Pipe Dreams (Ideas For International Tournaments)

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Pipe Dreams (Ideas For International Tournaments)

Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

May 29th, 2017, 9:08 am #1

I seem to have a habit of proposing new tournaments and/or changed formats for existing ones, so it might be nice to try and keep them all in one place, and of course a place for anyone else to put their ideas, Partridge-esque or otherwise.
To start off, an idea I've been sitting on that's inspired by Euro 2016 expanding to a 16-team knockout phase, but taking that part as the starting point for a full tournament format. An annual tournament, 16 invited teams (from FIFA and non-FIFA) including host(s), straight knockout, losers in each round enter play-offs to decide every position 3rd-16th, run over about a week and a half. Named "La Seize" from where I got the idea from plus gratuitous foreign.
Then I took the idea a step further - once every 4 years, have the top-ranked nation from each FIFA continent which isn't otherwise engaged (would work best running in at the same window as the Confederations Cup), plus the host nation, defending champions, and a wildcard because I wasn't going to leave those out completely, then after that go down the list for the next-best available teams in the rankings to complete the line-up. The "Elite 16" Tournament, if you will.
For example's sake, a theoretical line-up for this summer's tournament (hosted by Spain, they seem to have gone a while without anything), would be (based on December '16 Rankings):
  • Spain (host)
  • Argentina, Belgium, Costa Rica, Iran, Senegal, Tahiti (highest-ranked teams on each continent (not in Confederations Cup))
  • Swaziland (wildcard invitee)
  • Brazil, Colombia, France, Uruguay, Switzerland, Wales, England, Croatia (next highest-ranked teams (not in Confederations Cup))
As always, if there's some eccentric m/billionaire hanging around who wants to go in on any of this (including inner-city sumo, apparently it would be cheap to make), please don't be shy.
Last edited by mattsanger92 on May 30th, 2017, 4:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: October 31st, 2006, 5:16 pm

May 29th, 2017, 12:48 pm #2

I think a Nations League format for each continent is a good idea, as is happening with UEFA (and CONCACAF), played on friendly match dates. Americas could combine, as well as Asia/Oceania.

A World League would also be possible, with global leagues for the Top 2 or 3 divisions, and continental leagues further down.
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Joined: November 2nd, 2006, 4:07 pm

May 29th, 2017, 1:13 pm #3

FIFA Challenge Cup for 16 lowest teams in FIFA Rankings every two year would to good option.
It would be great to see San Marino or Gibraltar playing against lowest ranked teams from Asia, Africa, Oceania or Caribbean.

San Marino - Sao Tome
Gibraltar - Dijbouti
Andorra - Bhutan
Cook Islands - Turks & Caicos
etc.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

May 30th, 2017, 5:14 am #4

I agree with Mark, a league structure of some kind is overdue.  FIFA and the confederations have been very slow in doing anything about turning "prestige" friendlies into something more competitive (at least in a nominal organizational format) and more marketable, which is odd becuase it is surely in their financial interests to do so.
Regarding new tournaments, a new "official" tournament which involves only cherry-picked teams will not necessarily be popular with the majority of member FAs unless they all receive a contribution from the proceeds.  Although the executive committee can come up with random crap at any moment, of course.  
But the real issue with any new tournament is simply the finances.  It would need to guarantee good crowd attendance and TV viewing figures, without diluting the calendar and also avoiding a clash with other major sporting events, particularly football.  
Matt's idea is a sort of second tier Confederations Cup, with some big names (and Wales) thrown in to make up the numbers.  Equivalently it can be considered as just the "Top-16 Playoffs" of the rankings with a proviso that at least one team from each confederation must be involved (this at least means that the rankings themselves are used as a sort of qualifying stage, so in theory it is open to all members rather than pure cherry-picking).
But given that the Confederations Cup is supposed to be for the "best" team from each region, the new idea seems a redundant extra version of it.   Why not just add your next best 8 teams into the existing Confed Cup, and strengthen that instead of making a sideshow?
Another variant would be to have more than one team from each confederation, a sort of Champions League for national teams.  Say 16 teams drawn from the top of the rankings with unspecified confederation partition of 4+3+3+2+2+1(+1 host)=16.  This is basically a smaller extra World Cup.
We will call it the Sir Piet Veroeveren World Rankings Cup
For example, using current FIFA rankings (for a laugh), here are the top 4 ranking positions for each confederation, and in bold the qualified 16 positions:
CONMEBOL : 1 2 4 5    (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia) UEFA : 3 6 7 8   (Germany, France, Belgium)CONCACAF : 16 20 23 57 (Mexico, Costa Rica, USA) CAF : 19 30 33 35 (Egypt, Senegal) AFC : 28 43 44 50 (Iran, South Korea) OFC : 112 153 156 165 (New Zealand) Host : presumably LuxembourgObviously the allocations can be tweaked, and indeed there could be byes for all the continental champions so that aspect of the present Confederations Cup could be retained instead of using just the rankings.
In the example above the differences would be that Portugal qualify instead of Belgium, Cameroon instead of Senegal, and Australia instead of South Korea.
> FIFA Challenge Cup for 16 lowest teams
Most of us international football nerds would love this, but we are not the main market.  Again this is not financially sensible.  Crowds and TV interest will be absolute zero (see AFC Solidarity Cup).  It can only be done if it is agreed a priori to run at a financial loss.  
But, a similar concept could be a lower division of the international league such as Mark mentioned.  In this case the league as a whole could be financially viable, with the top level profits spread to cover the costs of the lower levels.  
The danger with a multi-level league like that would be that strong/weak members are treated differently.  In FIFA, every member FA has the same "power" politically, in theory.  But not financially of course.  
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Joined: November 3rd, 2006, 11:49 am

May 30th, 2017, 6:56 am #5

I am honored , finally having a cup blessed with my name.....I just hope that my own ranking system will be accepted to determine the teams...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

May 30th, 2017, 8:06 am #6

nfm24 wrote:
In the example above the differences would be that Portugal qualify instead of Belgium
Yes Piet, you must immediately implement your own ranking to fix this problem
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

May 30th, 2017, 4:20 pm #7

nfm24 wrote:
Matt's idea is a sort of second tier Confederations Cup, with some big names (and Wales) thrown in to make up the numbers.  Equivalently it can be considered as just the "Top-16 Playoffs" of the rankings with a proviso that at least one team from each confederation must be involved (this at least means that the rankings themselves are used as a sort of qualifying stage, so in theory it is open to all members rather than pure cherry-picking).
But given that the Confederations Cup is supposed to be for the "best" team from each region, the new idea seems a redundant extra version of it.   Why not just add your next best 8 teams into the existing Confed Cup, and strengthen that instead of making a sideshow?
That's pretty much the idea. I like the Confederations Cup as is so wouldn't really want it to be 'stepped on' in any way, by pre-restricting CC qualifiers from the Elite 16 it would ring-fence them and give the appearance that theirs is more important in the grand scheme of things, which it is, they actually won tournaments while my Elite 16 line-up are being rewarded for consistent form, so it is a bit like a Champions League / Europa League dynamic. Would also be banking on FIFA being so touched by my generous decision to not interfere with their tournament that I'd get some nice Gianni karma and they'd return the favour... please?
nfm24 wrote:
Regarding new
tournaments, a new "official" tournament which involves only
cherry-picked teams will not necessarily be popular with the majority of
member FAs unless they all receive a contribution from the proceeds. 
Although the executive committee can come up with random crap at any
moment, of course.  
But the real issue with any new tournament
is simply the finances.  It would need to guarantee good crowd
attendance and TV viewing figures, without diluting the calendar and
also avoiding a clash with other major sporting events, particularly
football.
Finances ... that's what the eccentric billionaire is for! For crowd attendance, that's another reason why I chose Spain as the hypothetical first hosts, they'll in theory get a naturally decent turn-out from all the European nations (in particular the British ones, holiday time and all that) and from the other Spanish-speaking countries (Colombia are heading to Spain this international break anyway, while it will suit Argentina what with Messi possibly unable to leave the country), while Brazil is Brazil, have them play Sealand in a friendly in Tallahassee and they'd probably get a sell-out.
As for TV, plenty of big-name teams in the tournament so guaranteed a lot of headline match-ups, while the straight knock-out puts meaning on each one. Ties into the 'what would the teams get from it' question, have prize money for each finishing position (or maybe per win/draw/loss), so there's a clear incentive to finish 13th rather than 15th. And for clashing, I looked at the Confederations Cup matches and again with giving them priority, there's so few matches that an Elite 16 could be organised around it while still giving each match in both tournaments its own 'timeslot'.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

July 11th, 2017, 4:58 pm #8

A little more on the realistic side, but after the Confederations Cup (or before, or just in general, can't remember which), I noticed that while CONCACAF have belatedly come up with a way to stop half of their Gold Cups being made fairly redundant regarding the Confederations Cup, CAF... still haven't, the only confederation left that aren't sending a fully decisive champion to the tournament.
So the solution is obvious, just create the "CAFCON Championship" (name pending) in pretty much the exact format of the CONCACAF Cup, play it in March before the CC or reshuffle so the first edition is in 2023 (so the match of 2021 vs 2023 to qualify for the 2025 Confederations Cup), whichever works best for them.
Exact same format except for the 'always host it in the USA' part, although I wouldn't put it past them, otherwise it gives the chance for smaller nations to get in on the hosting more since it's only one match
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

July 12th, 2017, 2:31 pm #9

Abolish CONCACAF.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

October 24th, 2017, 3:57 pm #10

Spawned out of an internet comment I saw somewhere, can't even remember what it was discussing but it jokingly mentioned the idea of just doing away with qualifiers and sticking all FIFA members into a summer tournament for the World Cup. So naturally I've expanded on it and tried to look at how it could work.

And because I just like piling more tournaments on top of eachother, this would come as a separate entity to the World Cup, maybe held the year after or something. And my idea goes a few steps further, as 211 isn't the friendliest number to work with, so 45 non-FIFA representative sides (preferably those more eligible for membership first) would be invited for a total of 256 teams. From there there would be 64 groups of 4 teams, the winners of which go to the Knockout Stages, with all other positions in each group entering separate Play-Off Trees just to keep things convoluted, also guaranteeing every team a total of 9 matches and a tournament total of 896 fixtures.

Or if we want to keep things limited to the 211 FIFA members, then 208 teams in 52 groups of 4, 61 (winners + best runners-up) advance to join the 3 previous medalists in the Knockout Round, and possibly a series of Play-Offs for the eliminated teams. In any case, favouites to host such an event are probably the USA unless FIFA dropped some stadium requirements.

As for naming, a conventional title like the "FIFA All-Members International Cup" could be given, but I'm leaning towards the "FIFA Overload Tournament" or "FIFA Fustercluck" (with lead sponsor).
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

October 25th, 2017, 8:51 am #11

This sounds much like Mark's 256-team World Cup simulator on another thread, which Tristan da Cunha unexpectedly was able to win.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 14th, 2017, 6:13 pm #12

What started out as a joke suggestion seems to be snowballing into a geniuine possibility... I'm talking of course not about any of my ideas on this thread but the USA's apparent plans to host a tournament next summer for national teams that failed to make the World Cup.

The idea had been raised a few days ago by various journalists/Twitterers as the high-profile eliminations built up further, with this annual basketball tournament as their inspiration, seemed like it could be laughed off but the USSF might be getting serious with the proposal. I'm all for new tournaments being created but if they're looking for names for this one I'd have to suggest the "$ore Losers Cup".

Tangoman will probably want to get involved too if it contains the chance of him calling whatever's going on in Russia 'fake news', while the best soccer tournament the world's ever seen (it has the biggest crowds EVAH, you wouldn't believe it, fantastic) takes place in 'Murica...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

November 14th, 2017, 6:20 pm #13

Yes obviously this sort of tournament is financially attractive to the American promoters, but it's all about getting FIFA to agree to something that doesn't remotely undermine their own event.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 15th, 2017, 6:48 am #14

Presumably they wouldn't be allowed to run it in the World Cup's timeframe, but if it was organised in the pre-tournament friendly period they should be able to get away with it... a recent pre-World Cup example doesn't spring to mind immediately but in 2004 before the Euros, England ran the FA Summer Tournament.
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Joined: October 31st, 2006, 5:16 pm

November 15th, 2017, 8:58 am #15

If the FIH can get the finances to do it for field hockey (not exactly the most popular sport worldwide), I see no reason why FIFA can't do it for football.  World League, with continental feeder leagues.  World Cup every 4 years.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 15th, 2017, 1:50 pm #16

TheRoonBa wrote:If the FIH can get the finances to do it for field hockey (not exactly the most popular sport worldwide), I see no reason why FIFA can't do it for football.  World League, with continental feeder leagues.  World Cup every 4 years.
Erm... are you in the right thread with that one?

"Global Nations League" is that way.
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Joined: October 31st, 2006, 5:16 pm

November 15th, 2017, 2:06 pm #17

It is multi-threadish.  It is one of my pipe dreams.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

November 15th, 2017, 2:53 pm #18

Mark's pipes are multi-faceted.  It's one of the first things people notice about him.

In non-premium sports, pretty much all competitions have to be called the "World Cup" or "World Super Series" or something like that.  
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

November 16th, 2017, 8:33 am #19

The BBC have now picked up the story, with the added detail that FIFA are seemingly OK-ing it as long as it 'follows the rules', which you'd have to interpret as meaning 'make sure it's finished before the World Cup starts'.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 8th, 2017, 2:37 pm #20

Because UEFA seem so keen on the 60th anniversary being a special 'big one' for the Euros, I propose a second event in 2020, the UEFA Henri Delauney Tournament.

Probably a 12-team tournament (lets the tournament logo/branding have a 'clock' theme ["60/12"]) inviting all the previous winners of the Euros (🇪🇸🇮🇹🇫🇷🇳🇱🇩🇰🇩🇪🇬🇷🇵🇹), including the Zombie Teams of USSR, West Germany, and Czechoslovakia.

As that totals 11, if 2020 fails to deliver a new champion then the final spot is filled by a 🇪🇺 selection, or just get creative with Spain's past identity. Format to be a 'half' version of the regular Euros, so 3 groups of 4 with 8 going to the Quarter-Finals.

To be hosted in France (or 'France + a combination of meaningful co-hosts' (like 🇫🇷/🇨🇭/🇽🇰/🇲🇨 (old/'home'/new/notthereyet))) because symbolism and also they don't have anything else that year, so it'll be really tough for them to cope between the last Euros and the upcoming Rugby WC and Olympics. Probably held in August, screw the clubs 😉.

💰 or 💳 Cerefin, your choice...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

December 8th, 2017, 4:27 pm #21

What's wrong with a nice cup of tea, and some peace and quiet.
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 8th, 2017, 7:19 pm #22

nfm24 wrote:What's wrong with a nice cup of tea, and some peace and quiet.
Not usually a hot drinks fan, but in the spirit of recent news I'll take a Tetley's.

And you want some calm? I'll give it some calm!

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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

December 18th, 2017, 2:34 pm #23

mattsanger92 wrote: The BBC have now picked up the story, with the added detail that FIFA are seemingly OK-ing it as long as it 'follows the rules', which you'd have to interpret as meaning 'make sure it's finished before the World Cup starts'.
According to this, the USA will be in France on 09/06 (and presumably a couple of days before), meaning the window of opportunity for their big definitely-not-bitter tournament to be held is now a little smaller. Maybe they've drafted in 'A Confirmer' as their replacement?
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

April 12th, 2018, 1:22 pm #24

I for one am intrigued by the potential Mystery Consortium FIFA Global Nations League tournament*. If they threw even a fraction of that $25b offer my way, I'd no longer have any need for pipes nor dreams...

* = also the Mystery Consortium FIFA expanded Club World Cup presented by Alibaba Cloud™ 😒, but that belongs in a different section.
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

April 12th, 2018, 4:35 pm #25

FIFA have historically tried to have their cake and eat it by absorbing as much sponsor funds and TV money backhanders as possible, while still maintaining pretty much full control of the tournaments themselves.  The pre-eminence of the World Cup has always been foremost in their minds, and they've been keen to protect it and seize control (and lobotomize) anything that could compete/detract from it (e.g. the Olympics).

So it would be a bit odd for FIFA to sell off the rights to tournaments that could potentially rival/usurp the World Cup in the long run.   But on the other hand, if money is no object, perhaps the rich guys can just bully their way in by forming their own rebel world league and paying players/clubs enormous sums to break out of the FIFA world and into the rebel side.   Effectively forming their own rival World Football Federation...
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

April 12th, 2018, 5:54 pm #26

The article only said a ludicrous offer was made, not that FIFA accepted it.

That amount just seems properly mental for what is mentioned as not even a perpetual ownership of the cups (apparently a maximum of 3 editions of each, so best case scenario is an average cost of $4.16b for each cup run controlled). As the article mentions, the World Cup brings in around $5b for FIFA each cycle, so these investors must see something incredible in what they're bidding for...
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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

April 12th, 2018, 8:10 pm #27

mattsanger92 wrote:The article only said a ludicrous offer was made, not that FIFA accepted it.
I know it wasn't accepted (yet), otherwise I wouldn't be talking about rebel leagues.

Whether it's a ludicrous offer depends on whether the investors are interested in making a profit or not.  There are all kinds of ways that more money could be made if a solely commercially minded group (think FIFA without the small/poor country members to "hold it back") had control of tournaments.

Anyway, although the rest of the committee did not accept it (yet), the article says that Infantino himself was very keen to get it accepted at the meeting.

"The council rejected Infantino’s request to push forward with the proposal, saying it needed more information."

"Infantino said he had committed to a nondisclosure agreement, but he wanted the council’s permission to push ahead to complete an agreement with the mystery group."
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

April 20th, 2018, 1:15 pm #28

nfm24 wrote:Anyway, although the rest of the committee did not accept it (yet), the article says that Infantino himself was very keen to get it accepted at the meeting.

"The council rejected Infantino’s request to push forward with the proposal, saying it needed more information."

"Infantino said he had committed to a nondisclosure agreement, but he wanted the council’s permission to push ahead to complete an agreement with the mystery group."
Meanwhile, on Twitter (fair play for speaking his mind / trying to get some cake back even if it will predictably not go down well, but his @ game is weak, bless him)...
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

April 24th, 2018, 12:03 pm #29

nfm24 wrote:Whether it's a ludicrous offer depends on whether the investors are interested in making a profit or not.  There are all kinds of ways that more money could be made if a solely commercially minded group (think FIFA without the small/poor country members to "hold it back") had control of tournaments.

Anyway, although the rest of the committee did not accept it (yet), the article says that Infantino himself was very keen to get it accepted at the meeting.
I (almost) stand corrected.

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Joined: April 7th, 2007, 12:28 pm

April 24th, 2018, 12:49 pm #30

I'm just wondering who the investors are.  The usual suspects would be a bit dull, e.g. big TV companies, generic management companies, Asian hedge funds etc... 

Could it be that another sports body, say, the NFL, is trying to spread out into soccer?
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Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:46 am

April 24th, 2018, 1:23 pm #31

nfm24 wrote: I'm just wondering who the investors are.
Starbucks.



Also noticed in the article:
Where would it [Club World Cup] be played?

That is still to be decided.

But Fifa wants what it calls the "host market" to have a "strong appetite for football". In addition, there must be strong commercial potential, growth potential for clubs, Fifa and "football generally". Infrastructure will also be key and Fifa has not ruled out that the hosts will have to pay a fee.
Jack Warner fuming at the fact he could've just asked nicely.
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Joined: October 5th, 2014, 1:11 pm

Yesterday, 2:27 pm #32

I remember reading somewhere that African teams had been angling to set up a Commonwealth Games tournament. So how about a mini-tournament alongside the general assembly next year in Kenya, or at the 2022 games in Birmingham?

Can avoid the necessity of qualifying by taking the highest-finishing Commonwealth teams from existing tournaments like:

CECAFA Cup (usually Kenya/Uganda)
COSAFA Cup (S. Africa/Zimbabwe)
Windward Islands tournament (and Leewards if it ever gets going)
South Asian Federation Cup

Give automatic spots to the Home Nations, Australia, Canada, west African teams, etc.
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Joined: January 16th, 2018, 12:58 pm

Yesterday, 6:07 pm #33

As our resident Brummie, I'd certainly be up for a tournament in the 2022 Games, as long as my kidneys hold out that long!
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Joined: October 31st, 2006, 5:16 pm

Yesterday, 6:25 pm #34

I think futsal probably lends itself better to the Commonwealth Games, considering they last only 11 or 12 days.

However, I guess an 8-team tournament would be possible, with teams getting 2 days rest in between games.  A 12-team tournament could be fitted in at a push, if some games were scheduled before the official games opening.

For men:
The best 12 Commonwealth teams (using elo ratings)
1. England
2. Wales
3. Scotland
4. Australia
5. Nigeria
6. Northern Ireland
7. Cameroon 
8. Ghana
9. Jamaica
10. South Africa
11. Canada
12. New Zealand


For women (using FIFA rankings):
1. England
2. Canada
3. Australia
4. New Zealand
5. Scotland
6. Wales
7. Nigeria
8. Ghana
9. Cameroon
10. Trinidad & Tobago
11. South Africa
12. Northern Ireland
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