Caption: From left: Coach Jacques Passy, President of the SKNFA Anthony Johnson and General Secretary of the SKNFA Stanley Jacobs during one of the sessions at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, Florida on Wednesday.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) is pleased with the draw afforded the Senior Men’s National Team in the inaugural The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) Nations League qualifying round set to start in September 2018. The draw took place on Wednesday March 7, 2018 at The Temple House in Miami Beach, Florida. For the official draw, teams were divided into four pots, based on the Concacaf Ranking Index, with Pot A containing the top 8 ranked teams, Pot B the next 9 ranked teams, Pot C the next 9 ranked teams and Pot D the bottom eight ranked teams.
A computerized pre-draw produced a master schedule of the qualifying phase, creating each of the 17 matchups for the four FIFA windows. The computer model ensured that no two teams will face each other more than once and that each team plays two home and two away matches.
St. Kitts will open their qualifying round at home in September against Puerto Rico. In October, the Sugar Boyz will travel to neighboring French St. Martin for Match Day 2 of the competition. In November, St. Kitts and Nevis hosts Canada and in March 2019, the team is off to Suriname.
After the draw, President of the SKNFA Anthony Johnson said the draw is good for St. Kitts and Nevis. “We look forward to a very exciting competition and we believe that with the preparations that we have been doing over the past few years and with the friendly international games that we intend to do over the next few months, we will be fully prepared and ready for the tournament,” President Johnson said.
General Secretary of the SKNFA Stanley Jacobs was also pleased with the draw. “I believe that we got a very good draw. We have been drawn with two teams that we played at home; Puerto Rico and Canada…that we played in World Cup qualifying. These are two teams that we are very familiar with and we believe that these are two teams that we can match up,” Mr. Jacobs said. “We don’t expect any easy matches in the League of Nations. We are going to take every match seriously.”
Meanwhile, Coach of the National Team Jacques Passy, was elated with the draw. “It guarantees for extremely competitive matches,” he said of the fixtures. “The team is in a constant progression. The last three years, have every day provided us with more weapons to face better teams…it won’t happen in St. Kitts and Nevis that we lose because we make concentration mistakes or we lose because we make pressure mistakes. It won’t happen…we cannot lose because you beat yourself,” Coach Passy aded.
The qualifying phase will be disputed among 34 Concacaf members during the four FIFA Match windows of September, October and November 2018 and March 2019.
Wednesday’s draw event, which sorted the thirty-four teams participating for the qualifying phase, was opened with remarks from FIFA Vice President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani. Concacaf Chief of Football Manolo Zubiria and Univision’s Adriana Monsalve conducted the draw, with the assistance of Concacaf Head of Women’s Football Karina LeBlanc and Concacaf Director of Development Jason Roberts.
The results of Nations League Qualifying will be compiled into an aggregate table, ranking the participating teams 1-34 based on points earned, goal difference and a series of additional tie breakers. The table will be used to divide teams into Leagues A, B and C for the first full edition of the Concacaf Nations League. The top six teams from the aggregate table will join the six World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal Round participants in League A, the next 16 teams will qualify for League B, and the remaining teams will be assigned to League C.
The top ten finishers in the Nations League Qualifying final table will also join the six World Cup Hexagonal Round nations in the 2019 Gold Cup, which has recently been expanded to 16 teams, providing additional access to top-level football for more of Concacaf’s Member Associations.
The Nations League concept is an on-the-field extension of Concacaf’s new image and brand architecture, which was also launched Wednesday, framing the Confederation’s efforts around the core ONE Concacaf vision of developing and stewarding the game on the pillars of Unity, Access, Football and Quality. In that spirit, the Nations League will provide greatly expanded access for Concacaf’s Member Associations to international football, enhancing the development of football across the region at all levels.
The matchups for the qualifying phase of Concacaf Nations League are as follows:
Match Window One (September 2018)
1: Saint Kitts and Nevis vs. Puerto Rico
2: Martinique vs. British Virgin Islands
3: U.S. Virgin Islands vs. Canada
4: Anguilla vs. French Guiana
5: Aruba vs. Bermuda
6: Dominica vs. Suriname
7: Antigua and Barbuda vs. Saint Lucia
8: Jamaica vs. Cayman Islands
9: Cuba vs. Turks and Caicos Islands
10: Curacao vs. Grenada
11: Montserrat vs. El Salvador
12: Bonaire vs. Dominican Republic
13: San Martin vs. Guadeloupe
14: Haiti vs. Sint Marten
15: Guyana vs. Barbados
16: Belize vs. Bahamas
17: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Nicaragua
Match Window Two (October 2018)
18: Turks and Caicos Islands vs. Guyana
19: El Salvador vs. Barbados
20: Bermuda vs. Sint Marten
21: Dominican Republic vs. Cayman Islands
22: Saint Lucia vs. Haiti
23: Nicaragua vs. Anguilla
24: Suriname vs. British Virgin Islands
25: Bahamas vs. Antigua and Barbuda
26: Montserrat vs. Belize
27: Guadeloupe vs. Aruba
28: Puerto Rico vs. Martinique
29: Grenada vs. Cuba
30: Canada vs. Dominica
31: San Martin vs. Saint Kitts and Nevis
32: U.S. Virgin Islands vs. Curacao
33: French Guiana vs. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
34: Bonaire vs. Jamaica
Match Window Three (November 2018)
35: Grenada vs. San Martin
36: Turks and Caicos Islands vs. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
37: French Guiana vs. Guyana
38: British Virgin Islands vs. Bonaire
39: Saint Kitts and Nevis vs. Canada
40: Cuba vs. Dominican Republic
41: Nicaragua vs. Haiti
42: Bahamas vs. Anguilla
43: Barbados vs. U.S. Virgin Islands
44: Sint Maarten vs. Dominica
45: Curacao vs. Gaudeloupe
46: Jamaica vs. Suriname
47: Aruba vs. Montserrat
48: Cayman Islands vs. Saint Lucia
49: Martinique vs. Antigua and Barbuda
50: Bermuda vs. El Salvador
51: Belize vs. Puerto Rico
Match Window Four (March 2019)
52: Canada vs. French Guiana
53: Antigua and Barbuda vs. Curacao
54: Dominican Republic vs. Bermuda
55: Haiti vs. Cuba
56: Barbados vs. Nicaragua
57: San Martin vs. Sint Maarten
58: Cayman Islands vs. Montserrat
59: Suriname vs. Saint Kitts and Nevis
60: Saint Lucia vs. Aruba
61: Puerto Rico vs. Grenada
62: Guadeloupe vs. Martinique
63: Dominica vs. Bahamas
64: British Virgin Islands vs. Turks and Caicos Islands
65: Guyana vs. Belize
66: El Salvador vs. Jamaica
67: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Bonaire
68: Anguilla vs. U.S. Virgin Islands