CONCACAF President and FIFA Executive Jack Warner has poured cold water over the idea of CONCACAF merging with the CSF, the governing body of South American football. Speaking to The Trinidad Express on Thursday, Warner outlined that his plan was to have the two confederations only cooperate. He would like to see the poorer countries in CONCACAF benefit from the use of football facilities in South America. He has already talked to Argentinean President Carlos Menem about the use of that country's facilities for Caribbean teams. Warner said the idea of the Confederations could only go as far as club competitions where CONCACAF clubs will compete against CSF clubs in tournaments and the sharing of facilities.
The idea of the merger is heavily supported by big Mexican clubs who would enjoy greater revenue if the two Confederations would merge. Also supporting the idea is CSF President Nicolas Leoz. With the merger comes three additional World Cup spots and greater revenue if more South American countries qualify for subsequent World Cup tournaments. However, according to Warner the idea has only generated a luke warm response from the United States. Leoz speaking to ESPN stated: "We have interpreted the wish of United States and Mexican football to be close to us...We have always believed that the CSF and CONCACAF should unite to become a single force at world level. I don't believe that anybody could be against an approximation of the federations, for this reason it appears to me that there is no obstacle from any candidate or any president. Obviously, there is a long way to go to define this idea but the main thing is that the will exists among the counties involved." He made those comments at the launching of a tournament called the Copa Merconte in which clubs from Mexico, the United States and five other South American countries will compete.
The Mexican Football Federation has thrown its weight behind the idea. However, if one is to look at who runs the MFF it will reveal that the big clubs like Guadalajara have there say in what organization does. What ever the big clubs want they get. If you have any doubt check out what happened Mexico's former head coach in Bora Militovic when he went head to head with the top club's presidents. If I was a betting man (I don't bet anymore since I lost $200 on the Tyson-Hollyfield fight two years ago) I would put money on Warner. I say there is no way that Jack Warner sells out CONCACAF like a two dollar prostitute. One friend remarked to me that since the MFF wants a merger, Jack Warner should use all his power to get Mexico and Venezuela to switch confederations. I fully support that idea.
Confusion mares Barnsley lost.
Clint Marcelle must be scratching his head at the sight he saw on Saturday. In Barnsley's game with Liverpool he saw a pitch invasion by one incensed Barnsley fan, a wave of fans storming the field after the game and the sending off of three of his teammates. Clint Marcelle started for Barnsley and had two good shots that just went over the crossbar inside the first ten minutes. Barnsley battled back from a 2-1 deficit to tie the game on a Redfern penalty. However, a goal in the 90th minute by Liverpool won the game. The 3-2 lost by Barnsley leaves them third to last in the English Premier league with just two points between them and staying up in the league.
Yorke and Villa reach safety zone.
Dwight Yorke and Aston Villa have reached the point where they can say they will be playing in the English top flight next year. They did so with a convincing 4-1 win over Everton with Yorke scoring two goals and causing most of the problems for the Everton defense. Yorke almost scored when he just missed a past from one of his teammates and made a 50 yard run only to have his shot intercepted by a Everton defender. Yorke scored his first goal from the penalty spot after his teammate was brought down in the area. His second goal came when he waltzed in on a past from Hendrie to tap in Villa's fourth goal. Villa now have 42 points which is considered the safety zone for staying up in the Premier league.
Rougier to the rescue again.
Tony Rougier should ask for a name change. His last minute penalty, the second in two weeks, extended Hibernian the slimmest of lifelines to stay up in the Scottish Premier league. Rougier, the man-of-the-match, almost scored Hibernian's opening goal. He skipped past two defenders from a standing position and delivered a cross to an open teammate who headed wide of the post. Rougier stroked home his fifth goal of the season to tie Aberdeen 1-1.
Marvin Andrews sent off in Raith game.
Marvin Andrews was given his marching orders in the 50th minute in Raith Rover's game with Patrick Thistle. He was the last man in the penalty box when he brought down a Patrick striker headed toward goal. That meant that he was automatically sent off for the infraction. The tackle resulted in Patrick scoring on the ensuing penalty kick. However, Raith had the game well in hand as they easily won the game 2-1.
All MLS T&T players see action.
Stern John and Ansil Elcock were both in action on Sunday afternoon when there Columbus Crew took on fellow T&T nationals Brian Haynes and Mickey Trotman of the Dallas Burn. Stern John started and had some five shots on goal. Ansil Elcock came on in the second half. The game was a tight one with Dallas emerging 2-1 winners. Both Brian Haynes and Mickey Trotman saw action. Haynes coming on in the 58th minute and Trotman in the 78th minute.
Both Evans Wise and David Nahkid started for New England in there season opener with MLS champs DC United. Wise created some problems for the United defense when his crossed was miffed by his teammate but fell nicely to another who buried the shot past the goalie. However, in the 88th minute DC United tied the game and forced it to sudden death overtime. After nothing was decided in the extra period a shootout took place. Wise had his shot in the shootout saved and the Rev went down 2-1.
In the shooting range...
Jerren Nixon came off the bench in the 77th minute to help in a 3-0 win over F.C St.Gallen. Zurich are currently in fourth position and looking for a European spot.Russell Latapy came off the bench to help in a Boavista 2-1 win over Portuguese giants Benfica. The win moves them up one place to fifth and closer to a UEFA cup place.