CONCACAF forced to change World Cup qualifying plans as FIFA cancels September international break

first_img“The challenges presented by postponements to the football calendar, and the incomplete FIFA rankings cycle in our confederation, means our current World Cup Qualifying process has been compromised and will be changed. We will now work with the new framework provided and liaise with FIFA to finalize a new World Cup Qualification format for the CONCACAF region”We will also work with our stakeholders to reorganize the CONCACAF Road to Gold Cup Qualifiers (originally scheduled for March and June 2020), the Concacaf Nations League Finals (originally scheduled for June 2020) and a range of other suspended competitions.”A further update on World Cup Qualifying and other CONCACAF men’s international competitions will be provided in the coming weeks. We will also continue to work with FIFA and the other Confederations on the international match calendar process for women’s football to ensure we are well placed to support the return of the international women’s game as soon as possible.” The start of World Cup qualifying was set for that window, with the Hexagonal set to kickoff during that period with the top six teams per the FIFA rankings.With the coronavirus continuing to hit hard across parts of North America, CONCACAF will now be forced to alter plans in the run up to the 2022 World Cup.”CONCACAF welcomes the decisions made by FIFA regarding the men’s and women’s international match calendars,” the federation said in a statement. “Many of our Member Associations and their communities continue to face significant challenges due to COVID-19 and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”The rescheduling of competitions, and agreements on new international match dates, provide some encouragement across the football world and enable Concacaf to progress our planning to resume men’s and women’s international football when it is safe to do so.”The federation had been preparing for this to happen for some time, with CONCACAF discussing the uncertainty surrounding World Cup qualifying since the outbreak of the coronavirus.CONCACAF still intends to hold the finals for the federation’s inaugural Nations League as well, adding another complication to scheduling going forward.Without an international break since February due to the cancellations of the March and June windows, the next opportunity to take the field would be in October if all goes to plan.FIFA has helped matters a bit by pushing back the start of the from March 2022 to June 2022 while lengthening the June 2021 window by one week, CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying campaign will look different this time around after FIFA confirmed that the September international window has been cancelled.FIFA confirmed on Thursday that the September window would not go ahead for federations outside of Europe and South America.last_img read more

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Biggest threat to Bucks reaching NBA Finals? Ourselves

first_imgMilwaukee had lost back-to-back games and was staring at another defeat before rallying past one of its conference rivals, outscoring Miami 74-43 in the second half.The Greak Freak was UNLEASHED against the Heat. pic.twitter.com/Uohel0WGSW— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 6, 2020With the franchise eyeing its first Finals appearance since 1974 and first championship since 1971, reigning MVP Antetokounmpo told reporters, “I think the biggest challenge for us is ourselves.NBA BRACKET: Updated standings and seeds”How are we going to play? How hard are we going to play? Are we going to play for one another? Are we going to defend hard? Are we going to be able to rebound the ball? Are we going to be able to make the extra effort? Are we going to dive on the floor?”It’s all about us. It’s all about us.”The Bucks improved to 55-14 for the season, ahead of the defending champions Raptors (49-18), the Celtics (45-23), the Heat (43-26), the Pacers (42-27) and the 76ers (41-27) in the East. Giannis Antetokounmpo says the Bucks are their own biggest threat to reaching the NBA Finals after clinching the Eastern Conference’s top seed.The Bucks overturned a 23-point deficit Thursday to overcome the Miami Heat 130-116 at the Walt Disney World Resort outside Orlando, Fla., where Antetokounmpo put up 33 points and 12 rebounds. #1 seed! pic.twitter.com/Ed7wqIDJhG— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) August 7, 2020With the top seed comes home-court advantage, though that will look different inside the bubble amid the coronavirus pandemic.”Well, I don’t think you’d ever guess to be coaching in an NBA game on Aug. 6,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said.”So, pretty unique and rare times to win a game and more importantly to have the best record in the Eastern Conference is a tribute to our players and what they’ve done every night and how they’ve brought it. I’m very proud of them.”last_img read more