A World Cup ticket only saves the business

Posted by David Faitelson

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Dawn on Wednesday in Oceania will undoubtedly see Mexico garner its hoped-for ticket to the World Cup, but it won't give any guarantee that its national game is heading for the standard it so dreams of and yearns for.

The "nightmare" and "torment" that the Hexagonal qualification rounds became may now be in the past, but the same cannot be said of the sizable and serious structural gaps that have been revealed in Mexican soccer.

The key word here could be "balance."

And it isn't a question of defense, offense, possession, scoring goals or making saves. It's a question of how to bring balance to a national game that is highly passionate, that manages its business end well, that generates revenue, that is achieving some promising results at the younger levels -- but that has not yet achieved a period of stability, maturity and solid results.

There is a great imbalance between what Mexican soccer is and what it wants to be. The business is good, healthy, satisfactory, but the game results are not at the same level.

Today, the business has once again been saved. The question is: When will the game on the field be saved?

It wasn't necessary to endure such suffering, such agonies and so many miles traveled to get the World Cup ticket. The day was saved, almost miraculously, by a third party's ability and the qualification play-offs opponent's lack of ability.

Now we must look ahead. It is not enough to confirm Miguel Herrera's appointment, or to look to America to form the foundation of the team, or to convince the European-based players to give their all. Deep-seated changes need to be made to the very structures of Mexican soccer to provide certainty that these transformations will soon be reflected on the field.

To achieve it, we need input from all clubs; we need the company that has historically controlled Mexican soccer to be prepared to open up to new ideas; we need the bosses to stop thinking only about money and leave the task of making decisions about what happens on the field to people who know what they are talking about. Let's take advantage of this embarrassing situation and rebuild out of the wreckage.

To say that it was a rough patch, a crisis, an unlucky streak, is only to sweep the "mess" under the carpet. We need to do a "spring cleaning," to set a new course, to achieve balance, allowing our national game to be rich not just in funds but also in quality of play.

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