The Reggae Boyz have received an extra incentive in their bid to make a third consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup final as Jamaica will be a co-host of the tournament for the first time ever.
CONCACAF, the footballing governing body for North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, made the announcement during a presser at the Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston Tuesday night. The National Stadium will host a doubleheader during the group stage on June 17, with the Reggae Boyz playing as the home team in one of the games. The Boyz are in Group C with Honduras and will find out their other two group opponents when the Gold Cup draw is held on April 10.
This marks the first time the Gold Cup will be held in the Caribbean. Jamaica is one of three hosts for the 2019 edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup along with traditional hosts (and defending champions), the United States, as well as 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists, Costa Rica. This as CONCACAF hopes to grow football in the Caribbean and increase access to the game.
The 2019 edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup will be the biggest the tournament has had since its inception in 1991, with 16 teams competing, up from the usual 12-team format. The 16 teams who have qualified are Jamaica, U.S.A., Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, El Salvador, Martinique, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Curacao as well as tournament debutantes, Bermuda and Guyana.
Tickets will go on sale for the doubleheader at a later date.
Jamaica reached the final of the 2015 and 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, becoming the first Caribbean country to reach the final. However, they lost on each occasion; 3-1 to Mexico in the former and 2-1 in the latter to the United States thanks to an 88th-minute goal by Jordan Morris.