(From CONCACAF.com) - CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb proclaimed the confederation’s continued commitment to women’s football at a Thursday press conference, launching the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands.
The biennial competition kicks-off later in the day with a doubleheader at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
“We must raise standards so that we keep challenging teams in women’s football,” expressed Webb. “This is how we progress and provide sustainability of programs.”
Women’s football has long been a source of pride for CONCACAF, especially as the United States has created a global model for success.
While Canada and Mexico have established consistently strong programs, Webb believes that the sport can continue to grow in the Caribbean and Central America.
Jamaica has demonstrated robust progress, hosting and finishing fourth at the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship. Many of the standouts from that team are on the Reggae Girlz’s current under-20 roster.
Additionally, Guatemala will participate in its third straight under-20 CONCACAF finals, a Central American record.
“The objective is to build exposure to women’s football in this region, so that a legacy remains,” Webb continued. “That’s why these competitions are so important.”
The United States is the only CONCACAF nation to qualify for every FIFA U-19/20 Women’s World Cup, but the FIFA Vice President is confident that others can replicate that path.
“We have to invest in the game, particularly in the long term development of women’s football,” Webb finished.
The CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, which runs January 9-19, will qualify three teams for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.