Are the Confederations Cup and Champions Trophy really a waste of time?

Andre Leslie Roar Rookie

16 Have your say

    While football’s Confederations Cup and cricket’s Champions Trophy keep on copping criticism each time they come around, they do fulfil an important role.

    Even before Australia made a disappointing exit from this month’s midnight cricket tournament in England – beaten by the rain and some quirky selections – part-time fans of the baggy green were struggling to get fired up about the Champions Trophy.

    What’s that again, they asked, standing round the water cooler at the office? Is that the same as the Champions League? Oh God: cue eye roll from us cricket nerds!

    On the pitch, Aussie selection seemed more about experimentation than winning, with Moises Henriques copping the lion’s share of the criticism. Meanwhile, the timing of the tour couldn’t have been worse as Australia’s cricketers grapple with a pay dispute.

    Then there was India, who reportedly threatened to pull out of the tournament in April over a disagreement about revenue streams with the International Cricket Council (ICC). They probably wouldn’t have ever skived off, but the idea did get floated according to a report by the Times of India.

    And were England really up for it? I mean, letting the tournament run at the start of June, rather than in July, would never happen to an Ashes series. The English, after starting brightly, then got waterlogged when the going got tough.

    But compare those experiences with the tournament enjoyed by Bangladesh. The country, perennial under-performers at international cricket tournaments, won their way through to a crunch semi-final with India. They scored over 260 in that game, in their first appearance in a semi-final in any ICC-run tournament.

    Tamim Iqbal showed us again that he is absolutely world class with consistent runs throughout, while Shakib al Hasan scored a century under pressure against New Zealand when it counted.

    This, from a country which is still being affected by security issues, and which desperately wants to compete with cricket’s big sides. These performances over the last few weeks in England, and the accompanying warm-up games, will help the team immeasurably in the future.

    Fast forward a few weeks (for the younger readers, that’s what we used to do when we recorded late night sport on video cassettes) and sports fans are once again feeling a bit unsure about an international tournament with a star-studded line-up. This time, it’s football’s Confederations Cup.


    (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

    The tournament, which started as the King Fahd Cup in Saudi Arabia in 1992, has now blossomed into a FIFA-run affair, complete with bells and whistles, although there are rumours doing the rounds that this could be the last running of the tournament.

    Just like cricket’s Champions Trophy, the Confed Cup involves eight nations, including the holders of each of the six regional championships (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC), plus the last World Cup winner and the hosts of the upcoming World Cup, namely Russia.

    Sales are reportedly down among the Russian fans, as they try to work out how much they really want to part with their hard-earned rubles, just to watch their relatively uninspiring national side.

    Germany, on the other hand, have been a bit high and mighty about it all. The country’s media keeps crowing that the tournament should be done away with, while the team’s management have said that they will be using the tournament to help select their accommodation for next year’s actual World Cup. Lofty sporting goals indeed.

    But then compare that to Australia. There’s no doubt that this tournament is absolutely crucial to the fate of the Socceroos and coach Ange Postecoglou. With clutch Asian qualifiers to come in the second half of the year, the Aussies couldn’t hope for a better way to prepare for their next tilt at the World Cup.

    The same can be said for the All Whites, of course, who also have a tricky road ahead, if they want to get to Russia next year. Should they win Oceania qualifying, as expected, they will need to be match-ready when they take on South America’s fifth-best team in November. At the moment, that team is Argentina. Not a bad bunch of footballers, I hear.

    It seems that when it comes to the Champions Trophy and the Confederations Cup, it’s all a question of perspective: the smaller teams gain more from the experience than the bigger sides.

    But the heavyweights can learn plenty from the process too. Tournaments like this can help test new players in tough match situations and allow coaches to work on new tactics, while at the end of it all there’s even a decent pay-check for the winners.

    For some fans, it’s just too much of their favourite sport, and I appreciate that. But no-one’s forcing you to get up in the middle of the night and watch it.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • June 19th 2017 @ 8:22am
      pauly said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Dude, the Confeds Cup has a purpose, albeit more of an off-field one. To provide a dress rehearsal for the biggest sporting event in the world and nut out any potential teething problems (eg: difficulty moving spectators in and out of venues, long beer queues, security concerns etc).

    • Roar Guru

      June 19th 2017 @ 9:02am
      Scott Pryde said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      I can understand the point of the Confed Cup, because as Pauly says above it’s an important dress rehearsal. It’s also a good chance for some teams who may not qualify for the WC otherwise (NZ for example) to play on the global stage.

      As for the Champions Trophy, it’s an actual ODI tournament. The ODI calendar is a joke – a year-long one, but an actual eight-team tournament with a trophy at the end seems to have a bit of value for mine. I get people don’t like it, and it was a bit of a farce this year, but it’s the eight best teams in the world going at it, in a change from the usual bi or tri-lateral series.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 9:44am
        Rossy said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        Yes probably would be better if a majority of the matches weren’t weather effected.

        I get that Australia (World Champions) didn’t light the world on fire but 3/3 weather tarnished matches including 2 abandonments makes it hard to see the point of the whole thing.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 10:52am
          Sydneysider said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          The problem with the Champions Trophy is that it’s the same 8 countries playing in it so it’s no different to the actual cricket world cup.

          At least the Confederations Cup has a purpose as outlined above by Pauly.

          It also has a clear qualification path eg. Champions of each confederation qualify as well as the host nation of the next world cup.

          • June 19th 2017 @ 10:56am
            Perry Bridge said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report


            Not quite – the Champions Cup was stricter – as it was no Zimbabwe, or West Indies.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 3:05pm
              Sydneysider said | June 19th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

              “Not quite – the Champions Cup was stricter – as it was no Zimbabwe, or West Indies.”

              LOL.LOL.LOL.. Yeah just the 2 weakest test-playing nations not included.

              Big difference…… NOT!

              I’m a cricket fan but I have no time for the Champions Trophy. Love test cricket though.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 9:58am
                ViratKohli said | June 20th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

                in other words you dont love ODI’s

      • Roar Rookie

        June 19th 2017 @ 11:13am
        Andre Leslie said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

        As far as I understand, the 8 teams that qualify for the Champions Trophy are the top eight in the ICC ODI rankings at the set cut-off date. In principle, this means that teams in the tournament can vary from year to year.

        But… as the top group of nations play many more ODIs than the smaller nations, their ability to maintain their position in the top 8, by collecting world ranking points, is heightened.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 19th 2017 @ 11:14am
        Andre Leslie said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

        I also love the fact that the Champions Trophy isn’t just a bilateral series that quickly gets forgotten. It feels like the bilateral series concept is a bit of a hangover from the old days, when travelling to another cricket-playing nation was a 2-month steamboat trip involving lots of games of quoits.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 11:16am
        ViratKohli said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

        A bit of Farce – can you please explain

    • June 19th 2017 @ 2:15pm
      Billary Swamper said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

      Yes, for both. I will watch the Confed Cup when Oz plays because of the talented opponents we are pitted against as opposed to the dwarfathon we are stuck with in the Asian confederation.

      In regards to the cricket. It might be finished if ICC gets their way and has this 13 odd team ODI cricket league played home and away. Mind you the ratings for the final are the highest in the history of humanity apparently so it might be around a while yet. They reckon 1.5 billion people watched the Indians play the Pakis in the final.

      Back to the soccer. FIFA came up with Confed cup as another way of making money for FIFA and justifying that organisation as having a purpose other than ‘the organiser of the World Cups’. It was good for Australia when they were marooned in Oceania, but now they have meaningful competition regularly it might make our fixture list too demanding on our national team’s players.

      Both tournaments will hang around a while longer I suspect. Just don’t watch it if you are not interested and maybe the message will get back to Zurich and some pissant town in Arabia where the ICC is housed to avoid taxes these days.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 19th 2017 @ 10:59pm
        Andre Leslie said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

        hey Billary. I wonder where the TV figures are for those Champions Trophy final viewers – it would be interesting to know the exact source… although I have no doubt that the viewer numbers were huge!!

    • June 19th 2017 @ 2:57pm
      Brian said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

      The Champions Trophy is a total waste of time. Its basically another World Cup without the name or effort. Why they can’t organise a Test World Cup is beyond me.

      The Confed Cup is a good concept but probably at the wrong time when power is with clubs not NT. The German attitude is poor given how Brazil, Italy and Spain have all previously sent their proper teams.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 5:52pm
      Eden said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

      I work in a primarily Indian project team and they all can win today very disappointed with the final yesterday. I think the sheer scale of Indian support for cricket will keep this one alive until something better replaces it. I doubt there will be a reduction in games though.
      The confederations cup makes sense but seems to struggle to generate relevance

    • June 21st 2017 @ 10:40am
      Steve Franklin said | June 21st 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

      Well when most of your games are called off because of the weather what hope do teams have of making the finals…….i think those games should be played on another day to give all teams a chance ………….what if all the top teams like Australia,India,England and so on were put out by bad weather and 2 teams like Ireland and Afghanastan made the final cause there games went ahead it’s ridiculous the way it’s set out . As far as the soccer goes Australia have never been and never will be able to compete with european teams very boring game would rather watch a game of marbles.

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