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Toxic Talk: Just Leave Us Out of It Edition

Welcome to Toxic Talk, where our resident hater tells you what sucks about soccer this week.

FIFA Council Meeting - Part I Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

I was happy when Peru qualified for the World Cup. There is something truly special, even still, about the World Cup. Even after all of the corruption scandals, the ghost town stadiums and clearly crippled infrastructures that the event leaves in its wake in so many places. The World Cup is a definitively bad thing in many arenas. But watching teams like Egypt, Senegal, and Iceland qualify for the World Cup, and seeing what it means to those players and those fans still manages to galvanize the magic of the international game in me. Peru felt closer than all of those countries, though. I got to see my friend Bruno’s videos of his Dad mesmerized in front of his television set, got to congratulate him, and I got to feel that excitement that comes from finally returning to the biggest competition in the world, from earning your spot.

So when news broke that the USMNT still might kind of sort of have a chance at playing in the World Cup due to a FIFA technicality that would see Peru disqualified from the competition, I wasn’t thrilled.

The TL;DR version of the Peru rumor, which can be read at length here, is that there is a possibility that the country’s government might take control of Peru’s soccer governing body, which is a big FIFA no-no and could result in a loss of their World Cup spot. If FIFA were to remove them, they would have their own choice of competitor to fill their spot. There’s no real criteria for who plays. Just that FIFA gets to pick. Which, like seemingly all instances in which FIFA just “gets to pick,” is incredibly problematic.

The most fair way to choose a replacement would be to just select the highest-FIFA ranked team that didn’t qualify for the World Cup. That would be Chile, with Italy as a close second. But the U.S. makes a lot of economic sense, and the USSF president sits on the FIFA Executive Council. So not only could we have the opportunity to play in a World Cup we failed to qualify for, we could do so because of the economic favors we do for FIFA in addition to any possible back-room meanderings that could get us into the competition.

Please. For the love of God. Just leave us out of this. Let us sit this one out and try to figure some stuff out instead of shamelessly taking another team’s spot at the World Cup. Any victories would be more hollow than the top half of a bag of Doritos. Maybe some people could take getting into the tournament like this, but not me. Let me enjoy any tiny little shred of the sacred left in it.

Boiling Points

  • Great Yellow Collapse -

Saturday’s Revierderby saw a massive 4-goal comeback from Schalke to rescue a draw against Dortmund in the second half, and had many commentators calling it one of the best derby games of all time. It wasn’t too hot of a game for the American teenagers on either side of the ball, however. For Dortmund’s part, the Black and Yellows have failed to win in the league for two months, failed to beat lowly APOEL in their Champions League group twice, and has left head coach Peter Bosz’s job look very much up for grabs. Maybe they should’ve held onto David Wagner a couple more years?

  • The Internet just found Bristol City’s goal graphics -

And boy howdy they are a treat.

  • Ashley Young scores the deflection of the season -

Tough luck, my dude. On the plus side, that bend was pretty. Shouts out to Romelu Lukaku trying to get some afters on his defender.

  • All Hail Antoine -

In this house we do not tolerate slander of Antoine Griezmann or his hair.