The CONCACAF Gold Cup is a good international tournament. But being held in the U.S. and every two years makes it feel like a cash grab. It’s time for the confederation to make some much needed changes to the tournament.
FIFA voted on Tuesday to increase the number of teams in the World Cup from 32 to 48, and in doing so showed they care more about money than the quality of the tournament. Way to ruin the tournament, FIFA.
Last week, FIFA and IFAB announced that a number of leagues in the United States, Germany and Brazil, among others, would be the first to test out a new instant replay system beginning in 2017 with the goal to implement it fully shortly there after. Once that implementation is complete, soccer will finally be a 21st century sport.
Soccer is the last of the major sports to implement instant replay.
Yes, soccer doesn’t have the natural stops in play to check on whether a play was called correctly or not, but in the 21st century it’s a crime to not use technology to get calls right. I mean, it took until just last year for FIFA and the Premiere League to use goal-line technology, something long over due, and it’s been a smashing success with its efficiency and accuracy.
This is one of the FIFA designated international breaks where league seasons press pause and national teams compete in friendlies and different qualification matches, whether it be Euro qualifying or even World Cup 2018 qualifying.
But if you were to take a glance at the list of leagues currently on break, there would be one glaring omission.
Just over a week ago, the United States Women’s National team wrapped up almost a month of great women’s soccer with a 5-2 trouncing of Japan to win the World Cup title.
In between the time when Canada kicked it all off with a 1-0 stoppage time win over China on June 6, there was a ton of great soccer. Colombia came up with the biggest upset of the tournament, beating France 2-0. Nigeria nearly managed to shock everyone by advancing out of the proverbial “Group of Death.” And England had its best ever finish with a third-place showing.
But despite all of those positives and great moments, the tournament didn’t quite live up to the potential it could have. No, it’s not because the Canadians weren’t great hosts, but rather because of — wait for it — FIFA.
Congratulations. You managed to tick off one the largest countries and one of the best investigative bodies in the world and now you and FIFA are going to pay for it. And you’re going to have zero sympathy from the people who support the game which you and your minions have destroyed. You have put us fans in a bind between loving the game of soccer/football and the World Cup and hating with every thread in our bodies those three letters that have become synonymous with corruption and evil.
Apparently, Luis Suarez didn’t have enough to eat before the match or during half time against Italy in the final match of the group stage last Tuesday.
I know, I know, it’s a joke that’s been made a thousand times since Suarez decided to bite Giorgio Chiellini with under 20 minutes left to go in the match, but it’s still too good and too bizarre to past up. But FIFA didn’t find the incident funny, suspending Suarez for nine Uruguay international matches and four months from any football activity.
The 12-match winning streak finally came to an end. And by an end, I mean a screeching halt.
The United States fell hard to Costa Rica 3-1 in San Jose, Costa Rica and brought the Americans down to earth for the first time since the start of the year. The U.S. was never in the game and it sets them back a bit in World Cup qualifying.
But there’s absolutely no reason to press the panic button just yet for this team.
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