COSTA RICA GETS THE NOD

Trinidad and Tobago’s Joevin Jones, center, controls the ball near Haiti’s Stephane Lambese, right, and Mechak Jerome, left, during a qualifying soccer playoff ahead of the Copa America Centenario in Panama City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.
Associated Press / Arnulfo Franco

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced that Costa Rica will host the CONCACAF Futsal Championship 2016, to be played May 8-15 in San Jose. In confirming the site of the Championship, CONCACAF also announced the official draw, scheduled for March 16.

With qualifiers recently completed in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and the Central American Football Union (UNCAF), six of the eight participating sides have now been determined, with the final two spots to be decided by two play-in series at the tournament site in the days leading up to the championship.

As host country, Costa Rica is automatically qualified as one of the three representatives of UNCAF. Central America qualifying champion Guatemala and silver medalist Panama have also qualified directly to the Championship.

From North America, Mexico was awarded an automatic spot by virtue of being the highest placed North American team from the 2012 Championship, while the second North American spot will be decided by a play-in contested between Canada and the United States.

From the CFU, regional champion Cuba and runner-up Curacao have qualified, while Trinidad & Tobago — third-place finisher of the CFU Futsal Qualifying-Championship – also secured a trip to Costa Rica, where it will attempt to best UNCAF Futsal Qualifying Championship third-place holder Honduras for a berth in the championship round.

Each pairing of nations in the dual play-in series will dispute two matches against one another — one on May 5 and one more the following day on May 6 — with the teams emerging victorious by virtue of aggregate goals rounding out the field for the tournament.

At the official draw in March, the eight qualified Participating Member Associations will be divided in two groups of four. At the championship, the winner and second-place team from each group will qualify to the semifinals of the Championship, and the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016.

The winners of the semifinals will advance to the final and the two losing semifinalists will compete in the third-place match. In addition to crowning the Confederation’s champion in this discipline, the CONCACAF Futsal Championship will qualify four teams to the FIFA Futsal World Cup, to be played in Colombia later this year.

Costa Rica is the defending champion of the CONCACAF Futsal Championship, having won the title in Guatemala in July 2012.

Number of teams to qualify for the World Cup: 4

Format: Eight Participating Member Associations are divided into two groups (A, B) of four teams each for the group stage. After the group stage, the winner and second-place team from each group will qualify to the semifinals and the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The winner of each semifinal match advances to the final and the two losing semifinalists will reach the third-place match.

Haiti’s Jean-Eudes Maurice, left, controls the ball near Trinidad and Tobago’s Neveal Hackshaw, right, during a qualifying soccer playoff ahead of the Copa America Centenario in Panama City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. Haiti won the match 1-0.
Associated Press / Arnulfo Franco

Associated Press / Arnulfo Franco

Associated Press / Arnulfo Franco

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