FILE - Canada players celebrate their win against Sweden during the women’s soccer gold medal game at the Tokyo Olympics in Yokohama, Japan on Friday, August 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

FILE - Canada players celebrate their win against Sweden during the women’s soccer gold medal game at the Tokyo Olympics in Yokohama, Japan on Friday, August 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

CONCACAF announces two new major women’s soccer tournaments

W Championship will serve as regional qualifier for the FIFA World Cup

Two major women’s tournaments for teams in North and Central America and the Caribbean will debut over the next three years, the region’s governing body of soccer announced Thursday.

The inaugural CONCACAF W Championship will take place in 2022 and the CONCACAF W Gold Cup will debut in 2024.

The W Championship will serve as the regional qualifier for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The tournament will include reigning Olympic champion Canada and the United States, along with the winners of six qualifying groups.

The winning nation will earn a place in the 2024 Olympics and the 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup.

The runner-up and the third-place team will progress to a CONCACAF Olympic play-in series to be played in September of 2023. The winner of that series will also guarantee their place in Olympics and the Gold Cup.

The final 10 spots in the Gold Cup will be filled by a qualification process that begins in 2023.

“These new competitions will be game-changing for women’s football in CONCACAF,” Karina LeBlanc, CONCACAF Head of Women’s Football and former Canadian national team goalkeeper, said in a release.

“We are providing a platform for women footballers in CONCACAF to thrive, and for women and girls throughout the region to support their national teams with pride.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2021.