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Concacaf Champions Cup to replace Champions League format in 2024


The Concacaf Champions Cup will kick off in 2024 as a newly expanded tournament featuring the top competition within the federation.

Concacaf announced the new competition on Tuesday, which will take the place of the current Champions League tournament. 27 clubs will take part in the Champions Cup, with the winner earning $5 million in prize money and distributions.

The prize money increase is more than five times compared with the Concacaf Champions League era.

“The Concacaf Champions Cup will take continental club football in our region to the next level,” Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani said. “It will elevate leagues and clubs across Concacaf and the new name for the competition, alongside this vibrant new brand, allows us to celebrate our rich history while looking ahead to a great future of international club football in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

“The new Concacaf club ecosystem will deliver more of those big rivalry matchups that we know footballers want to play in and that fans want to see. Clubs across the region will have to be at their very best to compete to win the Concacaf Champions Cup and to earn the right to represent the region in the revamped and expanded FIFA Club World Cup which begins in 2025.”

The original continental club competition in Concacaf had the same name from 1962-2008 before the name was changed to Concacaf Champions League. A total of 30 clubs have lifted the Concacaf Champions League during the tournament’s history, including recent winners Club Leon on Sunday night.

The Concacaf Champions Cup will continue to be played in a direct elimination knockout stage format and will be composed of five rounds: Round One, Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final.  The first four stages will include home and away legs while the tournament’s final will be played over one leg.

A total of five of the 27 qualified teams will earn a bye to the Round of 16. Qualified teams will come from a new Concacaf Caribbean Cup that will crown a Caribbean champion, a new Concacaf Central American Cup that will crown a Central American champion, and the expanded Leagues Cup between MLS and Liga MX clubs.

All three regional cups will have direct qualification berths into the new Concacaf Champions Cup. In addition, the top clubs in North America will continue to have the opportunity to qualify through domestic leagues (Liga MX, MLS, Canadian Premier League) and cup competitions (U.S. Open Cup, Canadian Championship). 


  1. You added a lot of info in this article. Cheers to you Larry, seriously. Concacaf Champions league is now back to Concacaf Champions Cup would’ve been enough for me.

  2. they do seem to be reverting back towards the pre-CCL concept other than they used to literally run the knockout in a week in LA, vegas, or somesuch. i think the spin is expansion but what they’ve really done is blow up concacaf league and hand back qualifying to sub-regional events. it’s an interesting dynamic to be shrinking qualified teams/access to our regional event considering club world cup is expanding c. 2025. that feels like the US and mexico trying to make their odds even better, though to be real however it used to be last time saprissa or a non-big 2 team won this was probably 2005 or so. as such not sure why you need to make it even harder to get to CCL, like go play your central american tournament then get back to me. it’s interesting how far MLS and MX just pulled away in recent years, for all the snob talk about our league relative to, say, europe.

  3. 27 is a bit odd … why not 32 teams? A few “at large” invites for teams via a coefficient or “fair play” designation would be a nice add to round out the competition.

    The bottoms 5 v the top 5 is basically a round one bye anyway right?

    • it is little known that there are sub-regions with abbreviations. NAFU (north american football union), UNCAF (central american), and CFU (caribbean football union). anyhow, count the slots up and NAFU gets 18/27 slots, including not just several league slots but also a USOC slot, 2 Canadian slots including a CPL one, and multiple Leagues Cup slots atop 9! MLS and MX qualifiers. meanwhile it doesn’t matter if you are a domestic champion for UNCAF or CFU you have to grab one of 9 slots for 50-odd countries through your region. and it’s now exclusively regional and none through concacaf league which they just blew up.

      anyhow, to me, answer to your question is control and the greedy squabble for slots through politics. my bet is NAFU would greedily demand some of those 5 atop the rest. i mean we’re already effectively letting in 6-7 teams per US and MX. or god forbid UNCAF or CFU might ask for some automatic national qualifiers for their bigger countries, or more representation. perhaps all 5 slots. tells you something when the dynamics are such they’d rather stop at weird 27 than as you suggest a well rounded 32.

      personally i think something was lost when the group stage was dropped and that dominant NAFU wants to make pretty darned sure they get the club world cup trips. i liked the “soccer tourism” of watching your team play puntarenas or violette from haiti. to me they are trying to push this in a direction where that is rare and it’s a battle of big dogs. but then there is this tension in UEFA somewhat too, there are people who want broad participation with surprising or interesting teams, and then there are the super league types who want annual matches between city and bayern. i get a little bored the 10th time the same teams play. i like the variety as well as the cultural angle. so to me let the smaller countries take those 5 slots. i think we don’t want it because while usually we win every so often austin gets knocked out, so to speak. to me if you can’t win that series why do you deserve preference in a champions league.


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