A tournament for all of the teams that didn’t make it through to the 2018 World Cup could actually become a thing, after the suggestion was made on social media.
US officials have confirmed it’s an idea being considered following the country’s embarrassing 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Trinidad and Tobago last month.
So, what’s the idea?
Not to be left behind, the US Soccer Federation is exploring the idea of a tournament for countries that didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
It announced it was pursuing the idea after Fox News reported the plan on Tuesday.
It follows several World Cup favourites, including Italy, missing out on a spot in next year’s tournament.
Who came up with it?
It was a fan-driven idea suggested on social media.
And it gained more traction when Italy was eliminated by Sweden in their qualifying play-off on Monday, meaning it will miss soccer’s premier event for the first time in six decades.
It also comes in the wake of Fox Sports in the US paying big bucks for the rights to air the 2018 and 2022 events.
Who could play in it?
Apart from Italy and the United States, the countries that could get involved include the Netherlands, who were World Cup finalists in 1974, 1978 and 2010, but didn’t win a trophy.
Chile, who have made the finals in 1998, 2010 and 2014, are also out of the World Cup.
And the Ivory Coast and Ghana, who usually qualify, could also take part.
But it could also include teams like Laos, Kazakhstan and Latvia, who have never qualified for a World Cup.
What’s been the reaction so far?
Some people like it.
Others have a bit of a different view…
And it’s not actually clear whether FIFA would allow exhibition games during the World Cup, which runs from June 14 to July 15.
Won’t the World Cup expansion help this issue of big teams not qualifying?
Well, it could.
Earlier this year FIFA announced the event would be expanding from 32 to 48 teams.
The idea originally was to appeal to the bulk of FIFA’s 221 member associations who rarely or never qualify for the World Cup.
Time will tell if this new competition proposal actually gets off the ground.
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