CONCACAF Gold Cup qualification
2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Prelims.png
Founded1963
RegionNorth America, Central America, and Caribbean (CONCACAF)
Number of teams41 (overall)
Qualifier forCONCACAF Gold Cup
Related competitionsCONCACAF Nations League

This page is a summary of the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualification, the process that CONCACAF-affiliated national association football teams go through in order to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup is an international association football competition held every two years between countries in North America, including Central America and the Caribbean. There have been several formats of qualifying which determine the countries that will participate in the final tournament.

Format evolution

Number of teams entering qualification
El Salvador
1963
Guatemala
1965
Honduras
1967
Costa Rica
1969
Trinidad and Tobago
1971
Haiti
1973
Mexico
1977
Honduras
1981
1985 1989 United States
1991
Mexico
United States 1993
United States
1996
United States
1998
United States
2000
Mexico
United States 2002
United States
2003
United States
2005
United States
2007
United States
2009
United States
2011
United States
2013
Canada
United States 2015
United States
2017
Costa Rica
Jamaica
United States 2019
United States
2021
Total entrants[a] 2 8 8 10 12 14 15 15 10 10 21 27 26 30 33 31 29 38 32 33 37 32 33 31 34 41
Qualified through qualification 1 1 4 5 3 5 5 5 4 5 4 5 5 6 6 6 7 7 7 9 9 9 9 9 10 15
Qualified automatically 8 5 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 6 0
Total finalists 9 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 9 5 8 8 9 10 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 16 16
  1. ^ Data is about qualifications only (automatic qualifiers are not counted).

Resume

For 1963 to 1989, regional qualifiers were played for each sub-confederation.

From 1991 to 2017, similar qualification processes were used. Spots in the Gold Cup were allocated to each of the sub-confederations: the North American Football Union (NAFU), the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), and the Central American Football Union (UNCAF). Typically the NAFU would receive three berths in the tournament, and the remaining berths were divided between CFU and UNCAF. Because the NAFU only has three members, each country (Canada, Mexico, United States) would qualify automatically. The CFU and UNCAF would use the results of the Caribbean Cup and Copa Centroamericana to determine its entrants to the Gold Cup.

From 1996 to 2005, some nations from outside the CONCACAF region received invitations to the Gold Cup and did not need to qualify. From 1998 to 2003 and again from 2015 to 2017, specific qualifying tournaments were held to determine the final one or two spots in the Gold Cup.[1]

For the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the two berths allocated to the Caribbean Football Union were to be awarded to the winners of the 1996 and 1997 Caribbean Cups. Because Trinidad and Tobago won both tournaments, a one match playoff between the two runners-up was played.

For the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Canada did not qualify automatically and competed in a round-robin playoff along with two Caribbean and one Central American nation. The top two teams would qualify for the Gold Cup.

The final spot in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup was determined by a two-leg playoff between the fourth place team at the 2001 Caribbean Cup and the fourth place team at the 2001 UNCAF Nations Cup. This format would be re-used in 2015 and 2017.

There was not a Caribbean Cup held before the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to determine the CFU's entrants. Instead, a one-off CFU Qualifying Tournament was held to determine the two Gold Cup participants and the two playoff participants. The two Caribbean teams were joined by the fourth place team in the 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup in a round-robin playoff for two spots in the Gold Cup.

From 2007 to 2017, no nations from outside the CONCACAF region participated in the Gold Cup. The 12-team tournament consisted of three North American, five Central American, and four Caribbean teams. For the 2015 and 2017 tournaments, the fifth Central American spot was awarded to the winner of a two-leg playoff featuring the 5th place teams from the Copa Centroamericana and the Caribbean Cup.[2][3] The Central American team won the playoff on both occasions.

Beginning with the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, qualification has been linked to the CONCACAF Nations League. Held in 2018–19, the one-off CONCACAF Nations League qualifying tournament determined ten of the sixteen Gold Cup participants. For the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, twelve spots were awarded based on the results of the 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League, an invitation was given to Qatar, and the final three berths were determined from a two-round play-off qualifier.[4]

Participating teams

All national teams that are members of CONCACAF are eligible to enter the qualification for the Gold Cup. A total of 41 distinct entities have made attempts to qualify for the Gold Cup. Due to political changes, one of the entity has appeared under one incarnation (see the footnotes to the below table), the Netherlands Antilles team is now defunct.

First appearance in qualification by team
Year Debuting teams Successor teams Renamed teams
Teams No. CT
1963  El Salvador[a],  Haiti,  Netherlands Antilles[A] 3 3
1965  Guatemala[b],  Honduras,  Nicaragua 3 6
1967  Cuba,  Jamaica,  Panama,  Trinidad and Tobago 4 10
1969  Bermuda,  Costa Rica,  Mexico,  United States 4 14
1971  Guyana,  Suriname 2 16
1973  Antigua and Barbuda,  Canada,  Puerto Rico 3 19
1977  Barbados,  Dominican Republic 2 21
1981  Grenada 1 22
1985 0 22
1989 0 22
1991  Anguilla,  British Virgin Islands,  Cayman Islands,  French Guiana,  Guadeloupe,  Martinique,  Montserrat,  Saint Kitts and Nevis,  Saint Lucia 9 31
1993  Dominica,  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,  Sint Maarten[c] 3 34
1996  Aruba,  Belize 2 36
1998 0 36
2000  Bahamas,  Turks and Caicos Islands,  U.S. Virgin Islands 3 39
2002  Saint Martin 1 40
2003 0 40
2005 0 40
2007 0 40
2009 0 40
2011 0 40
2013 0 40  Curaçao[A]
2015  Bonaire[c] 1 41
2017 0 41
2019 0 41
2021 0 41
2023 0 41
Successor teams inheriting the records of former teams (as considered by CONCACAF and FIFA)
  1. ^ Qualified automatically for the 1963 CONCACAF Championship as host.
  2. ^ Qualified automatically for the 1965 CONCACAF Championship as host.
  3. ^ a b Bonaire and Sint Maarten previously competed as parts of the Netherlands Antilles (1958–2010).
Teams competing as parts of other teams
  1. ^ a b The Netherlands Antilles national football team broke apart after the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

See also

References

  1. ^ "CONCACAF Gold Cup: Qualifying Play-In Glance". CONCACAF.com. 3 February 2017. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  2. ^ CONCACAF Free Kick. CONCACAF.com. June–July 2014. p. 7.
  3. ^ Williams, Sean (18 March 2014). "Jamaica to host 2014 Caribbean Cup". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Concacaf Nations League to Serve as Pathway for 2021 Gold Cup". CONCACAF. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.