It is not unnatural for FIFA to recommend to the confederations that the time in between two world cup finals was adequate to carefully study the details of the latest World Cup, then make efforts to readjust or correct any errors in judgment for the just-concluded event. The Confederations are more than likely to retain the competence which was responsible for the smooth running which they recognized and took care of the mistakes which they believed themselves to have made.
The recent announcement regarding Concacaf’s qualifying format change suddenly appeared in the media without any information, of a process or dialogue coming from the member associations. There wasn’t even the semblance of silent discussions coming from the hierarchy in the head Office of the Confederation. Honestly, since the removal of the former Presidents of the Concacaf Mr. Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb, there appeared to be essential changes by the new regime.
A relatively new cadre of executive members of the Confederation during their tenure in office, where before discussions and decisions were silently made, and in some cases without the consideration of inviting the member associations, especially the Caribbean Football Union, whose reputations have been tarnished, leaving the door closed upon the 15 Caribbean countries.
Today the announcement of Format changes has immediately been placed upon a priority list, and the CFU is the major factor as to where, how and when the qualification can be improved. Funny enough, this topic was brought forward by way of a seminar scheduled during the hosting in Istanbul where the FIFA U20 was hosted by FIFA and invited Technical committees attached to the confederations to share ideas which may bring some realism to all concerned.
On that occasion, I was asked by FIFA to study the structure by way of participation of the Caribbean countries in the region and to present a document to-do same. At the end of the presentation of the contribution, there seemed to have great interest in the format which was suggested and exposing even the minnows to be allowed to face an initial home and away for the weaker Caribbean with the preliminary grouping where the shortest distance travels among the near neighbours reduced their financial expenses and allowed the experience for travel away from home.
The best ones should have a shot at the countries which have had their shots at the World Cup finals. The value of having the Caribbean islands play against the advanced countries like the US, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica to name a few, amidst their own supporters and played on the ground which they have played the most.
The benefit of learning the game against the stalwarts and gaining the opportunity for the home crowds to be established is Concacaf’s responsibility to expose the minnows to improved states of football during the tournament. The question of earning revenue for Television viewing in these countries will assist financially, where strong organization, appropriate coaching education and bringing the strength of marketing products in their countries.
The previous concept previously used by the Concacaf administration was exactly what was required for the growth and the improvement of Football in the region. But how can the people in the Caribbean not have the opportunity to share ideas for which they are best prepared in order to recreate the enthusiasm which has shown itself in the past?
The Caribbean, especially CFU, must come forward and make demands for inclusion to the executive of the committee. Not just an appointed committee of the choice of the big shots, but the credibility and intelligence of Caribbean people whose contributions will surely redound to the benefit of football in the region.