LOS ANGELES, California – There was a palpable sense of excitement inside Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup draw and none more so than for Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio, who hailed the growth of Concacaf’s premier national team competition.
“Our Gold Cup keeps on growing and we are excited about where it is today. We know that this edition is going to be the best ever in terms of audience, in terms of fans going to the games. Expanding from 12 to 16 teams is a big commitment for us, to continue to develop this sport, to offer more of our members the opportunity to compete in our most important competition, which we think helps the development locally,” said Moggio in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
Moggio also stressed the importance of the competition being played outside of North America for the first time.
“It’s also a big commitment to take the Gold Cup outside of North America, so we can be closer to our fans in Central America, taking games to Costa Rica, to the Caribbean in Jamaica, so overall we think it’s going to be a very successful event. There’s been a lot of planning leading up to this event in terms of logistics to ensure the viability of taking our Gold Cup outside of North America and we’re excited to be announcing the groups today,” said Moggio.
Without question, one of the biggest drivers of the 2019 Gold Cup has been the Concacaf Nations League. Moggio is pleased to see that all 41 members of the Confederation are reaping rewards from the Nations League both on and off the field.
“Our focus is football and more competition, so putting in this Nations League leading up to Qatar 2022 has been an incredible success, because it has offered all of our Members the opportunity to compete more. In previous cycles, a lot of our members were only playing two matches ever four years, so that wasn’t helping locally in terms of fielding the right players, bringing players back, having the right conversation with sponsors and governments to help infrastructure and development, to help fund programs. This is giving them that opportunity and expanding Gold Cup is giving new nations like Bermuda and Guyana the opportunity to participate. By qualifying through the Nations League, it is a great accomplishment for them and we know that’s going to help tremendously in the local development,” said Moggio.
It was not lost on Moggio that located right next to the Banc of California Stadium is the Los Angeles Coliseum, site of the very first Gold Cup Final in 1991. Needless to say, Moggio takes a lot of pride in seeing how far the tournament has come.
“There are a lot of firsts in this Gold Cup and it’s exciting to see the coaches coming together and getting to know each other before they face each other in competition. It’s a great event, a lot of planning to get to this point and we’re incredibly excited to be here,” concluded Moggio.