MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The CONCACAF Champions League will be cut from 24 teams to 16 next season, the group stage will be eliminated and the length of the tournament will be shortened from eight months to four.
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football announced the changes Monday, when it also said a new 16-team tournament involving clubs from Central America and the Caribbean will launch from this August to October.
The winner of the new tournament will join four teams each from the United States and Mexico in the Champions League along with the champions of Canada, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama. The Champions League will have all knockout rounds and run from February to May.
CONCACAF launched the Champions League, modeled after Europe’s Champions League, for the 2008-09 season. It replaced the CONCACAF Champions Cup.