Soccer-Gold Cup to expand, explore hosting matches across region

MIAMI, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The Gold Cup soccer tournament is to increase from 12 to 16 teams beginning in 2019 and organizers hope the expanded format will lead to matches being held across North and Central America and the Caribbean, they said on Monday.

The biennial tournament usually takes place in the United States with participants largely from the Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF). Teams from as far away as Brazil and South Korea have also taken part as guests.

The United States and Mexico have won 13 of the 14 tournaments since its inception in 1991, with Canada the only nation to interrupt their dominance in 2000.

"In exploring taking tournament matches outside of North America, the 2019 edition of the Gold Cup would fulfill a long-term aspiration for Central American and Caribbean Member Associations and fans of seeing the region's championship disputed on their home grounds," CONCACAF said in a statement.

The move would follow one taken by UEFA, which after decades of holding the European Championship in one country will in 2020 host matches in 12 nations across the continent.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond)

02/26/2018 10:57

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