeding into League A and will not participate in the qualifying stage. Guatemala will also not participate in the qualifiers because of an ongoing suspension imposed by FIFA.

The top 10 finishers in the Nations League qualifying will join the six World Cup Hexagonal Round nations in the 2019 Gold Cup tournament..

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com