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Suggested 2022 WCQ Formats

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With the advent of the CNL it does seem as though CONCACAF will need to revise the WCQ format so that it uses fewer matchdays. The existing format does seem to still fit but only just; leaving very little room for friendlies or even rest (although teams that play in the early rounds typically do not survive to play in the later rounds).

The current format uses 22 match days, excluding the inter-continental play-off:

3 straight KO rounds (6); 3 groups of 4 (6); 1 group of 6 (10).

Any suggestions for how to shorten this to less than 22 match days?

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One possibility (assuming 35 teams, 3.5 places):

First Round: 24 teams participate, 11 teams get a bye. 6 groups of 4. Group winners and best 2nd place team advance (7 teams). 6 match days.

Second Round: All remaining 18 teams participate. 3 groups of 6. Group winners qualify automatically and 2 best 2nd place teams play-off for half place. 12 match days.

Total: 18 match days.

 

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This is the part that left me feeling unsatisfied today.  I thought we'd get a full picture of what the next quadrennial will look like but they just teased us with a little bit of leg.

 

If I had to guess it's a double hex but at this point I'm expecting the unexpected.

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2 hours ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

This is the part that left me feeling unsatisfied today.  I thought we'd get a full picture of what the next quadrennial will look like but they just teased us with a little bit of leg.

 

If I had to guess it's a double hex but at this point I'm expecting the unexpected.

Yes, 2 groups of 6 is an obvious solution for the final round but assuming the same method is used to get down to the last 12 (straight knockout) the lower ranked teams are out very quickly, which is not ideal.

I'm guessing we have heard nothing because they know nothing!

Edited by dsqpr

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3 hours ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

They need to strike a balance.  I don't want to see some full blown UEFA style mess with minnows racking up a -40 GD over 10 games.  12 teams is the outer limit of genuine competitiveness.

I have mixed feelings about UEFA qualifying. It does keep everybody playing until the bitter end and one of my biggest complaints with the CONCACAF system is that it does not do that.

I know that we can't keep all 35 nations playing until the bitter end so the question becomes one of where to draw the line. With 3 full places, 3 groups is probably the max we can realistically do for the final round.

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11 hours ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

They need to strike a balance.  I don't want to see some full blown UEFA style mess with minnows racking up a -40 GD over 10 games.  12 teams is the outer limit of genuine competitiveness.

A majority of Uefa loves their format because the minnows are involved. Gives them a chance to play against the best on a constant basis. How else would they get better

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8 hours ago, canta15 said:

A majority of Uefa loves their format because the minnows are involved. Gives them a chance to play against the best on a constant basis. How else would they get better

The downside of course, which we will also have to face if we go with more than one hexagonal for the final round of qualifying, is fewer matches between the top teams.

As for the minnows getting better, like you I assume that is one of the objectives but I really don't see how playing against England/Italy/Germany twice every four years is going to do much for the San Marino (for example) player development program. Still, it is good for the visibility of the sport there to have those matches I suppose.

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Spent the last week in Cuba; saw ESPN Deportes discussing the leak of 2022 CONCACAF WCQ format which involves 48 teams in the WC. CONCACAF Q would have 35 teams and those 35 split into 6 groups (5 ×6 + 1 of 5) with group winners advancing to final phase.

Personally, sounds like a supremely stupid ******* format.

edited after discussion.

Edited by jpg75

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37 minutes ago, jpg75 said:

Spent the last week in Cuba; saw ESPN Deportes discussing the leak of 2022 CONCACAF WCQ format which involves 48 teams to start, reduced to 35 after 13 head to heads. Those 35 split into 6 groups (5 ×6 + 1 of 5) with group winners advancing to final phase.

Personally, sounds like a supremely stupid ******* format.

If this is true, its a total reversal of everything that has been said about changing the format.  The whole point of changing the format was to get rid of the Hex so more teams are involved up to the end.  Also, I think it was Montagliani who is on record as being opposed to the top teams getting byes in the early rounds. 

 

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41 minutes ago, jpg75 said:

Spent the last week in Cuba; saw ESPN Deportes discussing the leak of 2022 CONCACAF WCQ format which involves 48 teams to start, reduced to 35 after 13 head to heads. Those 35 split into 6 groups (5 ×6 + 1 of 5) with group winners advancing to final phase.

Personally, sounds like a supremely stupid ******* format.

How did you come up with 48 Teams? Don’t think there’s that many members in CONCACAF, with Guatemala (Suspended) + 6 Hex + All 34 selections in NLQ (34) = 41

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Rd. 1:  5 groups of 6 and 1 group of 5.  Top 2 from each group advance. 

Rd. 2:  12 teams split into 2 groups of 6.  Group winners qualify.  Second place teams playoff for 3rd spot.  Loser goes to intercontinental playoff.

22 match days.  Minnows involved for a longer period.  More teams involved to the end. 

 

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14 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

Rd. 1:  5 groups of 6 and 1 group of 5.  Top 2 from each group advance. 

Rd. 2:  12 teams split into 2 groups of 6.  Group winners qualify.  Second place teams playoff for 3rd spot.  Loser goes to intercontinental playoff.

22 match days.  Minnows involved for a longer period.  More teams involved to the end. 

 

Just to clarify - is this speculation or known info?

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Blackjack15 said:

How did you come up with 48 Teams? Don’t think there’s that many members in CONCACAF, with Guatemala (Suspended) + 6 Hex + All 34 selections in NLQ (34) = 41

I didn't, it's what was posted on the graphic on the Mexican soccer show. 

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9 minutes ago, jpg75 said:

I didn't, it's what was posted on the graphic on the Mexican soccer show. 

Why 48 teams, when there's only about 35 FIFA-recognized nations in CONCACAF. Even with the non-FIFA nations there's only 41.

Are they doing CONMEBOL and CONCACAF together? Though even that would only give 45 nations.

There was a Honduran press report recently, that mentioned that they'd be starting qualifiers in September 2020, and the Hex be gone.

It also speculated that there could still be a 48-team World Cup in 2022 (like 2026). Perhaps that's where the 48 came from?

https://www.diez.hn/laseleccion/1229288-498/concacaf-tendra-formato-nuevo-inicio-eliminatorias-mundial-2020-qatar-2022

Edited by nfitz

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4 hours ago, jpg75 said:

Spent the last week in Cuba; saw ESPN Deportes discussing the leak of 2022 CONCACAF WCQ format which involves 48 teams to start, reduced to 35 after 13 head to heads. Those 35 split into 6 groups (5 ×6 + 1 of 5) with group winners advancing to final phase.

Personally, sounds like a supremely stupid ******* format.

This is precisely what I was worried about. Now the luck of the draw is an even bigger deal.  Get grouped with Mexico and it's lights out before it even starts

 

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2 hours ago, CanadianSoccerFan said:

This is precisely what I was worried about. Now the luck of the draw is an even bigger deal.  Get grouped with Mexico and it's lights out before it even starts

 

Yeah, that's what I HATE about this format ... you can basically get screwed, or gifted a spot in the last round ...

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9 hours ago, nfitz said:

Why 48 teams, when there's only about 35 FIFA-recognized nations in CONCACAF. Even with the non-FIFA nations there's only 41.

Are they doing CONMEBOL and CONCACAF together? Though even that would only give 45 nations.

There was a Honduran press report recently, that mentioned that they'd be starting qualifiers in September 2020, and the Hex be gone.

It also speculated that there could still be a 48-team World Cup in 2022 (like 2026). Perhaps that's where the 48 came from?

https://www.diez.hn/laseleccion/1229288-498/concacaf-tendra-formato-nuevo-inicio-eliminatorias-mundial-2020-qatar-2022

Maybe that is where the 48 came from. Said "48 participados".

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17 hours ago, BrennanFan said:

Rd. 1:  5 groups of 6 and 1 group of 5.  Top 2 from each group advance. 

Rd. 2:  12 teams split into 2 groups of 6.  Group winners qualify.  Second place teams playoff for 3rd spot.  Loser goes to intercontinental playoff.

22 match days.  Minnows involved for a longer period.  More teams involved to the end. 

 

The problem with this is that there might not be 22 match days available from sept 2020 until the World Cup starts because of the next nations league that would supposedly take place in sept 2021.

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10 hours ago, Alex said:

The problem with this is that there might not be 22 match days available from sept 2020 until the World Cup starts because of the next nations league that would supposedly take place in sept 2021.

The Intercontinental playoff is scheduled for March 2022 with the final draw in April 2022. That means there's only 8 windows (16 dates) that can be used with Nov 2021 the last one available.

That shambolic first group stage will eat up 5 windows (10 dates) meaning the final round will only have 3 windows (6 dates) from Sep to Nov 2021. If they are indeed copying the U20 format then it will be two groups of 3.  That would  eat all 6 remaining  dates with no time left for a crossover between teams finishing 2nd.  Best 2nd place team goes to the Intercontinental playoff. 

 

This is awful on so many levels.  I was hoping for a new format that would reduce luck of the draw and instead this turns it into a ****!ing lottery.  If you ignore the 8 dead rubbers in the group stage it's basically a straight knockout competition with so much riding on the draw. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by CanadianSoccerFan

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Round 1 and 2... Get it down to 16 teams knock out style 2 legs (should take 4 match days)

Round 3 .... 4 groups of 4... top 2 advance (6 match days)

Round 4 ... 2 groups of 4... winners go to world cup, 2nd place teams play in a playoff (6 match days)

Playoff ... winner advances, loser goes to intercontinental playoff (2 match days)

Intercontinental playoff (2 match days)

Teams will get it done in 14/16/18 match days and it leaves more teams in for longer and more fair

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OPTION A) More minnow friendly

Assuming 35 teams participating, you'd have the top 4 teams (Mexico, Costa Rica, USA and Honduras) based on the past six World Cups go straight to final groups ( 2 comprised of six teams each) . The remaining 8 teams would be determined like this:

 In round one, 31 teams divided into seven groups of 4 and one of 3. The top team from each group would go to round two.

This would allow for all the minnows to play for real. Most would get six guaranteed games. Teams like Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador and Jamaica would each have a moderately difficult opponent and a couple of minnows between them and a place in the final qualifying tourney. 

 

OPTION B   Everyone gets Mexico

It isn't fair for whatever teams get Mexico, so why doesn't everyone get Mexico? Have a South American style final group of ten teams, with the top 3 getting a ticket to Qatar and the 4th place team getting the intercontinental spot. 

The top 4 teams (Mexico, Costa Rica, USA and Honduras) based on historical performance would get a bye to final round.

The next top nine teams (say Canada, Panama, T and T, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador and Curacao) would get a bye to the second round.

The remaining 22 minnows would play off and the six survivors go to round two.

In round two, you'd have three groups comprised of five teams. The top two in each group would go to the finals to join the four teams with the bye.

I like the one group of ten teams best, but under this format, Canada would have 26 qualifying games. Good for the fan, but I can see this being problematic. There are ways to reduce the games, but the minnows would suffer. I think everyone should have to suffer the possibility of playing Mexico.

 

Edited by hectorj
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