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Canada's place in world football


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The recent Copa America question has gotten me thinking...CONCACAF has 35 members countries, CONMEBOL has 10. A total of 45, with 9 World Cup placed between the two of them.

That being the case, has there ever been talk of the two confederations merging?

We could ditch the Gold Cup in favour of an all-American Copa America, the two continents would have 1 in 5 teams qualifying for the World Cup, and CONCACAF countries would no longer be under the boot of corruption that epitomizes CONCACAF's day-to-day business. It wouldn't fly with countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay in the same federation.

In Rugby, the regions that would be CONCACAF and CONMEBOL are simply "Americas". I'm only just musing about the idea here because of the recent Copa America talk, but at first glance, I think it sounds like an attractive option.

Also, I've posted a poll, because I'm obsessed with that feature. :P

EDIT: As an afterthought, imagine, if you will, the Champions League we would have!

CONAFA Champions League!

Edited by Redcoatsforever
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I raised the question in the Copa America thread and see only positives that would come out of this.

However, those in power would likely only see negatives.

Yeah, I didn't read your post in the Copa America thread until after I posted this. When the idea came to mind I thought it warranted its own thread. I think and Americas confederation would enhance everything effected aside from the Confederations Cup, really.

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There would only be 8 spots out of such a region - 3.5 from CONCACAF and 4.5 from CONMEBOL - the 9 this time around is only becuase Brasil are hosting. In this format we would never qualify for a WC in my lifetime. I'll take what we have now and be thankful. Besides, CONMEBOL would never go for this, they would lose all of their power to the Caribbean and their 35 votes.

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For Canada, if this happened, the "new" Copa America would become the qualifying goal. I doubt Canada would ever make it to the World Cup qualifying out of an all-Americas confederation, let alone the likes of Panama, Guatemala, Cuba, and the myriad minnows in central america and the Caribbean. Also, the travel would be atrocious. Can you imagine if Vancouver was in the same champion league group as say, Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires? That's about 11,000 km and a 19-hour flight.

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For Canada, if this happened, the "new" Copa America would become the qualifying goal. I doubt Canada would ever make it to the World Cup qualifying out of an all-Americas confederation, let alone the likes of Panama, Guatemala, Cuba, and the myriad minnows in central america and the Caribbean. Also, the travel would be atrocious. Can you imagine if Vancouver was in the same champion league group as say, Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires? That's about 11,000 km and a 19-hour flight.

Fair points...I wasn't really thinking about the distance, and jpg75 is correct, it's only 8 spots. My mistake. I actually just didn't rethink the math, I just thought "9" for some reason...but I'm sure there could be some sort of regional considerations given in Champions league, and I think if there were 45 teams, you'd see a more Euro-style WCQ.

For instance, have the bottom two ranked teams play one preliminary round, leaving 44 teams. 10 groups of four, you get 20 teams, then play 4 groups of 5, the top two in each group qualify. I feel like this would benefit Canada as we would have a stronger chance of coming in second in 5 out of 20 teams, rather than trying to get through the hexagon.

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One of the potential positives would be that the argument for more than the combined 8 WC spots would be a lot stronger than the argument either confederation has currently for increasing their allotment. If the new confederation could come close to rivaling UEFA then comparing their 13 spots to the 8 currently held by CONCACAF and CONMEBOL would create an interesting argument... not to mention the other confederations. Also, with increased exposure to higher competition nations like Canada should begin to improve making the argument even stronger. I also envision keeping the old confederation cups and simply offsetting them to years when neither the WC or the new confed cup tourneys are held.

But as mentioned earlier the current confeds would likely never go for it for differing reasons.

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Let's examine the potential groups using FIFA rankings to sort them. In the 1st round you're proposing 10 groups of 4 with the top 2 moving on to the final round of 4 groups of 5, correct?

1st round:

Pot A: Brasil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, USA, Paraguay, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Ecuador.

Pot B: Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuala, Cuba, Panama, Canada, El Salvador, Grenada, T&T

Pot C: Everyone else, including Bolivia and Guatemala

Chances are we would be able to beat out countries like Haiti, Bermuda etc. for second spot to advance to the last round where we'd be put in a tough group...

Pot A: Brasil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

Pot B: USA, Paraguay, Mexico, Honduras

Pot C: Jamaica, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica

Pot D: Peru, Venezuala, Cuba, Panama

Pot E: Canada, El Salvador, Grenada, T&T

Easiest group would be:

Uruguay or Chile

Honduras

Jamaica

Cuba

Canada

This reminds me of our SF round group last go-round with Uruguay or Chile taking the place of Mexico and Cuba added in...

Hardest group:

Brasil or Argentina

USA, Mex or Paraguay

Ecuador or Colombia

Peru

Canada

Would we even win a game? ...Now, let's use a random grouping:

Chile

USA

Costa Rica

Venezuala

Canada

That's still harder than the Hex and we would arguably finish last again...

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For me it's about playing meaningful games.

I love this idea because there's no way the qualifying formats for the World Cup would be half thought out or cater to certain teams. It would be done correctly I'm sure of it. The idea of a confederation championship that was actually rotated every 4 years to a different country instead of always being played in the same place (With a proper qualification format for it as well)... delightful!

I don't like the idea because of the logistics, the travel would be tricky to say the least (as was already pointed out by some else).

I still think we could qualify for the World Cup with a little luck and (a big one...) better performances at home. If we'd be playing in Buenos Aires elevation, let's get them up here November 1st in Moncton (I would have said Halifax but nowhere to play :P) to return the favor.

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For me it's about playing meaningful games.

I love this idea because there's no way the qualifying formats for the World Cup would be half thought out or cater to certain teams. It would be done correctly I'm sure of it. The idea of a confederation championship that was actually rotated every 4 years to a different country instead of always being played in the same place (With a proper qualification format for it as well)... delightful!

I don't like the idea because of the logistics, the travel would be tricky to say the least (as was already pointed out by some else).

I still think we could qualify for the World Cup with a little luck and (a big one...) better performances at home. If we'd be playing in Buenos Aires elevation, let's get them up here November 1st in Moncton (I would have said Halifax but nowhere to play :P) to return the favor.

I think also having to play big names from South America in home qualification matches would boost our strategy outside of the matches themselves. With the kind of attention generated for Canada under those circumstances, it would be difficult for the CSA to make stupid choices publicly. Add in the tickets sales windfall of qualifiers and perhaps hosting a Copa America, and you'll get a much more properly funded national program.

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If we'd be playing in Buenos Aires elevation, let's get them up here November 1st in Moncton (I would have said Halifax but nowhere to play :P) to return the favor.

That sea level air will have you sucking wind in no time ;) I'm guessing you meant La Paz or Quito?

Edited by jpg75
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CONMEBOL would never let this happen ever. CONMEBOL members would be totally politically outnumbered out by all the rinky dink federations from the Caribbean that block vote, they'd go from their vote being super meaningful to being an afterthought and start getting jerked around by Warner and Blazer.

I'm sure Trinis would start getting Brazil and Argentina visiting the island a few times a cycle to fill their coffers.

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CONMEBOL would never let this happen ever. CONMEBOL members would be totally politically outnumbered out by all the rinky dink federations from the Caribbean that block vote, they'd go from their vote being super meaningful to being an afterthought and start getting jerked around by Warner and Blazer.

I'm sure Trinis would start getting Brazil and Argentina visiting the island a few times a cycle to fill their coffers.

FIFA may be somewhat corrupt, but no way would they allow the type of bulls**t Warner pulls to fly with the likes of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay in the federation. Three world cup winning teams, one of which is the perennial favourite to win the World Cup, would not be made to suffer Trinidad and Tobaggo, and bunch of city-sized Carribean countries calling the shots, I guarantee something in the Confederations' charter would preclude this.

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Another thing to consider is the allure of a tournament that approaches the allure of the UEFA Cup with regards to some fence sitters (current and future). I'm not one who believes this should matter in deciding to play for Canada or not but in reality it obviously does in some cases. Theoretically I'm also not one who wants these fence sitters to catered to in order to "persuade" them to represent Canada but in reality they would make a huge difference to Canadian success. So, if the choice to represent Canada is made more appealing to young players in part by participating in a highly regarded competition on a regular basis they may never end up being fence sitters in the first place... which could only be a win for Canada.

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There would only be 8 spots out of such a region - 3.5 from CONCACAF and 4.5 from CONMEBOL - the 9 this time around is only becuase Brasil are hosting. In this format we would never qualify for a WC in my lifetime. I'll take what we have now and be thankful. Besides, CONMEBOL would never go for this, they would lose all of their power to the Caribbean and their 35 votes.

The last line is the killer.

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I'd agree with the merger. What you would get in qualifying for Regional and World Cups is a UEFA style tournament or something similar. Like in Europe all teams are automatically factored into 8-9 groups, even the minnows such as Faroe Islands (though some want them out and have a pre-qualifying - which I agree with). In such a merger Canada would get automatically placed in a 6-8 team group, 2 years of qualifying, each opponent twice. While the Carribeans and maybe a few Central American countries would either be placed directly into the 6-8 groups such as UEFA, or they'd have a pre-qualifying such as happens for the Gold Cup.

Would Canada make a World Cup? NO, but we'd probably become a Belgium...some years very close, other years well off it. That would be fine for me at this point. We'd retain players (more than we do now anyway), and our professional and youth clubs would have something much more tangible to strive for and see. Knowing you might get to play Argentina is a World Cup qualifier in your life-time is a pretty good motivator for a youth player.

Will this merger happen? NO. CONMEBOL won't let it, nor do they have any interest in playing World Cup qualifiers in Toronto, Columbus, or Azteca!

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Will this merger happen? NO. CONMEBOL won't let it, nor do they have any interest in playing World Cup qualifiers in Toronto, Columbus, or Azteca!

I'm not so sure. CONMEBOL has a lot to lose in terms of history and dimishing their prestige BUT if the United States ever really joins the global soccer community the money that could be generated through an expanded Copa America and Copa Libertadores that involves the United States proper might make it reasonable. And let's not underestimate the value of Mexico too. I've seen the argument that FMF is already the most wealthy league in the Americas; there's a reason Libertadores invites have been extended to their teams.

And people seem to only perceive the Caribbean votes as a negative. That's not entirely the case though. They'd be a double edged sword surely but that's a ton more votes aligned with the South Americans at FIFA Congresses.

In the end this is a merger that would make sense for both parties: CONMEBOL brings the prestige, history, and legitimate tournaments while CONCACAF brings American, Mexican, and even Canadian wealth along with Caribbean votes and influence at FIFA.

As for our WC qualifying chances? Honestly, who cares? If we can't get there on merit by beating teams that deserve to be there I'm not gonna lose sleep about it. I'd rather be competing in meaningful qualifiers against countries football fans recognize than sneaking in and never scoring (again). And the idea of playing in an expanded Copa America more than makes up for it to me.

In the end it's a merger where both sides lose some control but gain something that might make it worth it. Unlikely but not impossible IMHO.

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I would love to see this. The prospect of a highly competative region that could start to rival Uefa excites me. But as many people have already mentioned, the powers that be would probably not go for it. Jackass Warner and Chuck "Evil Santa" Blazer and co. would probably squable with their deeply entrenched CONMEBOL counterparts Nicholas Leoz, Ricardo Teixera, etc...

Another obstacle to overcome would be the geographical distances to traverse for qualifying matches. Alot of the nations from both confederations might have problems with expences. However this same fact could end up actually working in favour of the idea. If the two did merge, the central american and carribean nations in the middle would now have a host of new rivals to play that are alot closer than others. This could actually benefit some of the smaller nations.

On a crazier note, what do people think of incorporating the OFC, or atleast the easterly located nations, into a new larger confederation. There has been so much talk of the need to fold the OFC in with the AFC. Why not us? Just speculation....

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Since this is my first post i will say I am a trini but I have not joined your board to be negative or root against Canadian soccer. I actually root for canada because i feel sorry for the team that so many good players have left to be fringe players on other national teams. And in turn a weaker canada makes a weaker region and less competition and respect. I feel like T&T is on the same level as Canada (tier 2 concacaf) even though this minute you are obviously stronger than us on a 10 yr average the strength of our teams are comparable. Before i get to my opinion on the topic i would like to voice my displeasure on how some members on this forum group our country together with Jack Warner.Nobody ever says the Americans are ...........because of Blazer, Blazer is an independent entity.I almost feel like with some posters use Warner and T&T as a scapegoat of why their team isnt doing well. Im sure most of you know that Warner is very unpopular in T&T because for all the "help" he supposedly gives T&T he screws us on a regular basis (if you dont know do your research on all the crap hes done to the warriors).On to the topic.

The reason that i am pro merger is because i feel that it helps the 2nd and 3rd tier nations receive more competitive games as some members stated. Most 2nd tier nations like T&T and canada possibly Guatemala dont even play games on all international matchdays. With a merger then everybody at least gets more games because of qualification. I am also a realistic fan because eventhough i love my 2nd tier teams they arent going to qualify for the world cup very often. Trini, Canada & Jamaica are all examples of countries that have qualified once but never again. So i dont think everybody should be negative about world cup qualifying chances in a merger because in the present format we have all been unsuccessful also. With a merger tho you guys would have a good chance qualifying for the Copa in theory you just have to be a top 6 concacaf nation to qualify and i actually believe that you guys could beat Bolivia or Venezuela in a couple of games. Speaking only for myself i think the island nations would love a merger because there would be more games and (as a poster stated) a possibility to draw a big nation and recieve a huge pay day ( kinda like a UK cup competition).

Obviously there would be a conflict of interest between Warner+blazer vs the South American higher ups, however i read that all the south american pres besides that Brazil and Argentina Prez didnt like how those big countries were throwing their weight around and trying to pass laws that only favor themselves. So maybe they would be more open to a different spread of power. A merger would mean that the Copa would gain credibility and prestige and no invitees.And hopefully Canada would host it because they have a great group of fans and good support for all teams as shown in the 2007 U20 cup. However you need to work on their stadia to do so lol.

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Since this is my first post i will say I am a trini but I have not joined your board to be negative or root against Canadian soccer. I actually root for canada because i feel sorry for the team that so many good players have left to be fringe players on other national teams. And in turn a weaker canada makes a weaker region and less competition and respect. I feel like T&T is on the same level as Canada (tier 2 concacaf) even though this minute you are obviously stronger than us on a 10 yr average the strength of our teams are comparable. Before i get to my opinion on the topic i would like to voice my displeasure on how some members on this forum group our country together with Jack Warner.Nobody ever says the Americans are ...........because of Blazer, Blazer is an independent entity.I almost feel like with some posters use Warner and T&T as a scapegoat of why their team isnt doing well. Im sure most of you know that Warner is very unpopular in T&T because for all the "help" he supposedly gives T&T he screws us on a regular basis (if you dont know do your research on all the crap hes done to the warriors).On to the topic.

The reason that i am pro merger is because i feel that it helps the 2nd and 3rd tier nations receive more competitive games as some members stated. Most 2nd tier nations like T&T and canada possibly Guatemala dont even play games on all international matchdays. With a merger then everybody at least gets more games because of qualification. I am also a realistic fan because eventhough i love my 2nd tier teams they arent going to qualify for the world cup very often. Trini, Canada & Jamaica are all examples of countries that have qualified once but never again. So i dont think everybody should be negative about world cup qualifying chances in a merger because in the present format we have all been unsuccessful also. With a merger tho you guys would have a good chance qualifying for the Copa in theory you just have to be a top 6 concacaf nation to qualify and i actually believe that you guys could beat Bolivia or Venezuela in a couple of games. Speaking only for myself i think the island nations would love a merger because there would be more games and (as a poster stated) a possibility to draw a big nation and recieve a huge pay day ( kinda like a UK cup competition).

Obviously there would be a conflict of interest between Warner+blazer vs the South American higher ups, however i read that all the south american pres besides that Brazil and Argentina Prez didnt like how those big countries were throwing their weight around and trying to pass laws that only favor themselves. So maybe they would be more open to a different spread of power. A merger would mean that the Copa would gain credibility and prestige and no invitees.And hopefully Canada would host it because they have a great group of fans and good support for all teams as shown in the 2007 U20 cup. However you need to work on their stadia to do so lol.

Welcome! Great post and great points. A Copa of the Americas would rival the euros no doubt, people in this country would consistently (in theory) have a better chance of seeing us play big teams like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay etc. it would grow us support, we'd play more matches for qualifiers and I think it would give us a much better chance of getting in the World Cup and if we do being a competitive team.

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