FIFA are one of the most powerful bodies in world sport as we all know who are responsible for one of the biggest sporting events, the World Cup. They organize the Confederations Cup as well where the winners from every continental tournament compete for the chance to lift the trophy. From that statement, it would seem that the countries representing their continents in a tournament is a mini replica of the World Cup but with fewer countries taking part. My question here is: Is there a point to having the Confederations Cup?
A little bit of historical background for you; often referred as the 'Champions of Champions' tournament, the Confederations Cup first took place in 1997 when it was held in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh however there were two previous tournament that took place in Riyadh which was known back then as the Intercontinental Championship. The Saudis finished runners-up in the first ever tournament to Argentina by three goals to one and it has revamped since 1997.
The Confederations Cup took place every two years from 1997 until 2005 where it is now played in the penultimate year of the next World Cup. With that in mind, the tournament can be used as a pre-World Cup test to see how the host country can cope with fans flocking from all four corners of the globe. This includes the use of the stadia and training bases where the countries that are likely to participate in the World Cup the following year will have a feel of what they are likely to experience at the tournament.
Another advantage to having the Confederations Cup is giving the opportunity for lesser countries to take part in a world tournament. A great example of this is the qualification of Tahiti who will represent Oceania at next year's competition in Brazil after they beat New Caledonia 1-0 in the OFC Nations Cup last month. The result meant that Tahiti became the third different country to win the tournament and will be the lowest country to participate in Brazil as they are ranked 138 in the FIFA World Rankings.
The question in the title is an interesting one in the sense that should there ever be a Confederations Cup? In my opinion, it's a mini replica of the World Cup but with fewer countries. I'm sure there will be some exciting matches despite the fact the draw hasn't been made as yet. The tournament is a celebration of bringing the champions of each continent together however I feel that it doesn't really determine the best country of all of the confederations as that is simular to the World Cup. Personally, the Confederations Cup is there as a test for the host country before they welcome the world's best for the World Cup.
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