Trinidad and Tobago have been drawn in Group C of League A of the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League alongside Honduras and Martinique. The draw took place on Wednesday night at the Chelsea Theater in Las Vegas. T&T will play Honduras and Martinique on a home and away basis on dates to be announced by Concacaf in the international windows of September, October and November.
Following Trinidad and Tobago’s qualification for the Final Hexagonal stage of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, this country one of six nations to automatically qualify for Concacaf Nations League A. Those six teams were joined by the top six finishers in 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying to form League A.
Similar to the recently launched UEFA Nations League, Concacaf’s version was created to maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all of the confederation’s 41 Member Associations.
T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence in an immediate reaction, told TTFA Media on Wednesday night, “It’s a very good draw and even playing field for all as in the modern game there are no strong or weak teams. It makes for an exciting and hopefully entertaining Nations League for all.”
The draw itself included teams separated into three pots of four teams each, based on the November 2018 Concacaf Ranking, with one country from each pot pulled to make up Nations League A Groups A, B, C and D.
The Group Phase for each league is a round-robin, home-and-away format which will play out during the course of the September, October and November FIFA international dates in 2019. At the end of the round-robin competition, the four group winners from League A will advance to the Final Championship, where a semifinal and final will be played during the March 2020 FIFA international dates to crown the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League champion.
Additionally, the League A and B teams which finish last in their groups will be relegated to the lower league, while the group winners in Leagues B and C will be promoted to the higher league for the next edition of the competition.
More on the Nations League
The four League A group winners will qualify to the Nations League final championship, to be played in March 2020, which will determine the champion of the new competition. The four last-placed teams in each group will be relegated to League B for the next edition of the tournament.
League B will consist of the next 16 teams from qualifying, which finished from 7th to 22nd. The league will contain four groups of four teams. The four group winners will be promoted to League A, while the four last-placed teams in each group will be relegated to League C for the next edition.
League C will consist of the remaining 13 member associations, the teams which finished 23rd to 34th in qualifying, along with Guatemala who did not enter qualifying. The league will contain four groups, with three groups of three teams and one group of four teams. The four group winners will be promoted to League B for the next edition of the competition.
The full schedule, including kick off times and venues will be announced at a later date.
Group A: USA, Canada, Cuba
Group B: Mexico, Panama, Bermuda
Group C: Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique (*)
Group D: Costa Rica, Haiti, Curacao
Group A: French Guiana (*), St. Kitts & Nevis, Belize, Grenada
Group B: El Salvador, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Montserrat
Group C: Jamaica, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
Group D: Nicaragua, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica
Group A: Barbados, Cayman Islands, Saint Martin (*), U.S. Virgin Islands
Group B: Bonaire (*), Bahamas, British Virgin Islands
Group C: Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Anguilla
Group D: Guadeloupe (*), Turks & Caicos Islands, Sint Maarten (*)
Below is the schedule of the 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League.
Matchday 1 -> 6–11 September 2018
Matchday 2 -> 11–16 October 2018
Matchday 3 -> 16–20 November 2018
Matchday 1 & 2 ->2–10 September 2019
Matchday 3 & 4 -> 7–15 October 2019
Matchday 5 -> 11–19 November 2019
Semi-Finals & Finals -> 23–31 March 2020
Guatemala was suspended by FIFA in October 2016, and therefore was ineligible to enter qualifying after missing the entry deadline of 1 March 2018.
* - Full CONCACAF member, but not a FIFA member.