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The CONCACAF Champions League 3-Way Champions

Posted by John Hickey on



In 1978 the CONCACAF Champions League (named CONCACAF Champions Cup at the time) was split into 3 different zones. The North-American Zone for USA and Mexico, the Caribbean Zone for the islands plus Suriname and Guyana, and the Central-American Zone for the countries of that region. The champion of the Caribbean Zone would go directly to the final, while the other two would play a semi-final to determine the opponent.

In North America, Leones Negros defeated Pumas in the regional final and took the crown. In Central America, Comunicaciones from Guatemala defeated Saprissa from Costa Rica and advanced. In the Caribbean, Defence Force from Trinidad & Tobago whipped out Voorwaarts from Suriname, with home and away victories, and went straight to the continental final.

At this point the stage was set, a Comunicaciones - Leones Negros semi-final would decide the opponent for Defence Force in the final, however this is where things got complicated. Simultaneously the Mexican league had picked back up, leaving Leones Negros with no open calendar dates to play international matches. Because at this time domestic tournaments were still given more importance, there was no strong will from the clubs or federations to move things around.

The matches were never played and the tournament was never properly finalized. Even though technically Defence Force was the club that advanced furthest into the tournament, CONCACAF just decided to crown all three teams champions of that year.

Defence Force would actually go on to win the title again in 1985, but to this day the split CONCACAF Champions Cup trophy of 1978 is the only one for both Comunicaciones and Leones Negros.


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