Sun | May 19, 2019

CONCACAF Caribbean Cup set for Stadium East

Published:Wednesday | April 24, 2019 | 12:29 AMNodley Wright/Gleaner Writer
Javon East of Portmore United celebrates after scoring against Mount Pleasant in their  Red Stripe Premier League semi-final at the National Stadium in Kingston on Monday, April 15, 2019.
Javon East of Portmore United celebrates after scoring against Mount Pleasant in their Red Stripe Premier League semi-final at the National Stadium in Kingston on Monday, April 15, 2019.

Jamaican clubs Portmore United and Waterhouse FC will enjoy the benefits of home comforts when the FLOW CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championships are held in Jamaica from May 12-19 at Stadium East.

The top two clubs in the island, who, like they did last year, will be contesting the final of the nation’s highest competition next Monday, were drawn alongside Haitiain clubs Real Hope FA and AS Capoise. CONCACAF Chief Football Officer Manolo Zubiria made the disclosure at a press conference held at the offices of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) yesterday.

“I am very proud to announce that Jamaica will host the 2019 FLOW CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship from May 12 to 19 at Stadium East.

“This competition represents the best of Caribbean professional football and is an integral part of our extended club competitions football platform. It provides an extraordinary opportunity to continue supporting and developing football in the Caribbean to grow talent and encourage our youth to play the sport,” Zubiria said.

From this competition, the ­winners will have the opportunity to qualify directly for the Scotiabank Champions League, with the runners-up and third-place finishers qualifying for the Scotiabank CONCACAF League. The fourth-place finishers will play-off against SV Robinhood from Suriname, the winners of the 2019 Caribbean Club Shield held recently in Curaçao, to ­determine the third club that will qualify for the Scotiabank CONCACAF League.

“In the Caribbean, this competition provides a clear pathway to the top level of CONCACAF ­competitions,” Zubira added.

President of the JFF, Michael Ricketts, expressed thanks and delight for the support being given to member associations at a time when football in the region is much more transparent. For him and his association to be reaping such support and benefits was both a blessing and good luck, he said. He also pledged to give complete attention to all areas of football to ensure that the final product of football is of the highest quality.

Jamaica’s hosting of the FLOW CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship matches adds to a very busy football calendar in Jamaica for the country’s national teams. Jamaica’s Under-17 male team will begin World Cup qualification at the beginning of next month, and the Reggae Girlz will host Panama on May 19 before playing away to Scotland on May 28 ahead of their historic World Cup participation in June.

The Reggae Boyz, who will have the benefit of playing their first match of the 2019 Gold Cup in Kingston in June, the first time Gold Cup matches will be hosted in the Caribbean, are also scheduled to play a friendly against the United States on June 5 in Washington, DC.