CONCACAF proposes to change the qualifying format for the 2014 World Cup

CONCACAF will propose a change in its qualifying format for the 2014 World Cup, starting with a preliminary knockout stage followed by three group phases, the confederation Executive Committee decided Friday.

Meeting at CONCACAF’s New York headquarters, the committee decided to submit to FIFA the new structure aimed at guaranteeing more early round matches.

“In response to the needs of our membership, we are proposing a new system that will provide substantially more playing opportunities while producing a fair and compelling qualifying competition,” CONCACAF President Jack Warner said.

The Executive Committee also awarded the 2012 Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament to Canada, chose Guadalajara, Mexico, for the site of its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2011 and decided to recommend that FIFA suspend the El Salvador federation due to government intervention.

“I hope that the Salvadoran issue is resolved in time for the Salvadoran teams to participate in this year’s Champions League,” Warner said.

The committee also heard a briefing from the Russian federation on its bid to be selected later this year as host of the 2018 or 2022 World Cup . U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati also updated the board on the American bid, which will be submitted to FIFA on May 14.

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