Pitch Points (still) isn’t going to the World Cup

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¡Que lástima!

People be talkin’ tho. Peru, headed to the World Cup for the first time in ages, suddenly sees its place in that tournament in jeopardy:

Peruvian newspaper Libero reports that congresswoman Paloma Noceda has put forward a new law which would place their national governing football body under the control of its institute of sport.

That would go against FIFA’s stance on government interference in the running of the sport, which Libero reports could result in Peru being excluded from FIFA tournaments.

The talk, naturally, has centered around “which of Chile/Italy/USA would go in their place?” It’s FIFA’s choice to make unilaterally, arbitrarily, and sketchily, and thanks to the dollar bills involved, plenty of the speculation to date has revolved around the Americans.

Back it up a step though (and before we even get into the “I wouldn’t want to back our way into the tournament like that” from the more prideful among USMNT fans – stop that, it’s stupid. You go to the World Cup with an opportunity), and is Peru even likely to be barred from Russia 2018?

At the very least, the national newspapers seem to think so (and it’s also pretty clear that the sponsor of the bill is presenting it for pretty much no reason other than to be an asshole, an impressive troll move):

Despite criticism, Noceda has remained firm with her initiative: “There may be concerns about FIFA, but we need to do things in the best interests of Peruvian sports.” If this thinking of the Fujimorist majority is maintained, there is a serious danger of expulsion from the World Cup.

If you don’t halbar Español, get Google Chrome like an adult, or trust that I wouldn’t steer you wrong. 

That the Fujimorists tend to be aggressively libertarian in ideology makes it even more clear – to me, at least – that Noceda is primarily trying to get headlines rather than actually alter policy in such a way that the Peruvian football association gets banned from FIFA and CONMEBOL.

At the very least, even if she is a totally insane person (seems likely), there’s no way a soccer-mad country passes this legislation in the next seven months, even it it just means filibusters and delays until the very instant FIFA has no more chance for takesie-backsies for the World Cup.

In MLS push news… Cincinnati’s latest attempt to get a stadium locked down for their MLS bid is a no-go with the neighborhood of Oakley voting against a proposal. That ultimately doesn’t mean a whole lot – Cincinnati mayor John Cranley still has a plan on the table that City Council will consider today – but certainly indicates that legislators would have to go against local sentiment to get a deal done.

With the 12 initial bids for this round of expansion slowly getting whittled down (Detroit’s ownership group switched plans to propose playing at the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field after frustration with negotiations for the Fail Jail site), it’s looking more and more likely that Nashville will join Sacramento as the two expansion teams for 2019.

The State Fairgrounds site in Nashville is ready for ground to be broken (not really, but at the drop of a hat!).

NASL battle rages on. Miami FC is one of the teams caught up in the NASL’s legal battle against US Soccer and MLS. The teams are “hopeful” for a 2018 season. I understand why the NASL wants its sanctioning as a Division-2 league, and why they believe US Soccer and MLS would conspire against them (I don’t even doubt that there’s some collusion going on there).

However, when the minimum requirements you can’t meet include various things that fall under the “your league and teams must remain financially viable” category, maybe you have better things to worry about than suing your sport’s national government body. For example, making money and not going out of business.

The league is losing three teams (two folding, one to USL) this offseason. It’s not because of a US Soccer decision, it’s because the NASL is bad business, and it’s not only the right, but the responsibility of US Soccer to upholds its standards – and again, that’s regardless of whether there is merit to NASL’s broader point that they aren’t given a fair shake in sanctioning.

Etc.: Meanwhile, the USL seems to be doing just fine. Those interested in the future of US Soccer as an organization may want to tune in to a candidate forum tomorrow evening see what the presidential hopefuls have to say. More like Matt Miazgoal am I right?

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