LONDON (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.
Left and right, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor are shown in different portions of their super welterweight boxing match on August 26, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ticket sales for the superfight were a disappointment after failing to break the record for gate receipts. AFPLOS ANGELEs, United States — Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor’s money-spinning superfight failed to break the record for gate receipts at a Las Vegas boxing bout, figures released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission revealed Wednesday.The controversial August 26 fight raked in $55,414,865.79, well short of the $72,198,500 generated by Mayweather’s 2015 “Fight of the Century” against Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand.ADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Winning start Break new ground LATEST STORIES MOST READ Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ A costly, catty dispute finally settled View comments The bout is also set to be one of the richest fights in history if the most bullish predictions of pay-per-view television sales are met.Some predictions have suggested the fight could threaten the 4.6 million buys generated by Pacquiao-Mayweather.Official numbers have not been released although executives from cable network Showtime Sports said they expected the bout would at least be second. CBBADVERTISEMENT Nadal: Federer not ‘boyfriend’ material Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Mayweather-McGregor bout, staged at the T-Mobile Arena, sold 13,094 tickets, well short of the venue’s 20,500 capacity. The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight sold 16,219 tickets.A total of 137 complimentary tickets were given away for Mayweather-McGregor, won by Mayweather in a 10th-round technical knockout.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendFace-value ticket prices for Mayweather-McGregor were among the most expensive in history, with cheapest seats going for $500 and the most expensive for as much as $10,000.Although the fight failed to challenge the Mayweather-Pacquiao gate total, it becomes the second highest-grossing gate in Las Vegas history, surpassing the $20 million generated by Mayweather’s 2013 defeat of Canelo Alvarez. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award