Thursday, April 07, 2011

Copa America....and Spain.

Copa America has always struggled to gain the prestige of the European Cup. Even with the likes of Brazil and Argentina in the competition it never carries the heft of the Euros, and that is really just because of numbers. The Euros,like the World Cup, has a 2 year qualifying campaign and then a very entertaining and competitive tournament every 4 years. In the past many have called the Euros - "the World Cup without Argentina and Brazil." Now with the rise of African and Asian football, as well as other nations in the Americas that statement does not hold the same weight. At the crux is a simple math equation - UEFA has 53 nations, CONMEBOL has 10...

Future Copa America champs? Well at least they had colonies there
UEFA needs to have a qualifying campaign to get to the 16 nations that will participate, although soon those qualifiers will be almost moot as the tournament expands to 24 teams not a fan of that. For Copa America, CONMEBOL has  always invited Mexico and then another nation to the tournament. Most of the time that nation is from Central or North America, however Japan has also yeah...Japan. Aren't they in Asia? This is the case Japan had to withdraw due to the earthquake. So who has received the fill in invite? Spain. Um what?

So technically the defending World and European champs could also be the Copa America champs...really? As Sid Lowe stated in his article in Sports Illustrated...ABSURD! It makes no sense. Cope America is for...the AMERICAS! The fact that Japan has been a regular participant is already idiotic.

Here is how Copa America can improve, include the nations from CONCACAF. Wow no brainer there! That would add another 40 nations, granted some of those are minnows...okay many of them are minnows. So how about this formula - the top 8 teams from the combined regions go to Copa America, the other 4 slots are in qualification - maybe two of those teams are already there and the other teams have to qualify in a traditional method. How would this look, based on recent FIFA rankings?

Automatic qualifiers:
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Chile
  • USA
  • Paraguay
  • Mexico
  • Colombia
Hondorus and Ecuador would  qualify for the play in for the final 2 spots, their opponents would come from the rest of the nations. Therefore the likes of Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela would have to qualify against the other nations rather than simply walk into the Copa America.

This would make it a true Cup for the Americas. It would afford the smaller nations a chance to play qualifiers and potentially get into the competition. Other nations such as Mexico and USA would know that they would have a regular tournament every 4 years that will give them a real test, unlike the Gold Cup. Finally it might start putting Copa America on par with the Euros. Of course the timing would have to be standardized!

But Spain? Really...


balaji @ Dominos India said...

Nice blog you posted comment easy for understanding. world most viewer sport is football is first. i know. good keep it up...

josemanes said...

I agree Guy. By not including other countries from the Americas and going outside their region, they have lost credibility. I like your proposal for changing the tournament.

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