CONCACAF President Webb open to moving Gold Cup out of U.S.

JeffreyWebbCONCACAF1 (CONCACAF)

By RYAN TOLMICH

CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb spoke out against the fixed nature of the Gold Cup Friday, stating that other CONCACAF nations should get the chance to host.

The Gold Cup has been hosted by the United States since its inception in 1991, aside from 1993 and 2003 which saw Mexico as co-hosts. However, Webb stated that it’s his desire to see the tournament visit different venues out of fairness to the confederation’s other members.

“I think the Gold Cup should not always be in one country,” Webb said to the Associated Press. “It’s the best tournament in the area and all members should be able to receive the best prize that is this tournament. The decision to have it in the United States has been solely for financial reasons.”

Webb also addressed the Copa America, stating that there is consideration to allow Mexico to feature its full squad in the 2015 edition in Chile. Currently, there is an age restriction that forces the team to field its best side in Gold Cup play.

“We have not made ​​a decision on Copa America,” Webb said. “Of course we like our teams to play at the highest level because they grow. That’s the only way to grow, pitting top teams (against one another). At the same time, we do not support it at the expense of a deterioration in our competitions, Mexico is a symbol and we want them to go with their best team to the Gold Cup.”

Finally, Webb discussed the upcoming FIFA elections, saying that he supports current FIFA President Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter and is in favor of him running for re-election.

“We have a president, Joseph Blatter, that has indicated to us and to the world that he is healthy and wants to continue,” Webb stated. “FIFA is in a great position from a financial point of view. Of course many people have different opinions, especially on the integrity and transparency, but we are comfortable with Blatter.”

How do you feel about a non-United States based Gold Cup? Should Mexico bring its stars to the Copa America at the expense of the Gold Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Featured. Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to CONCACAF President Webb open to moving Gold Cup out of U.S.

  1. DCGooner says:

    Ok well then good luck getting a bunch of people to fly to Honduras. The US makes sense for a whole host of other reasons than financial.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The women’s tournament moves and the age group tournaments move. The other regional men’s tournaments around the world move. The only tournament that sits still is Gold Cup, but even it has been shared with other sites, acknowledging it could be held in Mexico or otherwise, but simply isn’t.

      The reason it has not moved is it made CONCACAF and the US plenty of money. That is a corrupting influence, to choose the site on cash…..Qatar, Russia. We are a good site but letting us effectively buy every tournament is corrupt. Once in a while, would reflect our facilities and such. Every time is a chokehold.

      Granted, we would now have to monitor for the corruption that happens when the site gets actually picked and people fight to host. You change one risk for another.

      People will throw out quality of venue, safety, etc., but this generally does not stop qualis being held all around the region, and you can evaluate bids if there is a serious concern.

      I also don’t think it would hurt American development to have to win abroad in the regional (ahem, U-23 quali). That’s the quali experience.

      Personally, I think not only should we not host it all the time, we should have to qualify, which would provide more meaningful games (including road contests) during the cycle and prepare the team for the real deal. Other teams in CONCACAF have to qualify, why not us?

      • USAmr says:

        I’m not sure what you are trying to say by implying we buy the tournament. CONCACAF and every member nation makes more money with it in the USA. And even though it is on our soil we have not had overwhelming home support. Some of our games look like away games for us. This is Webb trying to flex his muscles and be in charge.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          “It’ll make lots of money for everyone involved” is I am sure an underlying premise. The execs trade CONCACAF trickle down cash for their own chance at hosting. Not everything should be driven by $ and that can be its own corruption.

          The actual experience abroad is different by degrees from merely playing in front of some traveling fans and dual nationals who simply want to cheer for the old country. Bags of wiz, batteries, home soil, etc. Azteca or Saprissa are beyond some hostile fans at the Rose Bowl. Accept no substitutes.

      • USAmr says:

        Additionally, I agree with many of your points about how it may help our playing. I just don’t think it has been entirely the decision of the USA to have it here. One thing hosting it in other countries does do, is open it up for more local control of the money. We’ve seen how that has worked out in the past.

        • Tk says:

          It hasn’t been the US’s decision.
          It was once stated that the GCup revenues pretty much support every other tourney, men and woman, whatever age, in the whole region every cycle. Webb can talk the politically correct talk, and I am all for moving it, but reality suggests the region will suffer.
          We’ll find out real soon if he is simply a Sepp-a-like BS artist, or if can find ways to make things work without the cash.
          I have a pretty good guess what will happen.

  2. Cabrito says:

    Once he looks at the $$$ that would be lost by having a different country host the Gold Cup, Webb will change his tune. A Gold Cup in Jamaica or El Salvador?? Yes, good luck with that.

    • bottlcaps says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Moving the Gold Cup to any other nation (including even Mexico) would cost CONCACAF millions of dollars in lost revenue. This is the revenue that Concacaf uses to host other tournaments in the region that would lose money should they not be subsidized by Concacaf. The Gold Cup is Concacaf’s biggest moneymaker,, but only if it is held in the big stadiums in the US.

      Why do you think the Gold Cup’s equivalent. South America’s Copa de America want to hold the tournament in the US—-> $$$$$

    • Chupacabra says:

      There’s a reason why Mexico plays most of its friendlies (national team AND club) in the US.

  3. James says:

    That is such a perfect summary of the state of FIFA. Financially – excellent, transparency – non existent, integrity – of no concern. Why change the status quo?

    • LeaveAReply says:

      Canada could host along with Mexico. I’d like to see Costa Rica/Panama/Trinidad host it, as long as 4 S. American countries were invited (Chile, Col, Brazil, Venezuela). Webb may be thinking of moving so as to be a geographic selling point for S. American invites. The US is too far for S. Amer countries to make the trek, despite that one time Brazil came.

  4. bryan says:

    it’s hard to disagree but the positive about the US is that there will be fans there for any team. i’m not so sure there would be many people in Guatemala at a Panama v. Costa Rica game.

    • Ian says:

      That’s the main thing in addition to money. America is the world’s salad bowl. Pick any major US city, and you’ll find ethnic enclaves of people from all around the world. The same is not true of other Central American and Caribbean nations.

      • James says:

        True, but travel for fans of Central American countries would be much easier/cheaper if it was held in Central America, so this may balance out.

        For me, it’s hard to argue against having it in other places, assuming they can support it. I know financially it makes much more sense to have it in the US, but that’s a hard pill to swallow for the rest of the region.

        • Louis Z says:

          I thought there is enough CONCACAF fans in the states to fill up any stadium we have. Why take it somewhere else when the attendance is going to suffer just to please some locals that may not be able to afford a local game anyway.

      • neuf says:

        Canada says “Hello”.

        • Vik says:

          True, why can’t Canada host? Do they not have enough stadiums?

          • Ali Dia says:

            Canada doesn’t work at all, Outsdie of being wealthy (in comparison to most of CONCACAF) and having some decent stadiums, it may be the most illogical choice of all.

            Canada is enormous. Really, really enormous. Travel would be both expensive and exhausting for players and fans alike. And you’d be relying on it, because the domestic interest is international soccer is very low, even for games involving Canada.

            How many US and Mexico fans (who provide the bulk of the consumer dollars) would really spend a vacation on this? Because that would be the price for many, who are used to catching a Gold Cup game in their hometown and spending their vacation elsewhere.

            The host team is rubbish. And the pipeline doesn’t look too remarkable.

            I see lots of empty, quiet stadiums. An economic boon to nobody. A mistake for this tournament

            Canada is not without hope, mind you. Word is they are thinking about bidding on 2026. This is a better idea. Canada is a beautiful place in the summer and with tourists pouring in (as they most certainly would for a World Cup, if not a Gold Cup) it would be better for all parties.

            • Chupacabra says:

              Don’t forget Canada’s Nazi-like border entry restrictions for visitors. Half of the teams’ rosters would likely be turned away at the border by the Canadian gestapo.

        • Mason says:

          What’s a “Canada”?

        • Ian says:

          Forgive me. I forgot about Canada. It happens.

        • JayAre says:

          Oh yeah Canada, those guys up there. I always forget about them.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        But that’s not quite a proper math equation because you have traded American expats and dual nationals, for foreign country nationals. Mexicans versus Mexican-Americans. I know some people do travel, but you force it to be travel and not just watching it down the street.

        Thus, since it is not so much “Mexicans” watching, maybe the tournament should let them do so in person once in a while.

        I grant that other countries may be weaker neutral sites in terms of profitability, but that’s basically double-dipping on the cash nexus. It will make us rich, and people will watch random neutral contests, which will also make us rich. You effectively said rich twice. Sounds corrupt.

        Let’s be real about how the neutral numbers work, also, when I watched South Africa play Panama in a quarter years ago, the doubleheader crowd emptied out before that game. You can say 50K people showed for Colombia Mexico headlining as well as South Africa Panama but the second game started in the low thousands and was maybe below a hundred for the overtimes and shootout. Jaime Penedo was a revelation but few were watching by that time. I can’t imagine Mexico or Canada are really any different, and the reality is we pump up some attendances by packaging good and bad games.

        In other words, you really believe 50K people watched Canada-Martinique? etc.

  5. byrdman says:

    Of course he is behind Blatter, with his hand in his back pocket. There is absolutely no reason to even consider maintaining the sham that is FIFA leadership, unless a) you are getting part of the proceeds or b) the alternative is much worse. It’s hard to say Platini or whoever else will be much worse. Could be as bad, we don’t know, but I for one have had enough of this same old lie….

  6. slowleftarm says:

    Well he lost any credibility the instant he said he supports Blatter.

  7. DB says:

    It’s a great sentiment and all, but outside of the U.S., Mexico and Canada, none of the other CONCACAF member associations are really equipped to host a big tournament. Each CA country has maybe one decent stadium and the Caribbean countries are handcuffed from a “combined hosting” of sorts because most of their pitches double as cricket grounds.

    To speak nothing of safety concerns.

    • dude says:

      A Costa Rica Panama joint bid can work there is enough stadiums between both
      and temporary stadium technology ala vancouver can be used for the smaller venues.

      Mexico
      Canada
      US

      everyone else would need massive money dumped into infrastrucutre and stadiums

      a carribean cup would be too expensive for fans and i imagine the travel would suck

      • LeaveAReply says:

        hey, i said the same thing. you’re a genius too! anyway, Webb may thinking of these well off central american countries in order to invite several s. american countries. while such a Gold cup wouldnt be logistically appealing, however, on TV it would be a fire cracker (brazil vs mexico, usa vs chile, costa rica vs. colombia, etc)

    • solles says:

      not singly but Honduras, Costa Rica, probably Guatemala, even El Salvador and Panama could joint host. It is only fair.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Has anybody ever asked the question why we *need* a “host country”? Is it really necessary? Nobody builds infrastructure for a Gold Cup. Maybe if CONCACAF or Webb were serious about this (they aren’t), they’d focus their attention on coming up with a format that allocated games throughout the region for each tournament. WIth enough thought, there is a probably a solution that spreads games more diversely through the region without unduly sacrificing the time-honored tradition of profit maximization.

    • David K says:

      While lack of stadiums will hinder any potential hosts other than Mexico I think what people are missing is the fact that the USA has major immigrant populations of most concacaf countries in cities like LA, Miami, Dallas and others. The gold cup works well here because there are interested fan bases for most of he countries ALREADY HERE. No other country can come close in hat regard.

  8. Brad says:

    This sounds awesome – I can’t wait for the 2019 Gold Cup in the host country of Trinidad & Tobago!!!

    • Hogatroge says:

      To be fair, sharing the Gold Cup among some of the Caribbean countries with better infrastructure sounds cool, even if it would make a single digit fraction of the money it does in the US.

    • Sly says:

      All they have to do to make the Caribbean work is 4 “big” countries. Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico. All close by each other split the load and with cheap enough tickets the locals will come out to watch.

      Most fans would just pic one country and stay their see all of a group game and the semi finals or finals.

      Only issue is proximity of the stadiums to the lodgings. In the Caribbean most lodgings are on the coasts but stadiums are in the cities so wed have to do some navigation.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Holding it outside the USA would sure make it a lot more difficult for Cuban players to defect….

    • solles says:

      stop being intentionally stupid please

      • STX81 says:

        Thank you! Most of the people on here treat the other CONCACAF nations like they’re backwater nations. I love to see other nations host the Gold Cup.

  9. Hogatroge says:

    This seems like a big “F You” to the USSF out of bitterness.

    But, sure, let Mexico field its A-Team in the Copa America. That will make automatic qualification for the 2017 Confederations Cup all the much easier.

  10. Ian says:

    Look at the economies of North America and Central America. There’s a reason why the Gold Cup is played in the US: Money. I’m all for equitable distribution of the tournament. I think some sort of rotation would be fair, but it won’t happen because CONCACAF knows where the money is.

    Might we see the Gold Cup in Canada? Yes. Might we see it in Mexico? Maybe. But outside of the three regional big boys, there’s very little chance of the tournament moving to Central America or the Caribbean.

    The exception to that might be if the Gold Cup matches were diveed out to a handful of small Central American and Caribbean nations so as to create high demand for one or two matches per nation. The Office in Kingston would be a huge draw, as would anything in San Jose, Panama City, Tegucigalpa, etc. That way people would come out en masse for one major event. That is essential what happens in the US now, with games being distributed cross-country.

    • Mason says:

      You’d pretty much have to give non-US/MEX/CAN versions of the tournament to the entirety of the CFU or UNCAF, because no individual country in those regions has the infrastructure. A US/CFU/MEX/CAN/UNCAF rotation could work.

      CONCACAF would still be leaving a lot of money on the table.

  11. Jack Del says:

    Hahahaha. Hold on… hahahaha.
    I paid 80 dollars for my last Gold Cup ticket, upper bowl at Soldier Field. 80 dollars for an upper bowl seat. Granted it was on the half, but still.

    Have fun losing enormous amounts of money all so you can line your pocket some more. Just what we need, another Caribbean crook.

    • Increase0 says:

      Eh, $80?

      I got 2 games at Jerry World for $50. That Mexico-Panama gave was rockin. It was completely full. 80k people.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I can’t see this happening. Where else in Concacaf are they going to sell out huge stadiums at these prices?

  12. Panama/Costa Rica:

    Group 1: Panama City (Estadio Rommel Férnandez, 29 000)
    Group 2: San José (Estadio Nacional, 35 000)
    Group 3: San José (Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, 23 112)

    lol from here

    • Increase0 says:

      Even Canada might have some trouble with the Gold Cup.

      It’s pretty much USA/Mexico and maybe Canada.

      • Hogatroge says:

        I don’t think Canada would have any trouble.

        Montreal – Olympic Stadium, Saputo Stadium
        Toronto – Rogers Center, BMO Field
        Vancouver – BC Place (at full capacity)

    • beto says:

      How many ppl would show up for a Cuba vs Canada, USA vs Jamaica double header at Saprissa?

  13. reignman says:

    This will never happen, this tournament is the main money maker for CONCACAF and moving it anywhere else will be brutal on the income. There is a chance that Canada or Mexico could bring in similar revenue but that is it.

    • Ronaldo Messi says:

      That’s what you want so the MNT can continue to win when Mexico is on an off year. Another hot venue like El Salvador or Honduras, or even Guatemala, or a combination is needed to really test the MNT in Gold Cup. Let’s see how many years it will take them to win again.

    • solles says:

      not everything is about money. frankly until the gold cup rotates hosts im not sure you can even call it a legitimate competition. like the old concacaf champions cup that LA and DC once won…playing both legs at home.

  14. Steve says:

    It could work, but they would have to be smart about it. Maybe have 3 host countries like Costa Rica, Panama, and Honduras.

  15. Duder says:

    I would like to see them move it around…. but it’s a cash cow for the confederation. Mexico and Canada would probably be the only other serious considerations anyway. I guess they should at least experiment.

  16. beto says:

    Its a good idea but dont really see any other country besides USA, Canada and Mexico with 8-16 stadiums and support for more than 1-2 nations.

    A Canada or Mexico GC could be interesting to mix it up. Maybe a west coast version with games in Vancouver, Edmonton, western USA and Mexico, followed by an Eastern one with Toronto, Montreal, East USA and some Carribbean stadiums…

    • Original Aaron says:

      I really like this idea…. Due to the money considerations the final should probably always be played in the USA, but you could do the group games in Canada, Mexico, and a rotation of Central American and Caribbean nations, with alternating tournaments focusing on the east and west coasts.

      Tournament year 1:
      Group sites: Vancouver, Mexico City, Tegucigalpa
      Final: Rose Bowl

      Tournament year 2:
      Group sites: Toronto, San Jose, Kingston
      Final: New York

  17. Ronaldo Messi says:

    It was about time. We’ll see a lot less of the MNT and MEX hegemony. The MNT will have a hard time winning this tournament again. We know how they chicken out in away games during qualifying. I am open to the idea even with some empty stadiums. I’ll still support the USMNT, but I am also realistic.

  18. Ron says:

    Tournaments like this should always be rotated around, but the USA is where the money is. It really is that simple. Canada could host; so could Mexico. But the money/media is in the USA.

    • solles says:

      yeah yeah deep, insightful and, might I say, entirely original commentary.

      if it SHOULD be rotated around then it should be rotated around,, for fairness, money is not always the chief conscern, otherwise the world cup would be in the US every time as well.

  19. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    I dont care how much $ they lose. I think it benefits the USMNT playing in tough venues

  20. Sean says:

    Maybe Canada would be ok but as for Mexico and the Central American countries – how about they stop booing national anthems and throwing stuff on the field/using laser pointers during qualifying before they get to host Gold Cup games.

    • John says:

      Easy there boyscout. You must’ve missed the part where US fans booed the Mexican national anthem during the friendly earlier this month.

    • solles says:

      and we’re sooo innocent. your brain is mush.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        solles: my inbox is filling up with a flood of your comments, most of them containing some kind of overt insult toward another commenter. Chill just a little bit.

  21. wfrw07 says:

    In the long term, Gold Cups through Central America wouldn’t hurt the US.

    The tournament would make a fraction of the revenue, which is legitimately how many countries in the Confed stay afloat. Without the cash, the level of competition would probably be a bit worse off, and it would actually increase the gap between the big teams and the minnows.

  22. Itajam says:

    Of course Canada could host the Gold Cup. Come on! We are hosting the Women’s World Cup next year. The infrastructure is already here, just some turf swapped out for grass…
    The facilities include BC Place (Vancouver) 50k, McMahon Stadium ( Calgary) 50k, Commonwealth Stadium (Edmonton) 60k, Mosiac Field (Regina) 40K, Investors Field (Winnipeg) 35k, Rogers Centre
    ( Toronto) 50k, TimHortons Field (Hamilton, ready in 2015) 35k.

    we are ready to go!

  23. Itajam says:

    Gee Mason, I don’t know… What’s a “Canada”?…

  24. Cosmosfan says:

    Um ok people we all know it makes more money in the USA that isn’t even being debated as Webb even acknowledged above the decision has been purely for financial reasons. From a sporting perspeive it should rotate, and it would help other nations to to host.

    • wfrw07 says:

      In the long term it would not be good for small countries to host the event. It would cripple them financially in the long run.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Um ok, but… it’s never been debated that for sporting reasons it ought to be rotated either. In the end, the lack of infrastructure throughout CONCACAF and mostly $$$$$$$$$$$ win out. Just as they will this time. Nothing but lip service being paid here.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Maybe the Caribbean nations could host it in the modular stadiums they’ll get from Qatar in 2022!

        ;)

      • Mason says:

        You can’t really separate the “sporting” reasons from the “financial” reasons when so many of the CFU federations would be unable to execute their sporting missions if not for the financial windfall that GCs provide.

  25. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Just making sure I understand the majority opinions:

    “FIFA are evil lying satans that care about nothing but money. I spit on them.”

    “Hahahaha! CONCACAF is actually considering moving the Gold Cup out of the US. Why on earth would they walk away from so much money?!”

    • Jake says:

      Hypocrisy at it’s best. Money is bad when it’s against us but good when it benefits us.
      Most people here would do just fine runing FIFA

    • Mason says:

      You’re reading more into it than is really there. Most here seem to be of the opinion that rotation would be just, but will never happen because CONCACAF can’t afford to walk away from the revenue that US-based (and CAN/MEX to a lesser degree) Gold Cups generate for CFU/UNCAF federations.

      It’s not really fair that the US hosts the GC every two years, but were the CONCACAF to hold it as a quadrennial tournament at a rotating location half of the federations in the region would be in receivership. If you can come up with a plan to solve this little problem, then I’m sure CONCACAF would be all ears.

  26. Joe88 says:

    I hope CONCACAF and CONMEBOL merge someday so we can start competing with the best South American countries.

  27. Sdflash2006 says:

    CONCACAF continues to pretend that it is a real confederation. Once you take away the US you have Oceania with Mexico playing the New Zealand role. Jeffrey Webb needs to collect his salary and other FIFA perks and leave the decisions to adults.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Except that at least 7 CONCACAF countries would regularly beat New Zealand.

    • Anthony says:

      Except sdflash…your analogy is way off. You either overestimate New Zealand or underestimate Concacaf. US is better team, but Mexico has a deeper talent pool, bare though.

  28. StevieP says:

    Why not have cities throught CONCACAF bid for matches as opposed to a single country hosting the entire event. Many of the smaller Central American and Caribbean nations don’t have the infrastructure to host an entire tournament, but they may, at least, have a city with a large enough stadium to host a group or matches.

  29. cparke says:

    CONCACAF should take a page out of MLB’s playbook with the World Baseball Classic. Play the group stage in other countries and play the knock out stages in the US. Get other country’s involved and still make a profit. Rotate who gets to host the group stages each year. All a country would need to host a group is one good-sized stadium, which would greatly expand the list of possible hosts.

  30. milbo says:

    like the Gold cup is gonna matter once the Copa America is here every four years

  31. solles says:

    The Gold Cup should rotate because its only fair. “concacaf wont make as much money”is a lazy argument. If money were the only thing that mattered then why isnt the World Cup in the us every time.

  32. kds says:

    Question, why exactly does canada get automatic qualification and shoukdn’t north americab teams have to take some part in this tournament’s qualification

  33. Mr. Kaplan says:

    I have no problem with the idea of rotation, just the state of the fields on which the games will be played. All fields have to be in pristine condition for a competition like the Gold Cup.

  34. STX81 says:

    I think people are over stating the quality of the current Gold Cup.

    1- Many of the games that are played in shared NFL stadiums are played on temporary grass surfaces that have unnatural bounces and seams.

    2- Travel is still a concern. The matches aren’t in one location so people do still have to deal with long distances if they want to see multiple games. The 2013 Gold Cup had games in NJ, Seattle, Miami and Pasadena.

    3- How does it benefit US Soccer (other than money) to have a home tournament all the time? It would help the USMNT prepare for World Cups by having to deal with being in hostile environments for several weeks. Also maybe the reason our home field advantage is so weak is that our regional rivals visit here so often.

  35. Ronan says:

    I believe the Gold Cup should be rotated at least once. Let El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala host the group games. These nations should get at lease 20 to 40k at each group stage game. Panama and Costa Rica could host knockout rounds so 5 Central American countries get a chance to host their regional tournament.
    More than likely the Gold Cup will expand to 16 nations and the USA will be the only place to host.