Stadium East to host Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) announced yesterday that Kingston, Jamaica, will host the Final Round of the 2019 Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship, scheduled to be played May 12-19.

Manolo Zubiria, Concacaf's Chief Football Officer, announced that Stadium East will play host to Jamaica's top two teams — Portmore United and Waterhouse FC and two teams from Haiti, at a press conference held at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) headquarters in New Kingston yesterday.

“We are here to make a big announcement in what is Concacaf's commitment to the growth of professional club football in the Concacaf region, not just in the Caribbean, but in general, in all of Concacaf,” Zubiria told the Jamaica Observer.

“We are happy to be back in Jamaica with another big announcement like the one we did a couple weeks ago with the Gold Cup coming to Jamaica in June,” he added.

Zubiria, who joined Concacaf from Italian club AS Roma in 2017, after spending the last four seasons as the Head of Team Operations, said both Jamaica and Haiti went through a bidding process.

“A lot of things were looked into in terms of infrastructure support and our experience last year in hosting it here in Jamaica left us with a good taste and that granted us the high level of confidence in coming back and playing it again in Jamaica,” he noted.

Previously, Zubiria served as Concacaf's Director of Competitions and Director of Marketing and TV and has direct oversight of the departments of Competitions, Development, Disciplinary, Hospitality and Events, Refereeing and Women's Football.

Jamaican champions Portmore United and runners-up Waterhouse FC, along with two Haitian clubs will engage in a four-team play-off with the champions of the Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship qualifying directly to the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.

The runner-up and third-place finishers will qualify for the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League in late July while the fourth-placed team will enter a play-off with Sport Vereniging Robinhood of Suriname for the final spot to the Scotiabank Concacaf League.

Last year, Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex played host to the final round of the 2018 Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship which involved Portmore United and Arnett Gardens of Jamaica; Central FC of Trinidad and Tobago and Club Atletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic.

Howard McIntosh, senior manager, One Concacaf Programme, was pleased that Jamaica was given the nod once again. “I think it's a continuation of the confidence Concacaf has in Jamaica's ability to execute these events and it augurs well for Jamaica in particular.

“The Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship is the preliminary tournament before qualification to the Scotiabank Champions League and as with most clubs, you should aim to play in the highest level of football,” said McIntosh.

“So for Portmore and Waterhouse this is an opportunity for them to step up another level. They displayed the level of results to get there, now it is for them to perform at this level of championship,” he added.

“All the games will be televised on Flow Sports and nowadays the whole question of scouting has changed because everybody can sit in their living rooms and watch games of people all over the world. So as you go up the levels, it's an opportunity for players and coaches to really show their abilities and get other opportunities around the world,” he added.

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