Resolved: the Caribbean should field a single, strong side for CONCACAF and WCQ...

Discussion in 'Caribbean' started by Mel Brennan, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Mid-Atlantic States
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ...not unlike cricket.

    If the likelihood of a well-funded Lithuania or Andorra (well-funded in terms of both the money received from UEFA endeavours, money from FIFA payoffs, and in comparison with the domestic investment in the Caribbean, money from local constituencies) making it to the World Cup is minimal, the likelihood of a Dominica or a St. Vincent and the Grenadines must be miniscule.

    Why not combine for strength and produce a side that could in fact compete at the highest levels? Transport issues notwithstanding (and CONCACAF should be leading the way in terms of generating sponsorship packages that facilitate island-to-island transport in more effective ways than is currently available), what is wrong with NOt promoting the idea of each Caribbean nation producing its own league, but rather each Caribbean nation producing as many teams as it can sustain, and a Caribbean-wide league that reflected the efforts of a Caribbean-wide "national" team?

    The result? The world gets to likely see a Dwight Yorke on the World Cup stage; the world gets to see a Hislop on the World Cup stage.

    I'd like to debate this, hearing hopefully from those living in the region in terms of how they feel about it as it currently manifests in cricket (pros and cons), as well as the proposal to extrapolate that synergistic model to football.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago are both already quite competitive on a CONCACAF level, so I don't think a West Indies national team necessarily benefits them. However, putting the smaller English-speaking island nations together might produce a team strong enough to compete in the Hexagonal.

    Might as well list the populations of the English-speaking Caribbean FIFA members:

    Jamaica 2.7 million
    Trinidad & Tobago 1.1 million

    Bahamas 300,000
    Barbados 280,000
    St. Lucia 166,000
    St. Vincent & the Grenadines 118,000
    US Virgin Islands 109,000

    Grenada 90,000
    Antigua & Barbuda 69,000
    Dominica 69,000
    Bermuda 65,000
    Cayman Islands 44,000
    St. Kitts & Nevis 39,000
    British Virgin Islands 23,000
    Turks & Caicos Islands 21,000
    Anguilla 13,000
    Montserrat 9,000

    Combining the islands (except Jamaica and T&T) would give a population of 1.4 million. Guyana (770,000) might also be added in, since their national team isn't really competitive either.

    Aruba (72,000) and the Netherlands Antilles (220,000) speak Dutch, but it may be worthwhile to add them... or possibly combine them as a separate team, and in that case perhaps with Surinam (435,000).
     
  3. Flyin Ryan

    Flyin Ryan Member

    May 13, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And while they're at it, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland could merge.
     
  4. Chicago76

    Chicago76 Member+

    Jun 9, 2002
    I like this idea quite a bit, not only for the reason that it would allow the better Caribbean players the chance to play on the world stage, but because it would also simplify qualifying for the World Cup.

    I took all of the former members of the British Federations, Windies cricket team and other English-speaking islands (like the US VI) and combined them. I did the same for the Dutch Islands + Suriname.

    There were 15 teams left and seeded into three qualifying groups below absed upon FIFA World Rankings. The DWI and BWI took the Surinam and Jamaica's world ranking (the highest in the group, presumably, they'd be higher). This would replace the current semi-final groups pre-Hex.

    Here it is:

    Group 1:
    Mexico
    Guatemala
    Cuba
    Dutch West Indies
    Nicaragua

    Group 2:
    USA
    Honduras
    Canada
    El Salvador
    Dominican Republic

    Group 3:
    Costa Rica
    British West Indies
    Haiti
    Panama
    Puerto Rico
     
  5. MoRado

    MoRado New Member

    Feb 6, 2004
    San José. Costa Rica
    Club:
    Deportivo Saprissa
    Nat'l Team:
    Costa Rica
    Re: Resolved: the Caribbean should field a single, strong side for CONCACAF and WCQ..


    I really like this group, that's what we need to qualify....
     
  6. Chicago76

    Chicago76 Member+

    Jun 9, 2002
    Re: Resolved: the Caribbean should field a single, strong side for CONCACAF and WCQ..

    There is the little problem of the final hex under this arrangement, projected here:

    Mexico
    USA
    Costa Rica
    Honduras
    British West Indies
    Guatemala

    Not to mention the fact that BWI would be much better. It would be a Jamaica/T&T combined team with potentially a couple of additional players.

    I'd think the third spot and playoff spot would be very competitive between BWI, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

    18 games to qualify makes sense to me. The teams you would expect to be in the final hex would still get a chance to experiment in the first group round against the weaker teams, but the final hex would be more competitive.
     
  7. G D L

    G D L New Member

    Nov 9, 2004
    Boston University
    i posted this somewhere else too:

    why not split concacaf in 2: a caribbean confed and a north/central american confed

    give the caribbean the half slot and let the 10 mainland teams fight it out for the 3 direct slots



    OR



    split the half slot into quarte slots and have the winner of the caribbean face the 4th place of the mainland and then the winner goes on the face the 5th place asian



    assuming of course that concacaf would get 3.5 slots again next cycle and the the half slot faces the asian half slot
     
  8. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Re: Resolved: the Caribbean should field a single, strong side for CONCACAF and WCQ..

    This is a retarded idea. These are national teams, people support them with passion because they are representing your country. Besides, if you allowed this you could just form any superteam anywhere else on the globe. I don't care if they do it in cricket.
     
  9. DominicanStrikeForce

    May 1, 2005
    Canada
    There are a number of reasons why this idea will never happen. #1 Because every Caribbean nation's finances for football is different as mentioned and some do not wish to support a higher or lower level of footy. #2 Every country would rather see their own team compete hard and lose rather than send 1 (if that) player to represent 20 countries. #3 IF, they as one big amalgomated team did infact win some meaningful games, say a birth into the World Cup, every other CONCACAF nation would complain and bitc*.#4 Were would they play their games, every country would fight for the right to host a match and not every country will be satisfied..........And on and on and on. However, the thought of a Caribbean wide Pro league is fantastic I think. Even a kind of Caribbean champions league steming from every countries semi pro or pro league no matter how small the country.
     
  10. Chicago76

    Chicago76 Member+

    Jun 9, 2002
    I agree with your points here. Other than the Champions League/region wide suggestion. Not that I wouldn't like to see it happen, but where would the money come from to make this work. You would essentially be island hopping on aircraft to make this happen. It's one thing in a combined national team setting to set up camp in Jamaica or T&T and get the other 3-4 players to camp. It's another to semi-professional clubs with little financial backing to fly all over the place playing games.
     
  11. DominicanStrikeForce

    May 1, 2005
    Canada


    I know its highly unlikely but I enjoyed the thought. I do know that in most islands most leagues are either controlled by or through sponsorship from big hotel and resort companies. Point being that the money is there. Most of these hotel big shots (C.E.O's and whatever) are europeans with a huge passion for football and this is why they spend money and time and are involved in island football. So all you need is some help financially from FIFA, the big shots and every country that wishes to partake. And most inportantly, someone to give the idea a kick in the ass and get people talking. As I said, its unlikely but it sure is amazing what some ambition and passion will do!
     
  12. DaMunk

    DaMunk Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Philadelphia/STX
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    US Virgin Islands
    Re: Resolved: the Caribbean should field a single, strong side for CONCACAF and WCQ..

    Excellent post. There are variations of this discussion here http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=86264 and here http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=63378&perpage=15&pagenumber=1 .

    I'm having a hard time understanding the motives behind helping the smaller nations because it certainly cannot be altruistic...especially coming from people who are not from any of the nations whose players would form the combined team. Is it to add credibility to CONCACAF? Shorten the WCQ process?

    I know for a fact that every member of the US Virgin Islands team is an amateur. The are the best footballers in the territory with citizenship and take a lot of pride in representing the VI. It has to be about pride b/c it certainly is not about winning - check our record. Go to the FIFA WC site and do a search for MacDonald Taylor - oldest player in a WCQ at 43. He retired after the last match against St. Kitts, but he earned his spot on the team and a chance to represent the territory. Then there's Francisco Fonseca, now 17, but then a boy amonst men. Tell him, a high schooler who has only left the territory when travelling with the team, he has to compete for a spot against Ian Lake, Shalrie Joseph and Ezra hendrickson among other experienced professionals. Or the grad student who spent a year and a half rehabbing and training to achieve his dream of going home and representing the territory on the world stage. Then there's the mechanic, the cabinet maker, the medical technician, the National Guardsman, the investment broker....tell them they can't play b/c someone w/o ties to the VI or the caribbean in general thinks things would be better with a combined team.

    It is a horrible idea. The WC is arguably the most democratic process in the world. Every nation has a chance to make it to the finals no matter how miniscule. While the VI will never make it to the Finals, or even the Hex, that team steps on to the pitch looking for a win and eventually they will get it. When they do, it will be the sweetest memory for them. Why would you want to take that away?
     
  13. SetPeace

    SetPeace Member+

    Jun 22, 2004
    SC Illinois
    Club:
    Torquay United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It may be a nice sentiment to combine countries into a more organized and competitive group, but I agree with those who say World Cup Qualifying is a great honor for players in various nations--even if it means Turks & Caicos will get skunked by Cuba or Haiti. While similar in many ways, each Caribbean island has its own identity, and I'm a big fan of multiculturalism. Here in the United States, each state is different and has its own culture, history, and geography even though there are many similarities. Few people in Georgia would want to be accused of being from Alabama (and vice versa). That feeling is no different in Illinois, New Jersey, California, or North Dakota. We live in a vast, diverse world--let's drink it up and enjoy! I would love to see Surinam make some noise for a change. They try so hard, but if they have anyone with a semblance of soccer talent, they get snapped up by the Netherlands! I do have a question though, and maybe some of our island friends could help me out here. Why does Aruba have its own team, rather than compete with the Netherlands Antilles? I always thought Aruba was part of the Antilles (the ABC islands).
     
  14. Gerrit

    Gerrit New Member

    May 20, 2005
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Who is going to pay for transport of a fan from Barbados to take him to the West Indies national team games in e.g. St-Vincent ?? It seems a nice idea but I'm afraid this is not realistic.

    Also, what with Bermuda ? Do you include them as being part of the English speaking Carribeans ?

    What to do with the non-English speaking ones ? (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe)

    Aruba is seperate from the Antilles, they have their own semi-independence and own parliament. Administratively they are not part of the ABC Islands, the only common issue is that both of them are within the Monarchy of the Netherlands without being a real colony of the Netherlands (e.g. their tax money does not go to The Hague but to their own parliament !)
     
  15. BBC_

    BBC_ Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    London
    The French West Indies Dont Count Because They Only Play In Things Like The Gold Cup Qualifiers. French West Indies National Side Is France! They Are Operated Exactly The Same As France
     
  16. G D L

    G D L New Member

    Nov 9, 2004
    Boston University
    yes, French West Indies are to France, as Hawaii and Alaska are to the USA

    only they are called overseas departments, not "non-continous states"
     
  17. SABuffalo786

    SABuffalo786 New Member

    May 18, 2002
    Buffalo, New York
    I dunno, man, I mean, it'd just be a Jamaica-Trinidad & Tobago All Star team with a few Grenadians thrown in, right?
     
  18. MoRado

    MoRado New Member

    Feb 6, 2004
    San José. Costa Rica
    Club:
    Deportivo Saprissa
    Nat'l Team:
    Costa Rica
    Re: Resolved: the Caribbean should field a single, strong side for CONCACAF and WCQ..

    I'll throwa couple of cubans into tht allstarteam
     
  19. mcruic

    mcruic Member

    Jun 26, 2004
    Scotland
    Club:
    Dundee United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Scotland
    Except that Martinique and Guadeloupe have relatively-strong national sides (French Guiana are no pushovers either). Only Saint-Martin is weak at a Caribbean level. Hawaii and Alaska are at least NEAR to the States. I believe that the 4 French West Indies should break away from the French federation and join FIFA. New Caledonia & Tahiti have done it in Oceania (their political setup is slightly different). Réunion also has this problem in Africa. They are associate members of the CAF, but can't join FIFA.
     
  20. TheDread

    TheDread Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    In principal the idea sounds reasonable. However, it would be a disservice to teams like Jamaica, T&T, Haiti, and Cuba. These teams do have the potential to challenge all on their own. While the US and Mexico are tops in concacaf it won't be long before one of the above mentioned teams challenge the established order.
     
  21. BBC_

    BBC_ Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    London
    mmmmmmmmmmmm. this was a interesting thread. i was thinking about this the other day. But this would be a disservice to TNT & JA
     
  22. midknight

    midknight New Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    Paris
    As an english speaking caribbean football fan living in france, this topic is particularly close to home... :D

    Reunion, French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe are French DOMs (Overseas Departments) whereas New Caledonia, Tahiti and the others are simply TOMs (Overseas Territories). The difference can be likened to that between Hawaii and Puerto Rico in the example of the US.

    The political relationship of the DOMs with France is a burning issue but objectively speaking, when it comes to sports, France needs its Caribbean departments as much as the Caribbean departments need France. The Martiniquans et al rely on the central government to furnish a lot of the finance for their infrastructure and rely on the french leagues and structures to hone their skills and the French need their Martiniquans if they wanted to keep competitive in international sports (a large number of their athletes, footballers, fencers, judokas, etc are either born in the DOMS or eligible to represent them in a theoretical independent setting by parentage).

    Any move to distance themselves from the Franch Football Federation would spark off a political effect too heavy to ignore. Unfortunately for these departments, political independence is not an option; they are way too economically and psychologically dependent on the metropole.

    One other point...a unified french west indies might be even harder to put into place than a unified british west indies...the insularity separating these territories is equal if not worse to that which the british west indies face
     
  23. jägermeister

    jägermeister New Member

    May 18, 2004
    Hannover
    Everyone has neglected to state the main reason this will not happen.

    Combine a region into one team and their voting power also should revert to one.

    This would mean that Jack Warnar's reign would end, and the Capone-like system he set up (one island = one vote) would guarantee his ouster.
    Warnar cares about money, T&T, the other islands, and no one else.

    It would also lesson CONCACAF's voting power on the world stage which would give the region less clout.

    Lastly, to compare cricket to soccer is silly. Cricket is a minor sport, that is virtually non existent outside of the old British Empire sphere of influence.
    Can you imagine the embarrassment of watching single island nations playing the big teams? (Please don't tell me a team like T&T could be competetive, I know the game and sorry)

    Money and politics first. This idea fits into neither.

    Jack needs to keep paying off his island under bosses, who give little money back to their game and use it for their own fun, to keep his votes in place.
    He needs to keep his influence to help T&T in any way he can.

    Never ever will happen.
     
  24. midknight

    midknight New Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    Paris
    I believe that those who make the analogy with the West Indies Cricket Team should take count of the historical context of the formation of this entity.

    The West Indian Cricket Team was conceived at a time when all of the english speaking caribbean were colonies of Great Britain and the population of these territories was maybe less than half of what it is now.
    The idea of a unified West Indian Team when one presumes each island would have been more ignorant of the others than actually, has a lot to do with the fact that they all shared a similar subordinate status (to Britain) and a (roughly similar) ethnic background (Guyana and Trinidad are specific historical cases).

    I do not know if the idea was forced upon the inhabitants of the colonies or if emanated from them, but history has shown that the WINDIES grew to be a strong collective unifying force, constant insularity and backbiting in the selection process and the allocation of matches notwithstanding.

    The failure of the West Indian political federation put paid to almost any attempt at a similar experience and imho, the west indies cricket team only survived because it had existed way before the political experiments had begun, and it had also proven to be a strong winning formula.

    Whatever the formula proposed, i do not see Trinidadians (and even Barbadians) wanting to be included in any such venture, and less so the Jamaicans who have already achieved World Cup status. However, that doesn't give me any illusions about the smaller islands swallowing their respective national prides.

    At best, one may achieve the creation of several smaller 'all star teams' between islands of a similar development and status such as is done for the regional cricket tournaments with the 'Leeward Islands' and 'Windward Islands team'

    It may be tempting to assume that the Northern Isles like the Virgins, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Caymans (and maybe Bermuda) might go for a similar grouping, but I highly doubt it. (I admit my ignorance of these countries shamelessly)

    However, what is clear is that if these federations are forced from the out side or from the top on an unwilling fan and player base, little good can come of it.
    I also suspect that the same applies for Oceania.
     
  25. midknight

    midknight New Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    Paris
    I don't think that anyone in his right mind would even suggest it.
    The closest anyone comes to it are the President's Elevens that touring teams play to warm up before a big match, kind of like on the same level as Brazil playing against a third division side from the host country before the WC
     

Share This Page