April 2, 2019 / 11:48 PM / 5 months ago

Jamaica to host matches in this year's Gold Cup

FILE PHOTO: Team U.S. celebrates their win over Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer final in Chicago, Illinois, July 28, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

(Reuters) - Jamaica will host two matches in this year’s Gold Cup, becoming the third country to help organise the expanded tournament, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) said on Tuesday.

The double header will take place in Kingston’s National Stadium on June 17 and feature matches including the host nation and Honduras, although their rivals are not yet known.

The draw for the tournament takes place on April 10 and it kicks off on June 15 in Pasadena.

This year’s Gold Cup is the biggest ever, with 16 teams playing matches in the United States and Costa Rica.

Tuesday’s decision to include Jamaica marks the first time a Caribbean nation has hosted games in the region’s principal international football competition and is part of an attempt by the confederation to broaden the game’s appeal in the region.

“Bringing the CONCACAF Gold Cup to Jamaica is a watershed moment for our Confederation and Caribbean football,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani.

“Hosting our premier competition in Jamaica for the first time is an extraordinary opportunity to promote the very best of the game in the Caribbean, while raising standards and improving access to the sport across our Confederation.”

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris

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