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LuigiVercotti

Jack Warner Wants More: CONCACAF To Up WC Places?

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This article might be of special interest to CONCACAF's head ticket tout and ExCo legend Jack Warner's biggest fan here, RobH:

"Powerhouse" CONCACAF seeks fourth automatic World Cup spot in Brazil

January 17 - The North, Central American and Caribbean Football Confederation (CONCACAF) is gunning for a fourth automatic place at the next World Cup in Brazil.

President Jack Warner (pictured) says his Confederation deserves four spots in the 2014 finals because of its record both "on and off the field".

Still reeling from missing out to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, Warner's idea would re-open political hostilities between the various factions within FIFA but he intends asking that organisation's Executive Committee to examine the proposal in March.

Currently, CONCACAF receives three automatic berths with a play-off determining whether it wins another.

Warner told a news conference in Panama that giving an extra place to CONCACAF would simplify FIFA's calendar, since it would not have to find dates to schedule play-off games.

"We believe that CONCACAF deserves another full place at the World Cup finals," said Warner.

"We have earned it.

"Our teams have proven themselves on the field of play, our administrative capacity has grown on and off the field of play and we have shown that CONCACAF is a powerhouse."

At last year's World Cup in South Africa, CONCACAF was represented by the United States, Mexico and Honduras.

Costa Rica finished fourth in qualifying, then lost their play-off against South Americans Uruguay to miss out on the showpiece.

The South Americans are bound to oppose Warner's idea which, tellingly, coincides with CONCACAF's 50th anniversary.

Many neutrals would question whether CONCACAF deserves to take a place away from a confederation that includes several of the world's major footballing powerhouses even though Brazil would not have to qualify.

In 2006, however, Trinidad and Tobago became only the second English-speaking Caribbean team to qualify for the finals.

"After 50 years of existence, CONCACAF has proven that it is worthy of four spots in the World Cup," said Warner.

"We, the members of the Executive Committee, will do all in our power to ensure that our region continues to flourish, advance and progress."

I like his logic...Mexico and the US have done remarkably well in the last World Cup so straight away he uses their achievements and a desire to simplify the qualification calendar :lol: to justify looking to take away the opportunity of the fifth best nation from CONMEBOL. Forget the fact that only the US has regularly qualified for and then gone into the round of 16 at recent WCs. Forget the fact that his own Trinidad and Tobago barely made it into the 2006 WC then failed to get into 2010. Forget that Canada has never made an impact at the WCs, nor has any of the Caribbean nations (whatever happened to the Reggae Boyz of Jamaica hmmm?).

I guess when your patron Herr Blather lets you get away with murder (or at least flogging tickets corruptly) your self-belief in your teflon status starts to engender dreams of grandeur. It'll be interesting to see what happens (my guess, Oceania will be shafted again and possibly NZ will be asked to play against the fourth placed team in the 2014 qualification race from CONCACAF whilst the fifth place AFC team will go up against the same ranked team from South America)

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He is dreaming.

The current practically hands the US and Mexico a place in the WC before qualification has already begun.

I think it's a reasonable expectation that Canada and a handful or Caribbean nations then fight it out for the remaining place. In general, I would say these top 3 teams equate to World Cup standard and would considered on par with most qualifying teams from the AFC.

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He is dreaming.

The current practically hands the US and Mexico a place in the WC before qualification has already begun.

I think it's a reasonable expectation that Canada and a handful or Caribbean nations then fight it out for the remaining place. In general, I would say these top 3 teams equate to World Cup standard and would considered on par with most qualifying teams from the AFC.

As it stands now the US and Mexico are easily world powers in terms of on field performance as well as importance to MaFIFA. But then you have a real struggle to find any other country that could slot into third place. Costa Rica would be my suggestion for this rank (they were a quality team in 2006 and only barely missed out to Uruguay for 2010). Honduras might be a contender as well but then you are starting to really struggle for anyone else to match AFC, CAF or COMNEBOL standards. I'd argue that if you were to play (for example) Trinidad Vs Bahrain or Panama Vs Uzbekistan the AFC teams would be at a distinct advantage.

Of course this is all part of the jockeying for power in the Zurich bunker; Jack is probably putting the pressure on the South Americans after the Qatar vote as his master Herr Blather wants to show the COMNEBOL ExCo members who's boss.

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As it stands now the US and Mexico are easily world powers in terms of on field performance as well as importance to MaFIFA. But then you have a real struggle to find any other country that could slot into third place. Costa Rica would be my suggestion for this rank (they were a quality team in 2006 and only barely missed out to Uruguay for 2010). Honduras might be a contender as well but then you are starting to really struggle for anyone else to match AFC, CAF or COMNEBOL standards. I'd argue that if you were to play (for example) Trinidad Vs Bahrain or Panama Vs Uzbekistan the AFC teams would be at a distinct advantage.

Of course this is all part of the jockeying for power in the Zurich bunker; Jack is probably putting the pressure on the South Americans after the Qatar vote as his master Herr Blather wants to show the COMNEBOL ExCo members who's boss.

Excellent observation in paragraph 2 that makes a lot of sense to me even if you're only being a little cheeky in making such a statement,.

I think you're scrapping the bottom of the barrel a bit with Bahrain and Uzbekistan too (Although the Uzbeks have been outstanding in the Asian Cup). If we consider Asia's top teams to be Japan, South Korea and Australia, there is still plenty of quality between Australia and Bahrain that could match the likes of Trinidad or Panama. See: Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China.

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Excellent observation in paragraph 2 that makes a lot of sense to me even if you're only being a little cheeky in making such a statement,.

I think you're scrapping the bottom of the barrel a bit with Bahrain and Uzbekistan too (Although the Uzbeks have been outstanding in the Asian Cup). If we consider Asia's top teams to be Japan, South Korea and Australia, there is still plenty of quality between Australia and Bahrain that could match the likes of Trinidad or Panama. See: Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China.

Yes, being cheeky (or just a pain in the arse shite) is one of the pleasures one can take in here with anything Blather related :)

As for Bahrain, if you'd watched the way they played against us last night as well as in the WC2010 qualifier in Manama in 2009 you might have a different opinion. Yes they have a propensity to buy up African players (as does Qatar and other Gulf states) but they play with a quality way above their ranking. If you were to match them up against any team in CONCACAF except the top three they'd have a better than even chance of progressing.

When all is said and done CONCACAF is the second weakest confederation in terms of numbers of quality teams that could progress not just into a WC but into the knock out phase. UEFA and COMNEBOL are streets ahead, then I'd be hard put to split CAF and the AFC. from the AFC alone you have Australia, South Korea, Japan and then closely following behind Iran, Saudi Arabia and possibly Bahrain or Uzbekistan. Mexico and the US are the guts of CONCACAF's football prestige and if they weren't (with perhaps the best central American team of the time) there it'd be almost of a standard of the NZ dominated OFC.

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Yes, being cheeky (or just a pain in the arse shite) is one of the pleasures one can take in here with anything Blather related :)

As for Bahrain, if you'd watched the way they played against us last night as well as in the WC2010 qualifier in Manama in 2009 you might have a different opinion. Yes they have a propensity to buy up African players (as does Qatar and other Gulf states) but they play with a quality way above their ranking. If you were to match them up against any team in CONCACAF except the top three they'd have a better than even chance of progressing.

When all is said and done CONCACAF is the second weakest confederation in terms of numbers of quality teams that could progress not just into a WC but into the knock out phase. UEFA and COMNEBOL are streets ahead, then I'd be hard put to split CAF and the AFC. from the AFC alone you have Australia, South Korea, Japan and then closely following behind Iran, Saudi Arabia and possibly Bahrain or Uzbekistan. Mexico and the US are the guts of CONCACAF's football prestige and if they weren't (with perhaps the best central American team of the time) there it'd be almost of a standard of the NZ dominated OFC.

If Australia were still part of the OFC the situation would almost be the same as it is in North America. Two stand out teams capable of matching it with most mid-tier teams at a World Cup. Of course Mexico and the US are far stronger teams but the underlings below them couldn't claim to be any better than Australia or New Zealand at present. If we re-wound five years before Australia's move into the AFC, I'm almost certain the OFC would be granted one automatic qualification place (although no play-off for a second) which would no doubt have come from CONCACAF.

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If Australia were still part of the OFC the situation would almost be the same as it is in North America. Two stand out teams capable of matching it with most mid-tier teams at a World Cup. Of course Mexico and the US are far stronger teams but the underlings below them couldn't claim to be any better than Australia or New Zealand at present. If we re-wound five years before Australia's move into the AFC, I'm almost certain the OFC would be granted one automatic qualification place (although no play-off for a second) which would no doubt have come from CONCACAF.

Ah yes, the glory days of Australia being part of the OFC:

And you'll probably recall Aronious good old Septic used the automatic qualification bait and switch move on Oceania just before his re-election in 2002. One minute he gave it next it was gone due to a protest from...yes you guessed...CONMEBOL. Zip forward 8-9 years and now his minion Jack 'The Ticket Tout' Warner is beating up a similar path for the fourth placed getter in CONCACAF.

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As someone from the region I think this is stupid

I think Europe should have 15, Africa 4, Asia 4.5, Oceania 0.5, South America 4.5 and CONCACAF 3.5. I think the 14th and 15th teams in Europe are more competitive than the 5th or 6th team in Africa and the 5th or 6th team in Asia. So Europe should be getting those spots. I would hate to see South America have 6 spots at the next tournament and for Africa to retain their 6. African football is not deep enough for 6 spots.

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I'd like to be able to give a serious response to this proposal, but its utter stupidity does not allow me to.

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Or better yet: Instead of having the Confederations Cup (which is redunant and stupid) give 24 qualifying spots based on

Europe: 10

Africa: 4

Asia: 3

South America: 4

North America: 2

Oceania: 1

And than have a 16 team qualifying tournament as the prep tournament with (Europe 5, Africa 3, Asia 3, South America 3, North America 2) and the teams that make it out of the group stage qualify for the World Cup.

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Or better yet: Instead of having the Confederations Cup (which is redunant and stupid) give 24 qualifying spots based on

Europe: 10

Africa: 4

Asia: 3

South America: 4

North America: 2

Oceania: 1

And than have a 16 team qualifying tournament as the prep tournament with (Europe 5, Africa 3, Asia 3, South America 3, North America 2) and the teams that make it out of the group stage qualify for the World Cup.

Wouldn't work. First off you would have to accelerate the normal qualification process plus reconfigure the continental groupings to get the first section completed to meet the timetable suggested. Then you would have to ask those teams that didn't meet the requirements for initial qualification to go through another round of qualification in circumstances that would marginalise the confederations plus potentially upset the European clubs who could see their star players exposed to even more national duty. Throw in the problems of assuaging the egos of the continental groupings (e.g. there is no way Oceania would be given 1 automatic position in any format of qualification, or Asia would accept only 3 to start with) and the additional burden it would throw on the host nation of the upcoming world cup (effectively asking them to run a tournament the size of an AFC or Euro or Africa Cup of Nations on top of the WC) and the concept is a lame duck.

As it stands now the balance in qualification is arguably as good as it can be whilst the political considerations and economic requirements of the various FAs, confederations and MaFIFA itself are paramount. If you want to really simplify the qualification process using Occams Razor the best way is at the end of the year preceding a WC the top 32 ranked nations in the world go through irrespective of continental grouping or allocated positions. But that is just as much an unreal idea.

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Or better yet: Instead of having the Confederations Cup (which is redunant and stupid) give 24 qualifying spots based on

Europe: 10

Africa: 4

Asia: 3

South America: 4

North America: 2

Oceania: 1

And than have a 16 team qualifying tournament as the prep tournament with (Europe 5, Africa 3, Asia 3, South America 3, North America 2) and the teams that make it out of the group stage qualify for the World Cup.

That is an excellent idea, F. However, I think it's too fundamental for those dunderheads of Zurich!!

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