July 21, 2024

Still waiting for what happens in the Byron Castillo case, in which Chile plays in the TAS the last option to access the World Cup in Qatar, the plan to access the one that will be played in four more years in the United States, Mexico and Canada is already underway. In fact, La Roja hired Eduardo Berizzo to lead the process that, on the one hand, seeks to produce the transition that ends with the replacement of the Golden Generation, beyond the discussion generated by absences such as that of Claudio Bravo. On the other hand, the new coach of the National Team must find the style and, above all, the effectiveness to face the start of the Qualifiers.

South America presents a favorable scenario. In the subsequent World Cup, in which 48 teams will participate, the subcontinent will have 6.5 places. “The Conmebol will have six direct places and a place in the final of the repechage (tournament in which six teams will bid for two places). In fact, there are 6.5 places for South America”, highlighted the entity that brings together the South American federations in 2017, when the matter was resolved. In practice, two more quotas and a concrete possibility: the block can have 70 percent of its members in the planetary event. Chile’s options to participate, by the way, would increase markedly.

Eugenio Mena marks Lionel Messi, during a match of the Qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. (Photo: Agenciauno)

In the Conmebol Council held this week in Asunción, the entity defended tooth and nail one of the elements that has given it the greatest satisfaction: the format that puts the South American national teams against each other. The famous All against all. Apart from the principle of sports justice that inspires it, there is another fundamental reason: guarantees the federations, including the Chilean one, the security of having a high amount of economic resources as a result of channels such as the sale of tickets and television rights. That, without considering the income from advertising and the fact that there are already contracts signed years ago for a certain number of games.

All federations signed the petition that, with the signature of its president, the Paraguayan Alejandro Domínguez, they sent to the head of world football, headed by the Swiss, Gianni Infantino, who was present at the Asunción meeting. It is not accidental: FIFA explored the possibility of modifying the system, precisely in response to the interests of European clubs and tournamentswho lose or suffer from the wear and tear of their figures.

In this context, assuming that the decision will not be altered, at the level of the South American entity there are already some certainties: that the dispute begins in March 2023, although with a significant variation regarding the planning that has governed the system. Now, it is intended to establish a quadruple date for September. In practice, this definition can generate strong disputes with European clubs, since their main stars, who are mostly the referents of the continent’s teams, they would have to be available to the national teams for 15 days.

It will be a long FIFA date that seeks to mitigate the consequences suffered by European clubs when they part with their South American players, whom they must provide practically every month. On the other hand, it is also a good opportunity for coaches who are just beginning a process, such as Eduardo Berizzo in La Roja, to express their idea of ​​the game and methodology by having their selected players for a longer time than has been normal, until now. .

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