CONCACAF president seeks increased World Cup berths

CONCACAF president Jeff Webb has continued lobbying for the football confederation to be awarded a fourth automatic spot at the FIFA World Cup.

IANS| Updated: Sep 13, 2014, 10:23 AM IST
CONCACAF president seeks increased World Cup berths
Michael Arroyo of Mexico's America, left, and Guatemala's Comunicaciones Jorge Aparicio fight for the ball during their Concacaf Champions League soccer match in Guatemala City Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014

Manchester: CONCACAF president Jeff Webb has continued lobbying for the football confederation to be awarded a fourth automatic spot at the FIFA World Cup.

Currently, only the three top nations from the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) qualifying competition advance to the World Cup while the fourth placed team enters an inter-confederation playoff, reports CMC. 

However, Webb Friday night said the confederation’s performance at the recent FIFA World Cup in Brazil shows the time had come for an increase in those berths.

“Brazil 2014 was certainly a World Cup to remember and, for CONCACAF, it was a success on multiple levels. Faced against opponents of great magnitude and skill, CONCACAF teams demonstrated that they can compete against any team in the world,” Webb said here.

“As the region gains respect and appreciation in the global football arena, these accomplishments become proof of the tangible development that holds the promise of a fourth full spot in future FIFA World Cups for CONCACAF.”

In Brazil, three CONCACAF nations - Mexico, Costa Rica and the US - made it to the round of 16 before Costa Rica provided the a big shock by beating Greece to reach the last eight.

They were in sight of a semi-final berth when they held the Netherlands scoreless at the end of extra time but went out on penalties in the end.

Webb, also a FIFA vice-president, said he would continue to aggressively pursue development in the confederation, in order to continue expanding the success of the game in the region.

“We have made tremendous progress with regional development. CONCACAF will be investing an estimated 70 percent of its budget over the next 12 months in some 80 development programmes across the confederation,” he explained.