CFU and CONCACAF tie breaker regulations name St. Kitts and Nevis as the winner with St. Vincent and the Grenadines in second place
As the final whistle blew in Victoria Park after a hard fought draw for St. Vincent and the Grenadines against Barbados, players and fans alike celebrated before the confusion over who won Group B in this year’s Digicel Caribbean Cup kicked in.
Under tie breaker regulations introduced in the CONCACAF region in 2007, a series of rules are applied to tournament groups where there is not one clear winner. This is in contrast to the old system whereby the goal difference rule would always prevail. Since 2007, teams are instead distinguished by their specific head to head games – as well as various levels of tie-breaking criteria before finally establishing a winner.
However, Group B’s three team tie in this year’s Digicel Caribbean Cup is one of the first occasions these rules have been put into practice; the reason behind the heated confusion when the final whistle blew last night.
The system is designed to protect weaker sides from being the whipping boys in the Group stage of a tournament. It encourages and motivates the stronger teams to consistently work hard and play the best they can throughout the Group stage – as opposed to gaining massive wins against the weaker sides.
In Group B, the top three teams won one game and drew two games each. Under the old regulations, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ 7-0 win against Montserrat would have seen them clearly named the winner based on the goal difference rule.
However, when current regulations are applied, St. Kitts and Nevis are the winner based on the fact that they scored more goals in matches amongst tied teams.
Knowing the Cayman Islands finished in second place in Group A on four points, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are guaranteed to qualify as one of the top two second place sides from Groups A, B and C.
The tie breakers are listed below:
|1||Points from all matches||5||5||5|
|2||Points from matches amongst tied teams||2||2||2|
|3||Goal difference for matches amongst tied teams||0||0||0|
|4||Goals scored in matches amongst tied teams||1||1||2*|
|5||Goals scored in all matches||8*||6|
|6||Goals allowed in matches amongst tied teams||NOT APPLICABLE|
*Greater number of goals scored.