NEW YORK (Wednesday, October 10, 2001) - Club competitions in the Football Confederation will enter a new phase beginning next year with the creation of an expanded, comprehensive FC Champions’ Cup, announced today by Chuck Blazer, General Secretary of the Football Confederation.
The new FC Champions’ Cup will feature a league format with the 16 top clubs from throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The tournament will replace all other Confederation club competitions and will truly crown every year the top club in the region.
As part of the expansion, the clubs that have already qualified for the quarterfinal stage of the 2001 FC Champions’ Cup will move directly into the new league format. The first FC Champions’ Cup under the new system will begin in early 2002.
In addition, the winner and runner-up of the 2001 FC Giants Cup (Club América and D.C. United) will also be merged into the first league edition to allow both of those clubs to compete for a spot in the 2003 FIFA Club World Championship, as they would have done in early 2003 under the previous competition system.
Qualification rounds for future Champions’ Cups will begin in the latter half of each year on a regional basis, with the league portion beginning early in each following calendar year.
The competition brings the Football Confederation into line with the other Confederations around the world who operate their premier club competitions in a similar structure, notably the UEFA Champions League, the Toyota Copa Libertadores (CONMEBOL), the CAF Champions League and the upcoming Asian Champions League.
“This new structure will revitalize our club competitions and take them to a new level in terms of prestige and excitement for all the parts of our Confederation - the clubs involved, our partners, and most importantly, the fans,” Blazer said. “Just as the Gold Cup has become the Confederation’s signature event for national teams over the last decade, the new format will do the same for the Champions’ Cup.”
For the next FIFA Club World Championship, the winner and runner-up of the 2002 FC Champions’ Cup will fill the Football Confederation’s presently allotted berths. Following, each year’s winner over a two-year cycle will earn the right to go to the Club World Championship.
The makeup of the 2002 FC Champions’ Cup, including match dates, competition format and prize structure will be announced in the near future.
2002 FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION CHAMPIONS’ CUP
Participants (League Stage)
CA Monarcas Morelia (Mexico; winner 2000 Torneo Invierno)
Club Santos Laguna (Mexico, winner 2001 Torneo Verano)
Kansas City Wizards (USA, winner 2000 MLS Cup)
Chicago Fire (USA, winner, 2000 MLS Supporters’ Shield)
Club América (Mexico, winner 2001 FC Giants Cup)
D.C. United (USA, runner-up 2001 FC Giants Cup)
CSD Municipal (Guatemala, first place Central Zone qualifying)
Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica, second place Central Zone final round)
CD Olimpia (Honduras, third place Central Zone final round)
CSD Comunicaciones (Guatemala, fourth place Central Zone final round)
Tauro FC (Panama, Central Zone semifinalist)
LD Alajuelense (Costa Rica, Central Zone semifinalist)
Defence Force FC (Trinidad & Tobago, finalist Caribbean Zone qualifying)
To Be Determined
second finalist, Caribbean Zone qualifying (W Connection FC v Racing Club Haïtien)
winner, Mexico 2001 Torneo Invierno
winner, USA 2001 MLS Cup