Blatter: World Cup Every Two Years

Marc Purcell
Date Published: 

For those of you who watched "60 minutes" on Sunday you would have seen a report on the Swiss government's purchase of heroin for drug addicts in Zurich for a daily "quick fix." Among the addicts are professional business people, civil servants and judging from this weekend's comments one Fifa President.

Sepp Blatter has come out on the record to state that he would like to have the World Cup every two years. According to Sepp Blatter the change would be a direct challenge to the proposed Super League by Italian media giants. He said that it would shift emphasis away from club football to national football. "I am demanding a clear statement: Do we want national teams or do we only want club football?"

The tournament would be held every even year starting in 2006. "The existing four-yearly tournament is out-of-date. It dates from the 1930s when teams chugged from one continent to another on ships," Blatter said.

Under Blatter's proposals, qualification for the finals would happen in odd-numbered years when national teams would take part in continental tournaments. The existing system of qualification, where teams play international matches in groups over the course of the years leading up to the finals, would be dropped.

Somehow Blatter seems to have forgotten tournaments held between the World Cup including Euro championships, the Copa America, the Gold Cup and the African Nations Cup. Also, he has no one to blame but the headmen at UEFA who have elevated club football in the pursuit of money.

The final aspect is what considerations are made for the players. There has been rumblings from players who might revolt under the pressure of having to play so many games. Imagine a player like Zidane right now facing the prospect of playing in the Seria A and Champions League for Inter Milan as well as exhibition games; European Championships, Confederations Cup and the World Cup every two years for France as well as qualifiers and friendlies. I would ask for the a few Gold bars at Fort Knox to put my body through that punishment.

Upcoming schedule for U-17's

While everyone will be feteing in Port of Spain the national under 17 team will have there hands busy in El Salvador. The schedule that T&T will face is very tough and it will be a very difficult road to overcome. The winner of the group goes onto New Zealand with the second placed team entering into a playoff with the other second placed team in group A.

Group B scheduled for T&T:
February 10: Trinidad & Tobago vs. El Salvador (18:00)
February 12: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico (20:00)
February 14: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Canada (12:00)

Olympic schedule shaping up.

When Trinidad and Tobago faces St. Vincent later this month it will be the beginning of a very long journey that will take them to the 2000 games in Sydney. With no offense to the other teams (I will use "if" and that depends on what your definition of "if" is thank you President Clinton) if T&T defeats St. Vincent they will face the winner of the St. Lucia and Barbados.

Should they get into the second round they will be slotted into group C along with Canada, the winner of Guatemala-Belize series and the winner of the Guyana vs. Surinam series, and Aruba vs. the Netherlands Antilles series. Qualifying matches to be played at three different venues to be announced. Groups will be designated to play February 16-20, March 1-5, and March 15-19.

The top two teams in the group will go onto the final round which will take place in the USA from April 1st-9th. Should they win there group they will probably be slotted with the USA and Costa Rica. Should they come in second in there group they will probably face Mexico and El Salvador.

Changes to the Caribbean Cup

It will no longer be called the Shell/Umbro cup it will instead be called the Copa Caribe. That was not the only change to the regional championship. Concacaf president Jack Warner announced yesterday that the prize money will increase with Inter Forever Sports pumping US$ 2.2 million into the tournament. They will sponsor the tournament from 1999-2005 with US$500,000 going for the first two editions.

This year's winner will walk away with US $100,000. Prize money ranging from US $30,000 to US $15,000 will go the the second placed team to the fourth placed teams. After this year the tournament will be held every two years with T&T slated to hold the next one in 2001.

The tournament will be held from June 1st to June 14th of this year in Trinidad and as a final incentive the Brazilian Under 20 team will be invited to take part in the tournament. The presence of the Brazilian team should raise the quality of play in the tournament. Warner reemphasized a Fifa technical report on the Brazilian Under 20 team which stated they could beat any team in the world ranked from 11 down.