CONCACAF’s Road to the Olympics Begins This Week

CONCACAF’s road to 2008 Olympic Games begins this week, with 22 Caribbean nations set to begin the Preliminary Qualification for the Men’s Under-23 Tournament.

The 22 nations have been placed in six groups for the first round qualification. Aruba, Bahamas, Cuba, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago will each host a Caribbean First Round Group that will run from August 31 to Sept. 13.

The six group winners will advance to the second round that consists of two three-team groups scheduled to play in October. The top finishers in those groups will progress to the 2008 CONCACAF U-23 Final Round Tournament.

Elsewhere, the Men’s U-23 Central American Preliminary Qualification will have two groups of three with Panama hosting El Salvador and Honduras, while Guatemala welcomes Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The winners of each triangular will advance to the CONCACAF Men’s U-23 Tournament along with two Caribbean teams, Canada, Mexico and USA with venue and dates to be announced. The two second-place finishers from each Central American Triangular will meet in a home-and-away playoff series with the winner also progressing to the CONCACAF U-23 Final Round Tournament, where two teams will qualify to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

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