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2007 Gold Cup To Be CONCACAF-Only Event

NEW YORK (October 31, 2006) - CONCACAF announced that no guest teams will The 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the tournament will consist of twelve teams from the region.

"This is of course excellent news for the two more members of CONCACAF who will now be playing in next year's Gold Cup and showing how their game has progressed; as did Panama, for example, in reaching the 2005 Gold Cup final, CONCACAF President Jack Warner said.

In the past, teams such as Brazil, South Africa, South Korea and Colombia have been invited to participate. In 2007, one additional team from the Carribean and Central American regions, respectively, will qualify for the tournament.

"As the Gold Cup was in its infancy and early growth, guest teams played a very welcome part in the success of the Gold Cup and its awareness throughout the region and, then, the rest of the world," CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer said. "Now, like all continental championships, except the Copa America, the Gold Cup is for us alone.

"We have seen over the past decade a significant rise in the standards and successes of CONCACAF nations, so now it is time for two more of our countries to be able to compete in the finals of the Gold Cup."

Four teams from the Caribbean region, five teams from Central America, and three automatic qualifiers - the USA, Mexico and Canada, will make up the twelve-team 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup field. The 2007 Caribbean Digicel Cup Final Round in Trinidad & Tobago and the 2007 UNCAF Nations Cup in El Salvador will determine the nine teams that make up the balance of the teams.

The 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup will take place from June 6 to June 24 in cities across the U.S. Venues will be announced next month.