Thursday, August 27, 2009

CCL as dysfunctional as CONCACAF itself, but need it be so?

The CONCACAF Champions League, it's now obvious, is little more than the lab experiment that proves just how dysfunctional CONCACAF has become under the reign of Jack Warner.

In a wonderful discussion over at Match Fit USA, Jason Davis points out that the "CONCAJOKE Champions League" brings up this question:

Why should the US, and by extension MLS, want to remain in a confederation that allows environments that condone criminal behavior (at least I hope throwing bodily fluids at someone is a crime elsewhere in the region), officiating that is so poor it makes a mockery of the game, and a general disregard for order and properly conducted sporting events?

After Dynamo's experience (seems odd to call it a soccer game) in Panama last night, the frustration is palpable. The thing is, last night at Estadio Agustín Muquita Sanchez showed to all concerned that the CCL is indeed a joke, but right now it's the only thing we've got.

The question is, will it continue to be a lost cause? If it is to be saved, then (a) the impetus and dollars for salvation will have to come from the United States, and (b) Jack Warner's unquestioned hold on CONCACAF will have to end. And these two items will have to interplayed.

Regarding the first, it is clearly in MLS', and thus US Soccer's, interest to keep the tournament going, as well as earn a Club World Cup berth with the title. Without it, MLS will have no meaningful international competition, which will mean it's development path as a league will be retarded to say the least.

As for a rebellion in Warneristan, it will have to be accomplished through an alliance of the FMF and US Soccer. Only the banding together of the two biggest beasts in CONCACAF, presenting a united front, will wrest control away from Jack Warner, and the disproportionate voice he has given to the minnows of CONCACAF. When it comes to government, I am an unabashed democrat, power to the people and everything. But in business associations like this, Mexico and the United States are THE powers in the region and they need to exert that power jointly against the common foe. This is not to downplay the quality of Costa Rica, Honduras and the like. It is in their interest to join a Mexico/US-led rebellion.

Is there any indication at all that Mexico and the US will work together on this level? Well, to be honest, very little that I can see. However, the ground can very well be prepared for the erection of such an edifice, and it happens as MLS and the FMF teams relate in an atmosphere of mutual respect, similar to Nixon and Brezhnev for those of us who remember the Cold War. Pachuca and Dynamo, for example, have such a relationship, born in the fires of the old CONCACAF Champions Cup and SuperLiga. If US Soccer and the FMF can meet in the same sense (probably not until after World Cup qualifying, the Jack Warner's reign of terror can finally end.

With Mexico and US working together, we may just get a meaningful CCL, fair competition between the Mexican and US club teams, as well as other comparably skilled club teams from around the region, events in which clubs from other countries will want to come over here and play, liberation from CONMEBOL's American hemispheric hegemony. I mean, why should the Mexican and US teams have to go to South America's corruption-filled territory to play in the Copa Lib or Sudamericana? We should make them come here.

And this is only going to happen if the FMF and US Soccer realize their joint interest in making it happen. Otherwise, we get, and continue to enjoy, the CONCACAF we have today.

1 comment:

Andy said...

amen. at least check credentials of the refs a little more in depth.