Former Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago head coach Jamaal Shabazz (pictured) is delighted by the success of CONCACAF's representatives at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – CONCACAF’s success at the 2014 FIFA World Cup should have a far-reaching and positive impact, says Jamaal Shabazz.CONCACAF’s success at the 2014 FIFA World Cup should have a far-reaching and positive impact, says Jamaal Shabazz.
"The performances of the CONCACAF teams at the 2014 FIFA World Cup should serve as a guide for aspiring nations in Caribbean football,” the former Guyana head coach expressed to CONCACAF.com.
Shabazz guided the Golden Jaguars to the semifinal stage of World Cup Qualifying, where they were eliminated after home-and-home matches against Mexico, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Mexico and Costa Rica went on to join Honduras and the United States as the Confederation’s representatives in Brazil.
"What we have seen from Costa Rica, USA and Mexico must be viewed as an enlightened pathway for all ambitious nations in the Caribbean Football Union,” stressed Shabazz, the Caledonia AIA manager. “Any serious CFU country, or the CFU as a whole, should commission a study of what these countries have done over the last eight years specifically in terms of their national team programs, administration, facilities and refereeing. Their performances at this World Cup is phenomenal and a case of chickens coming home to roost.
"If we are to look at the way these three CONCACAF teams have represented in this World Cup, and the assertive run especially of Costa Rica, even the most skeptical must acknowledge that indeed CONCACAF has arrived.
"To compete and get good results against the likes of Brazil, Italy, Uruguay and Portugal is by no means guess work and shows that as a Confederation, we have moved from participation in FIFA tournaments to seriously competing. The only Confederations that have done better than us in this World Cup are UEFA and CONMEBOL. We have out done CAF (Africa) and AFC (Asia). The next step for CONCACAF, in our generation, must be to remain consistent on the world stage.”