Conmebol & Concacaf

Why Should Conmebol and Concacaf Join?
Fabrizio Chiari
Although they are in the same continent for most of the countries around the world, in the
United States, people say that the American continent is split in two parts, north and south. Likewise, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) ) also separates the continent into two different confederations...

Conmebol & Concacaf

Why Should Conmebol and Concacaf Join?
Fabrizio Chiari

Although they are in the same continent for most of the countries around the world, in the United States, people say that the American continent is split in two parts, north and south. Likewise, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) also separates the continent into two different confederations, Conmebol, the South America Football Confederation, and Concacaf, the North American one. In my view, this is absolutely outrageous, and it should be changed in the sport of soccer immediately.

Conmebol has ten associations, which among them they have won nine FIFA World Cups, the most prestigious soccer competition. Countries like Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina are consistently top candidates to win each and every edition of the World Cup. Moreover, this confederation also has the top three best players ever according to myself and the prestigious soccer website Four Four Two. The order they presented is as follows: Diego Armando Maradona, Lionel Messi, and Pelé. (FourFourTwo.com)

On the other hand, we have Concacaf. A 41-member confederation, that all together have not been able to even reach a final in a World Cup edition. In addition to this poor statistic, the most successful reach by a country of this confederations are the United States, finishing third in 1930 (First edition of a World Cup). After that result, Mexico has reached quarter finals of the tournaments twice (both editions hosted by Mexico) and the US has reach quarter finals once.

Do you really think Concacaf should have three and a half spots (4th goes to playoffs) in every edition of the World Cup meanwhile Conmebol only 4 and a half spots in the same tournament? Do you really believe one spot in the World Cup is the difference between these two confederations? If you think so, then I feel sorry for you. If you do not, I agree with you because “the biggest and most-watched sporting event in the world” should include the best national teams and not the most convenient ones. (Molinaro, John, 2014)

If you think the Super Bowl brings people together, you have not experienced a World Cup. Millions of soccer fans (and not) flight from all over the world to come experience this event. Having said that, some of these people are paying thousands of dollars, quitting their jobs, and selling their belongings to make the trip. If we add to that number the amount of viewers on television, the total number of eyeballs watching any of the 64 matches will reach billions. Do you really believe these people deserve of watching Panama, Honduras or Costa Rica before Chile, Paraguay and Ecuador? Again, if you think so, I feel bad for you.

Perhaps I understand that money plays a big factor in this scenario, but for anyone that loves this sport, this is very upsetting and sometimes it even makes you want to stop watching these big events. We want to see the best national teams in the World Cup, nothing else. Perhaps the famous actor Zac Efron is right when he says “The fans make the person a star.

My opinion on how to solve this issue is joining together both confederations. A 51-member confederation from Canada to Argentina. To qualify for the World Cup, the new confederation would separate the teams into groups, similar to what UEFA does, for instance. By the FIFA ranking, the confederation picks the first seeds and then the rest of the teams. Seven groups of seven teams (and two groups of eight teams) and the first one of each group makes it, and the best second of all groups, makes it as well. That will give you the same eight spots that currently both confederations have combined.

This example of a solution to fix the problem could be modified or could be done completely differently, that is not the point. The real point is giving Conmebol the importance they deserve as they have earned throughout almost 80 years of football/soccer. It is indeed disrespectful for some national teams to stay of a World Cup edition for the mediocre job done by FIFA in terms of the qualifying for such a significant event.

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