Warner wants another place

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner


THE PRESIDENT of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football said yesterday CONCACAF deserves a fourth place for FIFA World Cup Germany 2006.

"Plainly other confederations are pressing their cases for additional places. But based on the record, of course, none has more call than ours," Jack Warner said before leaving for FIFA's meetings in Spain. Warner is also a FIFA vice president.

With three representatives among the 32 teams in Korea/Japan 2002, CONCACAF saw one member reached the quarterfinals in the United States, where they were narrowly defeated by losing finalist Germany.

They defeated Mexico 2-0 in an all-CONCACAF match at the round of 16 stage, after Mexico had defied the critics to finish atop Group G ahead of European powers such as Italy and Croatia. Costa Rica failed to qualify for the second stage only on goal differential, ending level in Group C with eventual third-place match winner Turkey.

"When you look at the evidence, it is only right and proper that we should be able to send our best four, because who in the world can argue that our best three did not stand up to the best the other Confederations have to offer? And who can argue that our best four could not do the same?" Warner said.

The allocation of the 32 places in the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals will be decided by the FIFA Executive Committee when it convenes in Madrid on December 17-18.

Following a decision taken last year by the FIFA Executive, only hosts Germany will qualify automatically, with the other 31 places shared out among the confederations.