Jamaica Becomes First Caribbean Nation to Host Gold Cup Soccer

Jamaica will next month become the first Caribbean nation to host Gold Cup soccer games.

The National Stadium in the Caribbean nation’s capital Kingston will, on June 17, be the venue for a doubleheader – Curacao against El Salvador and Jamaica versus Honduras.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), which governs soccer in the region, last month announced the expansion of its Gold Cup tournament, which is usually played every two years in North America, mainly the United States.

CONCACAF said it is working to increase access to the game and develop soccer, while ensuring fans experience the highest quality of soccer in the region.

“Bringing the CONCACAF Gold Cup to Jamaica is a watershed moment for our confederation and Caribbean (suoccer),” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani.

“Hosting our premier competition in Jamaica for the first time is an extraordinary opportunity to promote the very best of the game in the Caribbean, while raising standards and improving access to the sport across our confederation.”

KICK-OFF

The matches in Jamaica, which will kick off Group C play, will feature the group’s top seeded team Honduras.

This summer’s Gold Cup will be the first to feature an expanded version, with 16 countries vying for continental glory in what is set to be the largest Gold Cup in history. The teams qualified via the 2018 FIFA World Cup hexagonal qualifier round and the CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers.

“(It) is a historic day for football in Jamaica, bringing the CONCACAF Gold Cup to our country,” said Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts.

“(It) will change the entire landscape of the game in this country. The competition will inspire the growth of the sport and youngsters to play football. We are delighted at the prospects of hosting this CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

The 2019 Gold Cup will be the biggest-ever edition of the event, with more participating nations (16 up from 12 in 2017), more host countries (three, including first-time matches in Costa Rica) and more stadiums (17 up from 14 in 2017, eight of which are in contention to become a 2026 FIFA World Cup venue).

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