Concacaf announced that from 2023-2024, the Champions League at the club level will have a new format.
A regionalized group stage will be played as part of a renewal of the tournament, which aims to promote club football throughout the confederation.
The new group stage will be played in the fall of each year and will include four groups of North American, four Central American and two Caribbean clubs.
After the group stage, there will be a 16-club knockout stage, which will be played in the spring.
This new format will conclude with a one-game final to crown a regional club champion. The winner of the competition will also qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup.
North American clubs
A total of 20 clubs from Canada, the United States and Mexico will qualify for the competition through their performance in national leagues and cups, including a spot through the Leagues Cup, Concacaf reported.
The 20 teams will be divided into four groups of five. Each will play a total of four games in the group stage, two at home and two away.
At the end of this stage, the four winners and the four second places will advance to the knockout phase. Those eight teams will be joined by three other North Americans, who will qualify through a playoff to be played after the group stage.
Central American clubs
A total of 20 clubs from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will qualify for the tournament through their performance in their national leagues and a new Central American Cup.
The 20 teams will be divided into four groups of five. Each club will play a total of four games in the group stage, two at home and two away.
At the end of the group stage, the four winners and the four second places will advance to a playoff. The four playoff winners will advance to the knockout phase of the Concacaf Champions League.
10 Caribbean teams will qualify for the group stage of the competition. Of those 10, eight will do so through professional leagues in the Caribbean region and two through a new Caribbean Cup, which will include representation from the entire Caribbean.
The 10 clubs will be divided into two groups of five. Each club will play a total of four games in the group stage, two at home and two away.
At the end of the group stage, the first two places will advance to a playoff. The winner of the playoff will advance to the knockout phase of the Concacaf Champions League.
“This is a very important development for Concacaf and for club football in our region. The Concacaf Champions League has grown impressively in recent years, but this new format will transform the competition and significantly increase its relevance throughout our Confederation and globally, ”said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani.
“It will raise the bar for Concacaf clubs and leagues with more regional matchups that we know fans want to see. It will also provide a competitive path to the FIFA Club World Cup, as clubs in our region strive to triumph on the world stage, ”added Montagliani.
The current format of the Concacaf Champions League will remain for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions. 2023 will be a year of transition.