Trinidad & Tobago promoted to Concacaf Nations League A after Nicaragua found guilty of using ineligible player

It seemed that the Trinidad & Tobago men’s national team, after the draw against Nicaragua in March, were apparently not going to get promoted. As a result, they had to play preliminary qualifiers to get into the Concacaf 2023 Gold Cup. This seemed like the worst possible scenario for the team. However, it seems that the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association successfully lodged an official complaint against the eligibility of a Nicaraguan Football Federation player who competed in 2022 Concacaf Nations League matches.

As a result of this Trinidad & Tobago now replaces Nicaragua in the Concacaf Nations League A joining Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Martinique, and Curacao. The team also now qualifies directly for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. As mentioned in one of our previous articles another positive outcome from this scenario is that Trinidad & Tobago have a chance to play in Copa America 2024 if they manage to top the group.

This was the official statement from Concacaf

Concacaf Disciplinary Committee decision regarding Nicaragua and the Eligibility of Players

Miami, FL (Monday, June 12, 2023) – Concacaf has announced that its Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Nicaraguan Football Federation (FENIFUT) for a severe violation of the applicable FIFA/Concacaf regulations by fielding an ineligible player in eight Nicaragua Men’s National Team matches, including matches in the 2022/23 Concacaf Nations League (CNL). 

In view of this serious breach of regulations, the Concacaf Disciplinary Committee has decided to exclude the Nicaragua Men’s National Team from competing in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and to relegate them to League B of the 2023/24 CNL.  

Because of the decision of the Concacaf Disciplinary Committee, the Concacaf Council has made the following determinations regarding the implications of this decision on the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and the 2023/24 Concacaf Nations League:

2023 Concacaf Gold Cup

  • The Nicaragua Men’s National Team will be replaced in the 2023 Gold Cup Group Stage (Group A) by the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Team, by virtue of them being the highest second-place team overall from League B groups in the 2022/23 CNL.
  • The place in the Gold Cup Preliminary Round previously occupied by the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Team will go to the Antigua and Barbuda Men’s National Team, by virtue of them being the team with the highest points (overall) in League B of the 2022/23 CNL to not have qualified to the 2023 Gold Cup Prelims.
  • Per the Official Gold Cup and Prelims Draw, which took place on April 14, 2023, the winner of Prelims Matchup 1 will advance to Prelims Matchup 7, and the winner of Prelims Matchup 7 has been drawn into position D4 of Group D. This will remain unchanged. 

2023/2024 Concacaf Nations League

  • The Nicaragua Men’s National Team will be replaced in League A of the 2023/24 CNL by Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Team, by virtue of them being the highest second-place team overall from League B groups in the 2022/23 CNL.
  • The Nicaragua National Team will be slotted in Group B position B1 of League B, which is the position left vacant by the Trinidad and Tobago National Team given their qualification into League A.

In an official statement from the TTFA General Secretary Amiel Mohammed stated, “This is extremely exciting news for Angus, the team and the entire country!”

“We would like to thank Concacaf for their efforts in investigating this matter with the urgency that they have and look forward to a really amazing next few months for the Senior Men’s Team. This is where we want to be and we encourage all fans and stakeholders,far and wide, to rally around the team.”

The Angus Eve-coached team will now kick off its 2023 Gold Cup campaign with the following schedule of matches:
• 25 June 2023: Trinidad and Tobago vs the Winner of Prelim #9 – DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale – 3:30 pm
• 28 June 2023: Jamaica vs Trinidad and Tobago – CityPark, St Louis – 6:30 pm
• 2 July 2023: USA vs Trinidad and Tobago – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte – 7:00 pm

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