Which Confederation is Better? AFC or CONCACAF

Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by PJ234, Feb 6, 2024.

  1. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    In Asian Cups and WCQ one of the problems AFC had historically was getting teams to enter. A number of the poorer nations couldn't afford long qualifying campaigns with little chance of success. It wasn't until 2018 when AFC combined qualifying with a preliminary knockout round that all nations participated. You may think the preliminary round is unfair on teams but it is the reason all actually participate. Teams eliminated at that stage re-enter the qualification system for the Asian Cup which includes those teams eliminated from WCQ so they get more matches as the two qualification systems diverge. Four or five teams will have only two qualifiers (The Northern Mariana Islands aren't a FIFA member so only participate in the Asian Cup playoff round). Five or six will have one group phase, and the rest of the confederation two group phases with one combined group phase where 40 nations participate (6 games), one world cup group phase for 18 nations (10 games) and one Asian Cup group phase for 24 teams (6 games). Some also have extra playoff games. In addition Asia is divided into 5 administrative sub federations, all of whom run additional competitions at national and youth team level. There are lots of games for national teams.

    In terms of club competition I think I will wait and see how the new system works out before deciding how participatory it is. It's just undergone a revamp where the ACL is now played in two divisions where only 24 teams from 12 nations are involved in the top level, a those 12 plus another 12 are in the second level which will have 32 teams, and the rest are involved in the AFC Challenge League. In theory no nations involved in the ACL divisions should be in this comp but its possible that a nation in ACL2 could have one team in ACL2 and another in the Challenge league as playoff losers for the ACL2 enter the Challenge League. My concerns with this system and how the nations are ranked is that its a hard slog to get up the rankings as the system favours those already at the top.
     
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  2. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    To clarify this is actually 4 matches, 2 in the preliminary round for the World Cup and 2 in the Asian Cup playoff round. The Northern Mariana Islands only play in the Asian Cup Playoff round (unless they win this round)
     
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  3. r0adrunner

    r0adrunner Member+

    Jun 4, 2011
    London, UK
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Ignoring the regional Asian competitions, in the 2023-26 four-year cycle, out of 47 AFC teams:

    - 5 play a maximum of 4 competitive games (2026 WCQ R1 and 2027 ACQ Playoff Round)
    - 5 play a maximum of 10 games (2026 WCQ R1 and 2027 ACQ Playoff Round and R3)

    Several others will play a maximum of 12 games (2026 WCQ R2 and 2027 ACQ R3).

    Far too few games.

    Many Asian league champions will only have a playoff place in the new third tier AFC Challenge League from next season, which begs the questions what are all the other clubs in those leagues playing for in terms of tangible objectives and their own development?
     
  4. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    and you are ignoring the fact that before the combined qualifying system a lot of teams had no games because they couldn't afford to enter long qualifying campaigns. The combined format has succeeded in allowing these nations to compete at some level. I'm still not sure why you would ignore the regional competitions. For a lot of the smaller nations these are the main game. They get to play teams in their region on a similar level and also those on a higher level.
     
  5. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    If the smaller nations did want to be more fully involved in groups I don't think it would be too hard to accommodate them. Instead of 9 groups of four in round 2 you abolish round 1 and have 9 groups of 5 or 6. For nations not in round 1 it adds two FIFA windows or 4 match days but overall adds one window (2 matches) to the world cup qualifying process. When it comes to Asian Cup round 3 you could abolish the playoff round and instead have 6 groups of 4 or 5. This adds two windows (4 matchdays) for the process in the 5 team groups but there is plenty of time to do this. I'm just not sure the demand is there from the smaller nations at this stage.
     
  6. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    I do share your concerns about the club competitions. Unfortunately for the AFC they aren't really money spinners and they are still searching for the right formula. Not sure if the revamp starting next year is the answer either, but we shall see.
     
  7. PJ234

    PJ234 Member

    DC united
    United States
    Oct 17, 2021
    Okay let me ask this then. Which confederation has a higher chance in winning a Men's World Cup?
     
  8. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    Iran
    Well the next World Cup is hosted by Concacaf's best teams, so their odds of achieving the improbable would be better.
     
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  9. uuaww

    uuaww Member+

    Nov 21, 2007
    New Orleans, LA
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Central America is really suffering right now from a really down cycle. Historically, Costa Rica have been the #3 team in CONCACAF and I would have picked them in the past over Iran/South Korea/Australia in AFC. Now though, they have really fallen off and the rest of Central America isn't much better. Jamaica could be a real force in CONCACAF if they were just run like a proper federation. Haiti and Trinidad would be as well to a lesser extent. The plethora of dual nationals that Jamaica could tap into would put them into Morocco territory of players born outside their country. I am hoping an expanded World Cup will get Jamaica to that point as it will entice players to come play for Jamaica at a younger age.
     
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  10. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Jamaica would have to get better tactically though.

    Morocco had the tactics to go along with their talent born abroad.
     
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  11. r0adrunner

    r0adrunner Member+

    Jun 4, 2011
    London, UK
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    The low turnover national associations now receive an additional USD$1.2m every 4 years from FIFA exclusively to fund participation in NT competitions.
     
  12. uuaww

    uuaww Member+

    Nov 21, 2007
    New Orleans, LA
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oh I am not even talking about play on the field, just about getting players onto the team. Jamaica legitimately could easily recruit 9 players from the Premier League and Championship to start with Blake and Bailey. Add in bench MLS and Championship players and you have a team that should have zero issues waltzing through CONCACAF qualifying and should really be competing as a solid 2nd tier CONCACAF team.

    It needs to start at the top of the federation. They need a field that English players will feel comfortable playing on, they need someone to lure these guys in.
     
  13. Kamtedrejt

    Kamtedrejt Member+

    Internazionale Milano
    Albania
    Mar 14, 2017
    Hamburg
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Albania
    #38 Kamtedrejt, Feb 22, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2024
    I'm joing very late.

    AFC is easily clear of CONCACAF at the moment

    I'm surprised that there are seemingly still people argueing otherwise

    The results of the last last World Cup speak volume as well as the results of AFC/CONCACAF 2nd tier clashes in the last 3-4 years

    If desired I can post all these results. They show the AFC with a massive upper hand over CONCACAF.

    Furthermore check out my Top 150 Ranking for more information. The next iteration will come out sometime in March before the next internatonal break comes around.
     
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  14. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    I think a lot of the confederation strengths of AFC, CONCACAF (and even CAF) has a lot to do with strength of numbers. It's no surprise to me that the Confederations with bigger numbers can generate more depth and competition amongst its members. CONCACAF has always been top heavy with a couple of giants, 4 or 5 OK teams and the rest of a lower standard. AFC has its big 5 who have filled those positions for some time (still do IMO) but the teams behind them have improved considerably over the last decade and where a big team would have been an 80% favourite at the start of this century now they are only 60% favourites. The expansion of the Asian Cup (which I was sceptical about) seems to have allowed these teams the opportunity to show what they can do and they have taken it. The biggest confederation, CAF, has long had more depth and a less stable top tier than either of the other two with teams cycling between tiers at a much faster rate. I think one reason for that is that the extra depth makes it hard for a team to stay at the top during a rebuilding phase. I think of the 3 Asia has shown the most overall improvement in recent times, putting a bit of a gap between them and CONCACAF, but with still a way to go to match Africa.
     
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  15. Kamtedrejt

    Kamtedrejt Member+

    Internazionale Milano
    Albania
    Mar 14, 2017
    Hamburg
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Albania
    #40 Kamtedrejt, Mar 1, 2024 at 10:37 PM
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2024 at 10:43 PM
    In my book only Japan has the results to claim to be top 20. USA is top 30.

    The USA have a bad away record in CONCACAF and the last European team they beat was Northern Ireland in a friendly (in 2021). Compare that to Japan who beat in the same time frame Spain and Germany at the World Cup and then also again Germany and Turkey in a friendly.

    USA's actual strength isn't easy to determine. We have to rely basically on a little bit more than a handful games per 4 cycle in order to gauge USA's level. Because CONCACAF is such a weak confederation that the USA very often don't feel pressured to play at their top level.

    The USA have usually the knock of playing up to the level of the opposition at World Cups. But if you look at their results in general they don't have any business to be in the top 20.
     
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  16. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006
    I think you are being harsh to be honest.

    I would certainly rate Japan above US, even with Japan's slip up in the Asian cup, but I dont see how the US isn't top 20, or at the very least just outside the top 20.

    "Poor" away results in concacaf doesn't really concern me.

    Away matches in tropical places with poor pitches can be tough, (I know this from CAF especially)

    Like you said I judge them more by high quality opponents they play.

    They did Ok at the world cup. They drew with England, but also drew with Wales, and beat Iran when all Iran needed was a draw (in what may be the closest thing Iran will ever get to home advantage at a WC)

    they haven't played too many European teams tbh but they did draw against Uruguay and smash Morocco (even if the scoreline was very flattering) in recentish friendlies. They also destroyed Mexico , and beat Canada pretty well in the Nations league.

    I guess my only concern would be that they play pretty much all these matches at HOME, which would definately inflate how good they really are.

    Trust me I find many of the US fans who overrate their team to be the most annoying football fans out there, but I do think they just about make the top 20, if not just outside it.

    Look at my recent ranking, US is #18. Definately FIFA overrates them at #13.

    How many teams in my ranking under the US would you really consider better than them. I mean many could be a toss up, but I dont see any "definately better than them teams"

    17. Ecuador – 58
    18. USA - 57
    19. Denmark – 54
    20. Australia - 53
    21. Serbia - 53
    22. Hungary - 52
    23. Austria – 49
    24. Switzerland - 48
    25. Mexico – 48
    26. Tunisia - 48
    27. Norway - 47
    28. Czech Rep. - 47
    29. Scotland – 47
    30. Mali – 47
    31. Ivory Coast - 46
    32. Iran - 46
    33. South Korea - 46
    34. Peru – 46
    35. Ukraine – 45
     
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  17. r0adrunner

    r0adrunner Member+

    Jun 4, 2011
    London, UK
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I expect Denmark, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Czechia and Scotland would beat he USA by at least a couple of goals over two legs (home and away).
     
  18. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006
    The same Denmark that couldn't beat Tunisia or Australia ?

    Serbia who has been poor of late and couldn't beat Cameroon ?

    Switzerland has been absolutely piss poor post WC.

    Scotland ? lol

    No. You just overrate these European teams. They are ok teams, but nothing special IMO.
     
  19. r0adrunner

    r0adrunner Member+

    Jun 4, 2011
    London, UK
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    All those teams automatically qualified for EURO 2024.

    Very few teams outside Europe could handle the intensity with which Scotland play.

    The club football these players play in is better than MLS.
     
  20. PJ234

    PJ234 Member

    DC united
    United States
    Oct 17, 2021
    I think the USMNT would struggle against Scotland but otherwise they could take care with those other teams.
     
  21. uuaww

    uuaww Member+

    Nov 21, 2007
    New Orleans, LA
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What does MLS have to do with it? None of the US starting 11 plays in the MLS, they are all in Europe. Also at the World Cup the US tied both England and Wales with a very young team, youngest in the tournament.

    You listed 7 teams that would ALL beat the US by multiple goals over a 2 leg home and away. If you honestly think that would happen I would absolutely call you the most delusional person on these boards.

    You honestly sounds like a 1970s/1980s FIFA executive who didnt want to give Africa and Asia their own slot at the World Cup because the European teams were so superior. Except you are even worse as the players you are bad mouthing are in the exact same leagues as your European ones.
     
  22. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You do realize that MLS players have played more minutes for Hungary than for the USA in recent competitive matches?
     
  23. r0adrunner

    r0adrunner Member+

    Jun 4, 2011
    London, UK
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I was not criticising US players and I am suprised looking through their recent squad at how many play in Europe, nevertheless I stand by my expectation that those particular opponents would beat them in a home-and-away tie.
     
  24. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Dusselheim FC 1971
    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    My gut says we would beat half those teams though if we played them in Seattle. Then play defensive in Europe and make them sweat.

    I think it all comes down to the backline and Keeper situations.
    Part of the reason I am hesitant to say the USA can win the Copa America is because of the lack of playing time for Turner and the uncertainty of who our back four leaders are.
    Going up against good teams right now (South American or European) just makes me a bit uncomfortable. Hopefully by 2026 those issues can be resolved.
     
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