Why We Should Have Football At The Commonwealth Games


The World Cup has now ended, what on earth can keep us amused between now and the start of the season (well its already started in some parts). Well if like me and you’re Glaswegian then you can’t help but notice that the Commonwealth Games starts in the dear green place next week. It’s all very exciting.

But one sport conspicuous by its absence is football.

I’ve felt for a while now that it would be great to have some sort of footballing event at the Commonwealth games like a seven-a-side tournament or, probably more likely, an eight team knockout tournament made up of the best eight commonwealth countries according to FIFA world rankings. The teams would be Under 20s with two over aged players in each squad.

As its middle of pre-season (for most) and considering the ages involved, would teams have that big a problem letting their younger stars go? Especially if its only on for a week or two and maximum of three games in that timeframe. Obviously clubs would get a say on who gets to go and players involved in European qualification wouldn’t get called up.

The national team managers would take the squads and get the youngsters used to national team get togethers and help build a team spirit, much like the Germans and Spanish sides have done over the years at Under 21 tournaments and Olympics. It would have been a big boost for Roy Hodgson, had he been able to go from a poor World Cup to a successful Commonwealth games.

Now remember the saga involving the Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics? Well you wouldn’t get that at the Commonwealth games as the home nations all compete as their own identities.

Many in the Commonwealth struggle to get to major footballing tournaments and this new concept can get them to a tournament easier and may breed confidence to do it for real in the future qualifying campaigns.

So this is how it would work in the theory. We have the countries set out into six continent pots, with the highest seeded side in each continent being selected. We go with Australia being in the Oceania as it is in Commonwealth Confederation, as this wouldn’t be a FIFA tournament (another plus). All though the countries need to be members of FIFA. We would have the host nation (Scotland) obviously. Plus closest country to the hosts.

We would have…

Scotland (Hosts), England (Europe), Ghana (Africa)*, Australia (Oceania), Jamaica (Caribbean), Canada (Americas), Malaysia (Asia) & Wales (neighbours).

*Nigeria do not have an FA at the minute and are banned by FIFA.

I’ve went a bit mad and put these names in a hat and drawn the first round…

  • England versus Canada
  • Australia versus Scotland
  • Malaysia versus Ghana
  • Jamaica versus Wales

Not bad.

The games would then be played at Ibrox, Firhill and Fir Park, with the Rugby sevens being played elsewhere like Rugby Park for example. They would play the quarter finals on the Saturday the 26th, the semi-finals on the Wednesday night and the final on the following Sunday.

It would be great to see all these countries bring some talented young players and play exciting carefree football.

Alas it is but a dream. Glasgow 2014 won’t have any football on offer but I’m sure it will be a great success with all the other fine sports showing off their skills. I am looking forward to the games being a huge success!


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