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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Soccer shorts: New World Cup qualifier format likely, U20 World Cup in Costa Rica rescheduled

While Costa Rica’s soccer league has returned, the coronavirus pandemic has had a widespread impact on international sport.

We recap the international fútbol news affecting Costa Rica:

CONCACAF Hex unlikely

The traditional hexagonal tournament to determine CONCACAF’s Men’s World Cup qualifiers is “very unlikely to happen,” according to former U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro.

Cordeiro’s comments, which were made during a U.S. Soccer board meeting, were published by Front Row Soccer.

“I think the hex is off; more likely it will be some sort of group format in the remaining time we have,” Cordeiro said. “Both the men and women are likely to get additional FIFA windows next year to make up for lost playing time this year. That might come too late for the men’s qualifiers.”

Instead of the typical six-team round-robin, CONCACAF will likely adopt “some sort of group format in the remaining time we have” prior to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Cordeiro said, in-line with an earlier report from Panamanian news outlet RPCTV.

The FIFA Council will decide on the CONCACAF qualifying process, Front Row Soccer said, potentially when the group meets in late June.

Costa Rica World Cup rescheduled

The 2020 Under-20 Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Costa Rica and Panama, will not take place in August as originally planned.

The latest indications from FIFA are that the tournament will instead be held from January 20 through February 6, 2021.

However, those dates are “subject to further monitoring,” FIFA said, and at least one recent report suggests the organizing body is already considering an August 2021 start date.

The Costa Rican Soccer Federation said Tuesday that it’s working with FIFA officials to prepare its stadiums for the tournament, which will feature 16 teams.

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