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Four World Cup tickets on the line for Concacaf hopefuls

  • Thirteen teams to participate in Guatemala between 3-9 May 2021
  • The Domo Polideportivo also hosted matches at the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2000
  • Semi-finalists qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021

The Concacaf Futsal Championship 2021 will be held in Guatemala City, Guatemala, from 3-9 May, with all matches in the competition’s seventh edition to take place at the Domo Polideportivo. The venue has a long history of hosting international futsal tournaments, including the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2000.

The inaugural Concacaf Futsal Championship was contested in 1996 and has since taken place every four years as part of Futsal World Cup qualifying. Costa Rica will travel to Guatemala as reigning holders and record champions, Los Ticos having triumphed in 2000, 2012 and 2016. USA lifted the trophy in 1996 and 2004, while hosts Guatemala tasted glory in 2008.

Format

Following the group stage (3-5 May), the top two teams in each section go through to the quarter-finals, which will be played on 7 May. The four victorious teams progress to the semi-finals, thereby earning a ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™. The last-four matches will be held on 8 May, with the final the following day.

Favourites

As defending champions, Costa Rica head to Guatemala eyeing success once more. Los Ticos go into the tournament in fine fettle, having soundly beaten Trinidad and Tobago 7-1 and 8-2 in recent friendlies. Should Costa Rica qualify for Lithuania 2021 it would be their fifth appearance at the tournament. At the last edition in Colombia they were the only Concacaf team to reach the round of 16, which is the furthest they have ever advanced at the competition.

Cuba, Guatemala and Panama also have designs on securing a Futsal World Cup berth, the trio having joined Costa Rica as Concacaf’s representatives at Colombia 2016. All three exited at the group stage, but while the former duo returned home without picking up a single point, Panama were at least able to defeat Uzbekistan.

USA boast the region’s best record at Futsal World Cups, and are the only Concacaf side ever to have secured a top-four finish. In 1992, USA won the silver medal in Hong Kong, and also took bronze in the Netherlands in 1989.

Under the guidance of Dusan Jakica, who became head coach of USA’s men’s futsal team in September 2019, the Stars and Stripes will endeavour to qualify for a Futsal World Cup for the first time since 2008. They took part in five of the first six editions of the tournament (1989, 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008).

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