CONCACAF have conducted the official draw for the third edition of the CONCACAF Nations League (CNL). The live event in Miami was hosted by sports anchor Carmen Boquin and included the participation of CONCACAF General Secretary Philippe Moggio, as well as former players Gonzalo Romero (Guatemala), Maylee Atthin-Johnson (Trinidad and Tobago), and Wendy Acosta (Costa Rica).
The 2023/24 CNL will be played in a three-League format (A, B, and C), with the region’s 41 men’s senior national teams distributed into the Leagues according to the results of the 2022/23 CNL.
As previously announced, League A has been expanded to include 16 teams (up from 12) and a new quarterfinal round has been created to include more direct elimination matches that will qualify teams for continental summer competitions.
The 2023/24 CNL Group Stage will be played during the official FIFA Match Windows in September, October, and November 2023. For League A, the new Quarterfinals will be played in November 2023.
The 2023/24 CNL Finals, where the third CNL champion will be crowned, will take place at a to-be-announced venue in March 2024.
LEAGUE A: 16 NATIONAL TEAMS (GROUP STAGE AND QUARTERFINALS)
For Group Stage play, the 12 lowest ranked League A national teams were drawn into two groups of six teams each and will play in a “Swiss style” league system. In total, each team will play four games (two at home and two away). The groups are as follows:
Group A: Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Martinique, Curaçao, and Nicaragua.
Group B: Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, Cuba, Suriname, and Grenada.
After Group Stage play, in the FIFA Match Windows of September and October 2023, each group’s first and second-place finishers will advance to the CNL Quarterfinals, where they will join the four top-ranked League A national teams.
The Quarterfinal round will be played in a home-and-away format in the FIFA Match Window of November 2023, with the aggregate score winners in each Quarterfinal matchup advancing to the 2024 CNL Finals and qualifying for the 2024 Conmebol Copa America.
The four seeded nations in the Quarterfinals are (in alphabetical order): Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States.
The pairing for the Quarterfinals will be determined based on the CONCACAF Rankings of October 2023 (after the FIFA Window) and the 2023/24 CNL Group Stage results, as follows:
Quarterfinal 1: Fourth ranked seeded team vs Best first place (1A/1B)
Quarterfinal 2: Third ranked seeded team vs Next first place (1A/1B)
Quarterfinal 3: Second ranked seeded team vs Best second place (2A/2B)
Quarterfinal 4: Best ranked seeded team vs Next second place (2A/2B)
The remaining two CONCACAF nations that will participate in the 2024 Conmebol Copa America will be determined via a single-match direct elimination Play-In between the four League A losing Quarterfinalists. This Play-In will also take place in March 2024.
LEAGUE B: 16 NATIONAL TEAMS (GROUP STAGE)
League B features 16 teams divided into four groups of four teams. Each team will play every other team in their group, home and away, for a total of six matches per team (three at home and three away).
The groups are as follows:
Group A: Guadeloupe, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Sint Maarten.
Group B: Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Montserrat, and Barbados.
Group C: French Guiana, Bermuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Belize.
Group D: Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Puerto Rico, and Bahamas.
LEAGUE C: 9 NATIONAL TEAMS (GROUP STAGE)
League C now includes nine teams divided into three groups of three teams. Each team will play every team in their group, home and away, for a total of four matches per team (two at home and two away).
The groups are as follows:
Group A: Bonaire, Saint Martin, and Anguilla.
Group B: Aruba, Cayman Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Group C: Dominica, Turks and Caicos Islands, and British Virgin Islands.
PROMOTION AND RELEGATION
Promotion and relegation between CNL Leagues will take place at the conclusion of the third edition, as follows:
League A: Fifth and sixth-place finishers will be relegated to League B.
League B: Group winners will be promoted to League A, and fourth-place finishers will be relegated to League C.
League C: Group winners and the best second-place finisher will be promoted to League B.
CONCACAF will announce the competition’s schedule at a later date.