CFU boss warns more slots don’t guarantee qualification

first_imgCARIBBEAN Football Union (CFU) President Gordon Derrick is excited about the prospects for his constituents now that FIFA has bravely increased the World Cup to 48 teams, a jaw-dropping 16 more places.The Antiguan welcomed the FIFA move that will come into effect in 2026, but warned that more World Cup-qualifying places to CONCACAF do not guarantee Caribbean success, but raise hopes at best.“I think it is a positive thing (more spots) and, of course, the devil will be the details as we have not yet seen the allocation of spots to the various confederations, and I assume each of the confederation will receive an increase in spots.“I have seen it being touted that CONCACAF could get six-and-half spots, but that does not guarantee you a spot from the Caribbean, but what it does is give you more opportunities and I think that can only be beneficial to CONCACAF. The Caribbean teams particularly, which I represent, will have a greater opportunity of qualifying for the tournament,” said Derrick on Friday.But the CFU boss told its membership that since there are no guarantees from a Caribbean perspective of an automatic spot, the hard work and commitment of trying to qualifying will remain.“There are more spots, but there are no guarantees… the only way we could have a guarantee for a Caribbean team getting to a World Cup could only happen if we had a Caribbean confederation, because if we were a confederation, we would have been guaranteed at least one spot, but that’s a different discussion for a different time.“But what I am saying in effect is that there is no guarantee for anyone, but that teams must prepare themselves and continue to work hard, as we have been doing, and try and advance, and if there are more spots available, that can only benefit you,” said Derrick, who is in his second mandate as head of the regional body.Interestingly, the expansion will fall in line when CONCACAF is due to make a strong bid for the 2026 tournament, with a possible combined bid coming from economic giants the USA, Mexico and Canada.Derrick believes while a 48-team World Cup may appear a gigantic task to host, together or individually, the confederation’s ‘big three’ could make easy work of it based on their economic and infrastructural suitability.“Don’t be daunted by the organisation of the World Cup with 48 teams, as the Euro has increased their number in the last edition (from 16 to 24) and it was very successful.“It’s all about logistics, and in this day and age logistics is not an issue for the USA, Mexico and Canada, so to possibly host would a be a piece of cake, as anyone of those teams could host a 48-team tournament all by themselves.“They have would have the necessary stadia, rail system, infrastructure, transportation, accommodation, hotels; all the things that are required the USA, Mexico and Canada are way capable of hosting.Derrick said the real question is who would be capable of hosting after CONCACAF does, assuming, of course, it is successful in its rally to bring the tournament back to North America since the USA hosted in 1994 a highly successful event.“The fact is they (USA, Canada, Mexico) could host a football World Cup, a hockey World Cup, a cricket World Cup, and perhaps hosting them simultaneously; and it would not matter to them just by their sheer size and the infrastructure they presently have. After 2026, who hosts after that is a different story,” he told the Jamaica Observer.last_img

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