[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced that Honduras will host next year’s CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, scheduled to kick off in February.
Two stadiums in San Pedro Sula will be the sites for the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship Honduras 2015, to be played from February 27 – March 14. Group stage games will be played in both the Estadio Olímpico and Estadio General Francisco Morazán, with the final rounds to be contested at the Estadio Olimpico, culminating with the final on March 14.
Honduras will welcome the region’s top youth teams back to Central America, following a successful 2013 Under-17 Championship disputed in Panama. The tournament will crown the Confederation champion at this age level, and qualify four teams to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup Chile 2015.
“CONCACAF has produced some world class youth sides throughout the years, with Mexico’s under-17s lifting the World Cup twice in recent years,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the next champions emerge from next year’s competition in Honduras – a country passionate about its football. I’m sure this will be a great Under-17 Championship.”
The 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship will include a field of twelve teams: five from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), four from the Central American Football Union (UNCAF), and three from North America. Qualifying in the Caribbean is currently underway, while qualifying in Central America will take place in coming months.
This year, a new format favoring development and competition will be introduced to the Under-17 Championship. The twelve qualifying teams will be divided into two groups of six, to play a round-robin format on the first five match days. The resulting top team from each group will earn a direct berth to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, and a place in the championship match on the final day.
The second- and third-place teams from each group will be re-seeded into a four-team table, based on points obtained during group play. The top team from that table will play the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face off against the third-ranked nation in a pair of one-off matches, with the winners of each of those two final-day games securing one of the two remaining tickets on offer to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
As with the recently announced CONCACAF Under-20 Championship Jamaica 2015, to be played in January, the new Under-17 Championship structure emphasizes youth development by assuring all twelve competing teams multiple high-level, competitive matches.
During the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship Honduras 2015, eleven match days will feature triple-header action, with 33 total games set to be contested among the finalists.
A date for the official draw will be announced in coming weeks.
Mexico is the defending CONCACAF under-17 champion, having claimed the title in Panama in 2013. Mexico won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2011, and was runner-up in 2013. (CONCACAF)