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FIFA Series

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The new FIFA Series consists of friendlies between teams who do not normally have the opportunity to play each other. It will held every 2 years in the March window. There are no trophies or prize monies. They could have called it FIFA World Series even if it is inappropriately used by someone else. A women's version is in the works. 

The 2024 pilot edition will feature 24 teams repping all 6 confederations that is being hosted in 5 countries:

Algeria (location): Algeria/Bolivia/Andorra/South Africa
Egypt: Egypt/New Zealand/Tunisia/Croatia
KSA: Cabo Verde/Guyana/Equatorial Guinea/Cambodia
KSA: Vanuatu/Guinea/Bermuda/Brunei
Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan/Bulgaria/Mongolia/Tanzania
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka/Bhutan/PNG/Central African Republic. 

The format will vary as some only some groups will see the winners of the first match facing each other in their second respective matches. 

There are 9 teams from CAF, 5 from AFC, 4 from UEFA, 3 from OFC, 2 from Concacaf & 1 from Conmebol. It is intended for teams with nothing scheduled in March windows. The highest-ranked team taking part is 10th ranked Croatia, with Sri Lanka the lowest-ranked national side, sitting 204th. So, it can be avenue for Canada to get expenses paid friendlies against new opponents if there is no Nations League matches.

FIFA can do this since their revenues per World Cup cycle have 2x in the past decade. Even in off men's World Cup years, FIFA revenues are over US$1b. The Women's World Cup finally broke even last year. FIFA 7x their 2023-2026 development budget to US$2.25b.

And given the expanded World Cup, it provides experience to potential qualifying countries playing countries outside their confederation. FIFA is only facilitating and not organising the tournaments. They are also looking for each country to drum up sponsors for the Series. Many of the matches can be seen on FIFA+ and some on DAZN. 

In the first day of matches, Guyana only lost 1-0 to Cabo Verde as former Canadian youth international Roberts had a stellar outing by saving at least 3 sure-fire goals. Andorra tied South Africa 1-1 via the goalkeeper sorta back heeling the ball to the goal scorer. Attendance was minimal in Jeddah & Annaba (ALG).


Edited by red card
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