The 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League will serve as the qualification path for the 2021 Gold Cup.
Concacaf announced the news on Wednesday with the Nations League set to begin tomorrow. Nations League group stage concludes in November, in which some teams will take part in Gold Cup qualification playoffs depending on the group stage results.
The four League A group winners will advance to the Nations League Finals, which has been moved to June 2020 instead of April. The top two teams in each group of League A which qualify for the Gold Cup, while the four group winners of League B will also qualify. Those League B winners will also win promotion to League A for the next edition of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the third place teams in each League A group, the second place finishers in each League B group, and the four League C group winners will advance to a two-round set of Gold Cup qualifiers. The first round is slated to begin in March 2020, will consist of a home-and-away showdown between League B runners-up and the League C group winners.
The winners of those matchups will advance to the second round, which will take place in June 2020. Those winners will face off with the League A third place teams in home-and-away series. The final four winners of that second qualifying round will be the final four teams for the 2021 Gold Cup.
Each of the Nations League matches will be treated as qualification matches for the purpose of FIFA World Rankings. Teams would also be able to cap-tie players who compete in Nations League matches as well.
Here’s a visual look of the process: