CONCACAF to overhaul ‘archaic’ World Cup qualifying format

first_imgLONDON (AP):World Cup qualifying in North America is set to be overhauled to avoid shutting out the majority of countries in the CONCACAF region so early.CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani has instigated a review of an “archaic” format that leaves only six out of the region’s 35 teams still in with a shot at qualifying for Russia in 2018.Alongside a potential new name to replace the corruption-tainted CONCACAF brand, revamping the qualifying format to be more inclusive has emerged as a key objective for Montagliani after five months in charge of the confederation covering North and Central America and the Caribbean.”Something needs to change because you can’t have 85 percent of your members who are on the outside looking in two years before the World Cup,” Montagliani told The Associated Press. “It doesn’t make sense.”Since qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, CONCACAF has used a system where teams play home and away in early rounds. Once 12 nations are remaining, there are three groups of four, which produces six teams for a final round.The United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago are the last teams standing, chasing three of CONCACAF’s automatic qualification places. Starting next month, they play each other twice in a league.”It’s great for those six teams over the next year and a bit, but how about the other ones?” Montagliani said. “It’s hard.”Hard for players to raise their standard and hard for teams to generate revenue to fund soccer development.CLIMBING THE RANKINGS”Caribbean countries have problems climbing the FIFA rankings, just because we are not able to play as many international games as you want to,” John Krishnadath, president of the Suriname soccer federation, told the AP earlier this year, while also highlighting the high cost of travelling to matches.Suriname’s World Cup journey ended in June 2015 immediately after entering in the second round of CONCACAF qualifying. The first seven CONCACAF teams were eliminated back in March 2015. It’s so long ago that Montagliani is the third president CONCACAF has had during qualifying for the 2018 tournament.Former CONCACAF head Jeffrey Webb was first arrested as part of the sprawling American investigation into corruption in May 2015 and his temporary replacement, Alfredo Hawit, was indicted seven months later. Montagliani said CONCACAF competitions and the interests of teams were neglected in an era when the leadership was motivated by corruptly extorting money from the confederation and its commercial backers.Discussing a new configuration, Montagliani said: “Maybe it’s like the Europeans or maybe it’s like the South Americans with a league – or it’s a hybrid of the two.”In Europe, countries are split into nine groups, balanced according to their rankings, and play games from September 2016 to October 2017. The group winners qualify automatically and the eight best runners-up will contest play-offs for the remaining four UEFA spots in Russia.In South America, the 10 CONMEBOL members are in a two-year league that started in October 2015. The top four have guaranteed World Cup places and the fifth-place team has to go through a play-off against a country from Oceania.last_img read more

Woman found dead in hotel room

first_imgA woman was found dead in a room at John’s Hotel located in John Street, Georgetown on Easter Monday. The body of the woman who goes by the name of “Madusee” was discovered during attempts by staff to confront her after she had overstayed her time.An investigation has been launched as reports suggest an excessive consumption of narcotics.Details of this story will follow in the April 19, 2017 edition of Guyana Times.last_img

Former Everton star Lukaku ruins Rooney’s United return

first_img0Shares0000Manchester United’s striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring on September 17, 2017 © AFP / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Sep 17 – Romelu Lukaku showed little room for sentiment on Sunday scoring one and creating another as Manchester United ran out ultimately comfortable 4-0 winners over his former club Everton to ruin Wayne Rooney’s Old Trafford return.Right-back Antonio Valencia gave United an early lead with a spectacular half-volley before late goals from midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan — set up by Lukaku just before he got on the scoresheet himself — and an Anthony Martial penalty sealed the win. With United’s rivals Manchester City having clinched a dominant 6-0 victory over Watford 24 hours earlier there was an expectation from United fans for Jose Mourinho’s side to keep pace with the Premier League leaders.They are now only behind them in the table by virtue of C coming before U in the alphabet as they have identical records — Everton by contrast are in a crisis as they lost for the fourth successive match without scoring and are in the bottom three.The Red Devils, without the injured Paul Pogba, were not as fluent and free-flowing as they have been in the early part of the season and three goals in the final seven minutes flattered them a little.Rooney, United’s all-time leading goalscorer, was afforded a generous reception by the United fans and carried Everton’s main goal threat before he left to a standing ovation from the home supporters after being substituted with eight minutes left.United asserted their authority in the fourth minute as Valencia showed superb technique to score a magnificent opening goalNemanja Matic swept a cross field pass to Valencia on the corner of the penalty area and the Ecuador international, albeit afforded time and space by a flat-footed Everton defence, struck a sweet half-volley which arrowed high into the net.Rooney flickered into life midway through the first half when he sent Cuco Martina scampering down the right flank and then burst forward in search of the return ball.Martina’s low cross picked out Rooney on the edge of the penalty area but the former England captain could only strike a low effort wide of the post.United squandered an opportunity just before the half-hour mark when Juan Mata seized on Michael Keane’s misplaced pass and sent Lukaku clear but he shot wide.Koeman had demanded a reaction from his players before this contest having seen them slip to three consecutive defeats.And Everton’s confidence slowly returned as the game wore on with Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin rising to the midfield battle.Rooney’s tenacity moments after half-time saw him skip into the penalty area at the Stretford End and on to a pass from Tom Davies but David De Gea kept out the striker’s low effort with his legs.Despite Everton’s improvement United remained a threat and went close when Juan Mata curled a free-kick around the Everton wall and against the post shortly after the hour mark.United finished the contest strongly and clinically, though, as three goals after Rooney’s 82nd minute substitution saw Everton capitulate and conceded three goals.Ashley Williams carelessly gave the ball away which allowed Lukaku to slide in Henrikh Mkhitaryan who showed composure to guide the ball past Pickford.United netted their third when Lukaku, who joined United from Everton in July, capitalised on Everton’s failure to clear from a free-kick and stabbed home at the back post.Martial put the gloss on the win in injury time when he confidently sent Pickford the wrong way with a penalty after Schneiderlin was deemed to have handled.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Napolitano tours Pico Rivera

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventDuring the visit, she told the librarian that she would get her staff to send out books on government and listened while city staff pointed out the lack of space in the 1961 library. At City Hall, City Manager Chuck Fuentes hosted a slide show featuring plans for a new, bigger library at Smith Park. The anticipated funding estimates are $7 million from the city, $8 million from Los Angeles County with the help of Supervisor Gloria Molina and $5 million from private capital campaign funds also assisted by Molina, he said. He explained, too, the crucial needs for a grade separation project at the Passons Boulevard railroad crossing and road work at the intersection of Slauson Avenue and Rosemead Boulevard. He said there had been several deaths at the Passons Boulevard railroad crossing, including that of a 14-year-old El Rancho High School student last year. He also showed how the neighborhood surrounding the rail crossing, including stores, houses and an apartment building, would be impacted by a grade separation at that location. The road work where Slauson meets Rosemead is greatly needed because the intersection is now in dire need of repair and upgrading, he said. Napolitano and her staff members also walked through the Pico Rivera Senior Center where they saw an existing small fitness room and learned about plans for a bigger fitness area at the center. “This is a really, really big thing for us for Grace to come here to our obsolete library, which has pretty much been obsolete since it was built, and other facilities and see how great our needs are,” said Mayor Pete Ramirez. By late afternoon, the group was on its way to Norwalk City Hall. Napolitano and her staff members will also visit Montebello, East Los Angeles and Pomona during the week-long tour. “It’s a chance for all her staffers in Santa Fe Springs and Washington D.C. to see everything \ she is advocating,” said Daniel Chao, Napolitano’s chief of staff. debbie.pfeiffer@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA – City officials Monday stressed the need for a bigger city library to Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, during her visit to the 6,000-square-foot library. Napolitano and her entourage from Washington, D.C. and Santa Fe Springs offices visited the Pico Rivera Library and other city facilities during a whirlwind tour of the Southern California cities the congresswoman represents. The goal of the tour, titled Staff Retreat 2006, is to introduce the congresswoman’s staff in Washington, D.C. to the community projects considered to have the highest priorities. “Every community of mine has a wish list, but there is less and less funding available all the time,” said Napolitano. “So this helps the staff be hands-on and see the projects that need to be funded, for example, a new library.” last_img read more