Barbados Senior Men’s National Team have been given a straight ticket to the preliminary round of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup and will no longer have to contest the Road to Gold Cup Qualifiers.
The 12 teams, which were due to play four qualifying matches, have now been given a straight ticket to a preliminary round in a centralized location in the United States, a week before the start of the 2021 Gold Cup group stages.
Concacaf made the announcement to all Member Associations of the updated men’s international calendar earlier via email.
Matches were due to be played in the March 2020 and June FIFA match windows were suspended as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Concacaf’s president Victor Montagliani said: “All teams now have the chance to compete for direct access to Qatar 2022 and dream of playing at a World Cup, while we have also respected the positions of those nations which had already mathematically qualified for the Final Round under the previous system.”
Concacaf confirmed the start date for the 2021 Gold Cup was now scheduled to begin on July 10, 2021, with the final set to be held on August 1, 2021.
The 12 participating teams in the preliminary round are Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Montagliani added: “Given the suspension of the March, June and September FIFA match windows, and with so many of our Member Associations unable to complete a full FIFA rankings cycle, the previous Concacaf Qualifiers were compromised, and a new approach was required.”
The draw for all rounds of the Concacaf Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will take place in mid-August 2020 with full details to follow in the coming days.