CONCACAF in South America

Copa Libertadores

Is CONCACAF moving into CONMEBOL's orbit?

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On Wednesday of this week, interim CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit gave the clearest signal yet that the confederation will collaborate much more closely with CONMEBOL than they have in the past. Will it be a merger in everything but name? Not yet, but significant factions within both groups are considering the possibilities.

Mexico's Copa Libertadores representatives decided

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Mexico are in the Copa Libertadores for 2011, and there are some changes to their qualification procedure. Gone is the InterLiga tournament which was used to select two of the three places. Now the places are allocated to the top three clubs in the overall Apertura table not already competing in this season's CONCACAF Champions League.

I may have to blog about this merger thing sooner

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I was reading Tim Vickery's most recent weekly column on South American football, and found the following question/answer exchange: Q) There are various rumours around the internet that clubs from Major League Soccer in America will be the next league outside of Conmebol (the South American Federation) to be granted invites to the Copa Libertadores in the near future.

If you want better treatment from CONMEBOL, join CONMEBOL

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In 1993, Mexico started appearing in the Copa América as a guest participant, along with the USA. Five years later, Mexican league clubs appeared in the Copa Libertadores, first by paying off the Venezuelan federation to form a round-robin playoff with the two Venezuelan representatives, and later (starting in 2004) direct qualifying slots through the Interliga.

Withdrawals foretold

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Since the end of the group stage of the Copa Libertadores, and the refusal of São Paulo and Nacional of Uruguay to travel to Mexico for the round of 16 ties in the wake of the flu outbreak, it became clear that only one result was possible: the withdrawal of the two Mexican sides from the tournament.

Argentina

Godoy to Godoy

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Panamanian football players have been able to make inroads in South American clubs in recent years. Not just Colombia, which has been a natural destination for historical reasons, but also Southern Cone countries such as Argentina or Chile. Yesterday it was reported that Chepo FC's midfielder Aníbal Godoy will play for Argentina's Godoy Cruz on a loan deal that will run through the rest of the Argentine domestic season.

Who will replace Japan in Copa America?

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There are reports that the Japanese national team will withdraw from this summer's Copa América to be held in Argentina. After last weekend's massive earthquake and tsunami in the country, the entire sporting calendar -- as well as the rest of the Japanese economy and society -- has been thrown in turmoil.

Argentina vs. Jamaica from Mar del Plata

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It's 0-0 at the half. Both sides are using squads drawn from their local leagues, which would still give the Argentines an advantage. But Argentina haven't played well and have yet to score a goal against what the local press views as a very weak side. I'm not going to liveblog the match, but I will have updates on Twitter, so follow me if you aren't doing so already.

The Rest

Don't expect a CONCACAF-CONMEBOL merger anytime soon

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One of the side effects of the recent votes for the future World Cups, especially the 2022 World Cup, has been a rift between directors at CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. Last week Chuck Blazer raised the tone of his disagreements with CONMEBOL and its president Nicolás Leóz, from the end of guest teams from South America in the Gold Cup to the failure of CONMEBOL representatives on the FIFA ExCo to vote for the USA 2022 bid.

Beyond stupid

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I'm behind on several posts from late last week, but more has to be said about the expulsion of Guadalajara's Héctor Reynoso from this year's Copa Libertadores. It's unfortunate that Guadalajara and San Luís had to play the final matches of the group stage under the fears of the swine flu outbreak, and the Chilean handling of Chivas' presence in the country was quite over the top, but nothing excuses what Reynoso did during the match.