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A number of heavyweights in international football will not be on the plane to Russia next summer, and reports say that USA, one of those nations who failed to qualify, are exploring the possibility of staging a special tournament for those that didn't make the final 32.
Outlets such as USA Today and Goal say that the United States soccer federation have confirmed they are looking into the idea of a summer tournament taking place, which would see the most high-profile teams not in Russia come face to face.
USA had been permanent fixtures in the showpiece which happens every four years in recent times, but were pipped to their spot this year by Panama following a shock 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago.
But as we know, they aren't the only big guns to be missing out. Italy, Netherlands and Chile have all underperformed big-time, while Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Ghana are also among the teams not taking part.
Yet, instead of sitting at home drowning their sorrows, whilst watching other national teams and players strut their stuff on the big stage, they could be kept busy by playing in a mini-tournament.
It's said that discussions are only in the preliminary stage, so it's not a dead certain at this point. One would think that FIFA would likely not be best pleased with other international games taking place when their precious World Cup is going on.
Plus, there would definitely be interest from TV stations and companies in showing the games - particularly if China and India, two of the world's biggest countries - and two nations with a massive demand for football, are involved.
Here's how people have been reacting:
Italy, Holland, Chile, USA would be a great group at Russia 2018. Or a mini-tournament maybe in Qatar next summer...- Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) November 13, 2017
Can we stop the talk about a tourney next summer in USA of non WC qualifiers.- Boone's Brigade :soccer::flag_fr: (@boonesbrigade) November 14, 2017
Just mentioned at half of #USMNT on #FoxSports again.
Is USA that arrogant that they have to throw a competing tournament for one they couldn't qualify?
Talk about taking their ball & going home. pic.twitter.com/9X3izfhjyQ
Hatching a cunning plan for a rival tournament next summer.- Pie and Bovril (@pieandbov) November 14, 2017
Scotland, Italy, Wales, N Ireland, Rep of Ireland, USA, Gibraltar and The Netherlands.
2 groups of 4.
All games to be held in Amsterdam.
Whose in brothers?
In other news, I am available to commentate on a hastily arranged 4-team tournament between Italy, Holland, Chile and the USA next July.- Arlo White (@arlowhite) November 13, 2017
Hear me out: An international soccer tournament in the USA in the spring of 2018 with:- Marco Esquandonut (@Culture_Czar) November 13, 2017
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