With a goal of generating a new space for important conversations around the business of football in the country, and across the region, CONCACAF held its second edition of CONCACAF Access at the Intercontinental Hotel in Guatemala City. This exclusive event brought together several notable, local, and international personalities from across the world of football. These thought leaders gathered to discuss the development, challenges and opportunities facing the sport across the region.
On the heels of a successful first edition of CONCACAF Access in Costa Rica earlier this year, the decision to host another forum in Guatemala was an easy one.
“CONCACAF Access is about celebrating the wonderful football history and culture in Central America and engaging with the region’s stakeholders to ensure we are collaborating on the many CONCACAF initiatives being undertaken to develop the game’, said Philippe Moggio, CONCACAF General Secretary. “It is a very exciting time for football in Guatemala and across this great region with new projects, programs and CONCACAF competitions which will benefit the ongoing growth of the sport in 2023 and beyond. I very much enjoyed discussing these topics at CONCACAF Access and engaging directly with football stakeholders in Guatemala who are working day in and day out to grow the game”, added Moggio.
The event was attended by renowned local and international players from the world of football, such as journalists Fernando Palomo, Carmen Boquín and Andrés Agulla; Gloria Aguilar, captain of the Guatemalan Women’s National Team; former Guatemalan player Martin Manchon; Heidi Pellerano, CONCACAF Chief Commercial Officer; Luis Fernando Tena, Guatemala National Team Head Coach; Rafael Loredo, coach of the U20 National Team; Gerardo Paiz, president of the Guatemalan Football Federation; and Philippe Moggio, general secretary of CONCACAF.
The football experience in 90 minutes
At present, football is the most played sport in the world and the one with the greatest fans. While those fans are understandably focused on the 90 minutes of heart-pumping action on the pitch, the business of football is much more far reaching. Rewards can also be found in effective promotional strategies, broadcasting agreements, smart merchandising, technical development, and innovative competition ecosystems. For these reasons, forums such as CONCACAF Access are pivotal to forging new pathways for the sport. Heidi Pellerano, CONCACAF’s Chief Commercial Officer agrees, “When we sought out to develop CONCACAF Access we wanted to provide a platform to engage everyone involved in developing football in Central America. Federations, leagues, clubs, broadcasters, sponsors, and the many others who make up the “football family” in this region. This event allows us to come together and actively participate in discussing innovation opportunities which will benefit and evolve the game which in turn can help CONCACAF raise the bar in our ongoing mission to develop all aspects of the sport in this wonderful region,”
The day’s discussions focused on the development of the sport with panelists speaking to the expansion of local and international CONCACAF tournaments and the unique characteristics and comprehensive training of the Guatemalan player. Such skills, which led to Guatemala’s qualification into the FIFA U20 World Cup. The room buzzed with excitement when insights and ambitions for World Cup 2026 were discussed.
“Connecting football leaders in a space for analysis and debate is key to driving more collaboration for the development of football in the region. Likewise, having the support and commitment of CONCACAF is extremely important in making these events a realty.” said Rodolfo Travers, Founder, Cracks Media.
The challenges that exist around football are many; however, opportunities for growth and innovation are greater. It was Central America’s talent and passion which motivated CONCACAF and their partner agency, Cracks in Media, to develop the unique CONCACAF Access model.