September 24 – Concacaf has said that it “recognises the merits” of FIFA’s plan to create a new international match calendar – which would include a biennial World Cup – and that it will look at the proposals with an “open mind” and “positive engagement”.
The confederation that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, said that meetings between the confederation and FIFA, and its member associations and FIFA, will take place over the coming weeks.
While Concacaf said its initial analysis understood the advantages of “international men’s, women’s and youth football calendars which are underpinned by fewer international breaks, reduced travel for players, friendlies being replaced by meaningful matches and a more balanced structure,” it emphasised that its “immediate focus” is on assessing the impact on the region’s football.
“We are currently studying how the proposed changes would impact football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean,” said Concacaf while also saying that it fully intends to be a good global citizen in any decision it comes to.
“We also believe in the importance of being part of the global football family and we will listen to the views of football stakeholders in all parts of the world,” said Concacaf.
In what was a clear poke at UEFA and its anti-biennial World Cup position, said: “It was in this spirit that Concacaf was supportive of UEFA and its European football stakeholders when recent threats to their own club competitions structures were explored.
“Football in all parts of the world should be given an equal opportunity to play a part in the development of what is a FIFA international football calendar. Now is not the time for fearmongering and neither is it right that this process should be dominated by the interests of a few, or that more weight should be given to one particular region over others.”
Concacaf has 41 member associations and 35 of them are FIFA members. With a Caribbean block representing 25 of those FIFA members, and the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) having apparently already decided to support a biennial World Cup, the confederation will be faced with a succession of key issues with its membership and its own competitions
Only four Caribbean nations have ever qualified for a World Cup, the last one being Trinidad and Tobago in 2006. On current form that is unlikely to change for 2022.
“Football in all parts of the world should be given an equal opportunity to play a part in the development of what is a FIFA international football calendar. Now is not the time for fearmongering and neither is it right that this process should be dominated by the interests of a few, or that more weight should be given to one particular region over others,” said Concacaf’s statement.
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