CONCACAF Champions League

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has announced today the official launch of the new continental club championship, the CONCACAF Champions League, which will commence in August 2008. The CONCACAF Champions League will replace the Champions' Cup, which will cease to exist after the 2008 edition.

The CONCACAF Champions League will feature four teams from Mexico and USA; three Caribbean sides; two clubs each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama; and one representative coming from Canada, Belize and Nicaragua.

Eight clubs (two Mexican, two USA, one each from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) will be seeded and progress directly to the first round of the Champions League, while the Caribbean slots have been increased to three teams for this event.

The remaining 16 teams will be paired in eight home-and-away preliminary match-ups taking place from August 26-28 and September 2-4.

The preliminary round winners will join the other eight seeded teams in the group stage that consists of four groups of four. All the teams in each group will play each other in a round-robin system during six match dates from September 16 - October 30.

The top two clubs from each group will advance to the knockout phase, playing home-and-away elimination. The quarterfinals commence in February 2009; semifinals begin in March; and the Finals will take place in late April.

The CONCACAF Champions League winner will qualify as the region's representative to the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.

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