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Women's Soccer Needs Another High Profile Tournament Between The Olympics And The World Cup

Discussion in 'Women's International' started by DaveBrett, Aug 19, 2012.

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  1. DaveBrett

    DaveBrett Member

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    If you think about it, it's odd that there are exactly two high profile quadrennial international women's soccer tournaments. Not one tournament, or three tournaments, but two. Where is it written that there has to be only two?

    Rather than creating another women's soccer league, which would probably fail like the two others before it, perhaps the focus now should be on creating another big international women's tournament to fill in the gap between the Olympics and the World Cup.

    1. First, what should such a tournament be called?
    2. Who should organize the tournament? FIFA? The US Soccer Federation? Some other entity?
    3. How many international teams should participate - 8? 12? 16?
    4. Where should the tournament be held - in the USA or in a series of rotating countries?
    5. Should the tournament be held the year after the Olympics, or the year before the Women's World Cup?

    Men's soccer has an eight team Confederations Cup the year prior to their World Cup. Personally, I would like to see a Women's Confederations Cup running parallel to that tournament. It's an existing format that works. What do you think?

    Dave
    www.DaveBrett.com
     


  2. JanBalk

    JanBalk Member

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    I would like a Women's Confederations Cup the year before WWC.Since that is the only year in the cycle the UEFA teams have no international tournament.
     
  3. SiberianThunderT

    SiberianThunderT Member+

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    As cool as a Women's Confed Cup might be, there are a bunch of reasons why it won't happen anytime soon, some of the biggest being
    1. Not enough interest for FIFA (or the host country) to want to sink money into it.
    2. Huge schedule conflicts: Europe is the only confederation to not have its continental championship the year before a WWC since most use the continental championship as WWC qualifying.
    3. More international duty will be opposed by domestic leagues, which are finally starting to grow in earnest in many countries (England, France, Spain, Japan, etc.)

    Honestly, it's not odd that "odd that there are exactly two high profile quadrennial international women's soccer tournaments". Unless you want to argue that there really only should be one, which is certainly a side you could take. I mean, in the men's game, there's only one or two (depending on whether you count their confed cup or not). You have one competition to declare who the world champions are; what more is there really to do?

    And how do you define "high-profile"? If you want all the best teams in the world, it'd be hard to incentivize/force them to play against each other without giving them that "world champion" title. Without that, it's just a glorified friendly tournament like the Algarve and Cypus cups.
     
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  4. Flea2009

    Flea2009 Member

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    Ignoring the fact that Asia, Europe and Africa all have various championships and qualifying for championships going on in the years there is no World cup or Olympics having a confederation cup for women the year before the World Cup in the host country would put a huge burden on the hosts as they have the U20 world cup that year.

    While it would be nice for Concacaf and OFC to have another competitive tournament other continents already have that covered.
     


  5. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    But you see you ignore the OPs initial sentiment.

    Fuck the rest of the world, what is good for the USA. So what if other leagues will lose their players for a month every year, as long as out USA girls get to play is worth it. :rolleyes:

    BTW we do have the Gold cup/Concacaf Championship the year before the WC. Sure is not big, but it there.
     
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  6. DaveBrett

    DaveBrett Member

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    A men's national team from a European country can qualify for three big tournaments: the World Cup, the European Championship, and the Confederations Cup. I don't hear the fans from those countries complaining that their teams qualify for too many tournaments. Yes, it would be hard to get FIFA and a host country to sink money into another international women's tournament. No, it would not be hard to get the best women's teams in the world to participate.

    You asked how I would define a "high profile" tournament. The simplest answer to that is that a high profile tournament is one that the media pays attention to. The media does not pay attention to the Algarve Cup. That tournament isn't even on TV.
     
  7. DaveBrett

    DaveBrett Member

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    Concacaf has discontinued the women's Gold Cup.
     
  8. Flea2009

    Flea2009 Member

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    Really while striving to win the WC I'm sure the first thing on Spains mind was c'mon lads we need to make the confederations cup, and I am sure The Netherlands was jumping for joy at the possibility that they could be going now because Spain has 2 places.
    The Confederations Cup is a test event and 19/20ths of the worlds population could not name the winner of the last one. Hardly high profile.

    The Euros on the other hand are a high profile and I doubt that European countries are willing to give that up so Fifa can stage an international tournament just so the USA has something to do.
    I would suggest you bug Concacaf to have a proper federation wide tournament and then the USA could be part of the development of women's football right there in their own region.
     
  9. SiberianThunderT

    SiberianThunderT Member+

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    Hey, I never said three was too much. As a fan, I love international competition. But
    Yes it would. Both in terms of what the above poster said, and in the fact that the federations you're talking about getting involved are unlikely to be looking for more international matches. Europe already has a well-established continental competition, and the individual countries' federations at the top of the rankings (Germany, France, Sweden) are currently focused on growing their domestic leagues. They won't pay to head out for extra national team games. Looking at the rest of FIFA's top six, Brazil's federation gives almost nothing to its women, so you'd be really lucky to get them. Not sure where Japan stands; only the USA is looking for more games for the national team.

    However, all that is minor compared to this:
    If this is your definition, the whole premise of this thread in flawed. You don't just create a tournament like that out of thin air. If I were you, I'd focus on simply getting more attention to the existing tournaments.

    (Also, RE the Women's Gold Cup: truthfully, the only reason it was important was as WWC qualifying. They still will do qualifying, during the same period to boot, so AFAICT it's a loss in name only)
     
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  10. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    Well they now call it the Concacaf Championship and use it as qualification to the World cup, that is why I used the /.
     
  11. Greg_G

    Greg_G Member

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    I think the problem is less that there are only two "major" international tournaments (and those that watch the women's European Championship may argue 3), but the fact that there are two consecutive years of tourneys followed by two years without (again, not counting the Euros). The problem is that the men have laid stake to the even numbered years with the Olympics, World Cup, and Euros, so the women have had to schedule their World Cup in an odd numbered year to prevent a scheduling conflict that would result in the WWC being overshadowed.

    A Confederations Cup would be awkward to organize given such dissimilar and erratically organized confederations' championships. Plus it would interfere with either the women's European Championship year of the women's World Cup qualifying year.

    I think the best bet for another international tourney would be to take the already annual Algarve Cup, which draws an impressive roster of clubs every year, and push to televise it internationally. Obstacles against that are the March schedule (which, in the US, conflicts with the start of baseball season, the start of MLS, and March Madness - not to mention basketball and hockey are beginning to enter their playoff chases) and the small crowds in Portugal; and in Europe, men's soccer is entering the stretch run in league, cup, and Champions' League play. To be honest, the Algarve Cup in its current form is closer to a glorified series of high quality closed-door scrimmages than a major tourney because of the lack of attention. They would likely have to move it to another country and ensure more widespread participation so that it's less euro-centric (or else it would be the Euros+US and Japan).

    But to be honest, this issue (a US-centric one) really just speaks to the need for an annual pro league. The major international tourneys should be a bonus, not the focus of women's soccer. If we put too much importance on them, and not establishing stable leagues in the US, Brazil, and elsewhere, we will never be satisfied with the state of the women's soccer calendar.
     
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  12. mcruic

    mcruic Member

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    The answer to the original question - no. By having the Olympics as a tournament for full national teams, the women's game already has one over the men's game (where it's an U-23 tournament).

    With 2 World tournaments, and regular continental tournaments, there really isn't any need for anything else for national teams. If the US started sending their national team to the Pan American Games, then that would be one more tournament for them (and Brazil and Canada would provide a test for them here).

    Aside from that - look at UEFA - In 2009 there was the Euro 2009 finals and 2011 WC qualifying, in 2010 there was 2011 WC Qualifying, in 2011 there was the WC, in 2012 the Olympics/Euro 2013 qualifying, in 2013, Euro 2013 finals. What purpose would an extra tournament serve?

    As for a Confederations Cup, the 2010 edition may have looked like this:

    Germany, USA, Brazil, England, Australia, Canada, Nigeria, New Zealand

    So, quite a decent field.

    2011 WC hosts: Germany
    2008 Olympics winners: USA
    2009 Europe runners-up: England ( Germany already qualified as 2011 WC hosts)
    2010 Asia winners: Australia
    2010 CONCACAF winners: Canada
    2010 Africa winners: Nigeria
    2010 Oceania winners: New Zealand
    2010 South America winners: Brazil

    There may be some argument to include the previous World Cup winners (as in the men's Confederations Cup), but as women's football has an additional tournament (Olympics), this would produce an uneven field of 9 teams. In any case, the 2007 WC spot would have to be awarded to 4th-placed Norway, as the Top 3 (Germany, Brazil, USA) would qualify otherwise for the Confederations Cup.
     
  13. kool-aide

    kool-aide Member

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    Way back in the day there was a CONCACAF-esque women's tournament that wasn't tied to WWC qualifying--and Brazil had been an 'invitee' more than once. Kinda like Mexico gets invites to the COMNEBOL Copa America

    But I agree that with respect to the OP, the primary problem for the OP & some US & Canadian fans is that now there is not a CONCACAF tournament for women that is separate from WWC qualifying. That leaves a gap for CONCACAF teams that doesn't exist in the same sort of way elsewhere since the other confederations have confederation tournaments.

    Given the money (or lack of it) in various non-NorthAmerican countries, there won't be a separate tournament anytime soon. Keep in mind, Jamaica eliminated several of their girls'/women's programs a while back due to $$. And Jamaica had (for the region) a solid team. I'm sure if a couple of major sponsors wanted to put on a women's tournament and pay for everything, CONCACAF would listen.

    But it is club ball and not international ball where player development takes place.
     
  14. SJJ

    SJJ Member

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    which is why the one tournament that is needed is: a women's club world championship. At least a Concacaf one. The two big confed's have women's club tournaments; Concacaf would be the first "other" confed to create one.
     
  15. JanBalk

    JanBalk Member

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    Sadly enough it is rather likley that the Euro women would take a clue from the Men and treat it as a reward vacation tripp for the CL winner.
    Getting European to se any club tournament as more or at least as important as CL is very hard.
     
  16. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

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    This is easy, and I've been saying this for a long time now.
    The year of the men's world cup, the women should still have an international tournament in the same year (which would occur right before the men's world cup, in the spring/summer period).

    For example, in 2014, the men's world cup is in the magical football and spiritual land of Brazil from June 12 - July 13. The women should be the appetizer to the men's world cup, and they would draw lots of more men's fans across the world to watch the women's tournament on TV, because it would be advertised as sort of an opening to the men's world cup. Think of it as the opening act or opening performance at a concert for the main event to come. The women's tournament would be held in Brazil in 2014, just before the men's world cup.

    With the men's world cup starting on June 12 (2014), then the women should have their tournament in May (in Brazil), and end around the early part of June. I think the winner of this new tournament should be guaranteed one of the 24 spots in the 2015 women's world cup, and that format would be adopted in the 2018 tournament going in to the 2019 WWC, and so on.

    1.) Who gets to qualify for this new tournament?
    2.) How many teams would qualify overall?
    3.) What would the name of it be?
    4.) Would be it a Fifa tournament?

    The answers to those three questions are:
    1.) The inclusion of the top teams from the 2011 WWC and 2012 Olympics, the 2013 UEFA women's euro champion and runner-up, as well as the top team from the most recent various confederation championship tournaments)
    2.) 12 nations qualify in total (and would be drawn into 3 groups with 4 teams in each group)
    3.) FIFA - Women's Universal Celebration Tournament of Champions
    4.) Yes, it would be a FIFA tournament

    Here's who would qualify in the new 2014 tournament (in chronological order):
    2011 Pan-American Champion (and there is no more Women's Gold Cup in CONCACAF)
    2011 WWC (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams)
    2012 Olympics (Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winning teams)
    2013 UEFA Euro (the two teams that made the final)
    2013/2014 AFC Champion (or the current Asian champion from the most recent tournament)
    2013/2014 CAF Champion (or the current African champion from the most recent tournament)
    Current OFC champion going into 2014 (obviously it would be New Zealand)
    Host - which would be the 2014 Men's World Cup Host (in this case it would be Brazil)

    Now, obviously you would have duplicates.
    For instance, let's say the 2013/2014 AFC champion is Japan.
    The guaranteed AFC spot then does not default to who is #2 in AFC to automatically qualify, because Japan already qualified from being the 2011 WWC champion. This spot would then go to the "At-Large" selection by FIFA.

    Also, more duplicate automatic qualifiers can happen, such as USA and Japan being in the Top 3 in both the most recent WWC and the Olympics. They wouldn't qualify twice. So those remaining spots go in to the "At-Large" bucket as well. Plus, Canada is the 2011 Pan-American champion (which covers North and South America), but Canada also finished 3rd place (Bronze) in the Olympics. They wouldn't qualify twice (just once), so that remaining spot goes to the At-Large bucket. I don't think you should reward 4th and 5th place teams "automatically" from the Olympics or WWC, just because one or more of the Top 3 teams from those tournaments already qualified from some other means. You also wouldn't reward the 2nd place team from a confederation tournament, just because the #1 team of that tournament already qualified from another route elsewhere already. You also don't want teams to lose motivation for winning the final of a confederation tournament, once they get there, just because the team they're playing against already qualified.

    The rest of the teams (to round out the field of 12 for the new universal women's tournament), again would come from at-large teams, drawn by FIFA. They would draw the remaining teams based on criteria such as world ranking, fair play, prestige, geographic balance between confederations, and recent success, etc. So yes, it would be subjective for the At-Large process. But FIFA has to do something to round out the rest of the field, and I like the At-Large angle. Teams always have something to strive for, even if they don't automatically qualify. All their matches, all their friendlies, all their progression in the world rankings, all their fair play, etc. All of this means something to them to get selected by FIFA. They always feel like they have a shot to get in. So the current "Fair play" champion of the world can get in, or the current "top progression team in the FIFA rankings" can get in, as an at-large team. This maneuver makes everyone strive, and only makes women's football grow even more worldwide, because of the extra incentives and opportunities, and an additional worldwide tournament qualification, to strive for.

    Again, the tournament would be called:
    FIFA - Women's Universal Celebration Tournament of Champions.


    Here's an example of who might get selected to qualify for the 2014 tournament:
    Canada (qualifies as Pan-American champion from 2011, also Bronze winner in 2012 Olympics)
    Japan (2011 WWC Champion, also current AFC champion)
    USA (2011 WWC runner-up) (also these top 3 teams here were the top 3 in the Olympics)
    Sweden (2011 WWC 3rd place winner)
    Germany (2013 UEFA Euro champion)
    France (2013 UEFA Euro runner-up)
    Nigeria (current CAF champion in 2013/2014)
    New Zealand (current OFC champion in 2013/2014)
    Brazil (Host)
    At-Large: Australia (adds geographic/confederation balance, selected by Fifa from AFC)
    At-Large: Spain (FIFA's top progression winner in world rankings, from now through 2014)
    At-Large: South Korea (fair-play champion awarded by FIFA going in to 2014)


    *Please note* - As a result of North Korea being banned for the 2015 WWC, they would not be eligible for this FIFA tournament as well (in 2014).

    The groups could then end up looking like this ....

    Group A
    Brazil (Host)
    USA (2012 Olympic Gold Medalist)
    Sweden (2011 WWC 3rd place team)
    South Korea (At-large team)

    *Brazil vs. USA would be a wonderful "inaugural" match to the launch of this new tournament, and would get the world excited to start to watch this new tournament.

    Group B
    Japan (2011 WWC Champion)
    France (2013 UEFA runner-up)
    Nigeria (CAF champion)
    Spain (At-Large team)

    Group C
    Germany (2013 UEFA champion)
    Canada (2012 Olympic Bronze, 2011 Pan-American champion)
    New Zealand (OFC champion)
    Australia (At-Large team)


    8 of these 12 teams would reach the Quarterfinal round, and so on.
    Total of 26 matches combined would be played in: Group Stage and Knockout stages

    The tournament would last about 3 weeks long.
     
  17. Batfink

    Batfink Member

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    :coffee: Read any of the above posts before you dreamt up this latest freak show? The women's game is progressing at a great pace around the world, thanks to the increased coaching and professionalism taking place at it's grass roots.

    Ideas like a Universal Celeb thingy, would only perform the task of killing off most, if not eventually all of this global progress, negatively forcing more WNT's to return to the days of having to operate like club sides again.

    Suggesting new incentives at the very top of the sport, would drive the bottom of the game forward, seems like a similar tactic used by all institutions of power to consolidate their positions of strength, after recognising potentially dangerous new threats to the status quo, and I sense many of the north American imaginings on this topic relate directly to this exact issue too.

    Absolutely ignoring the great work taking place in the years between WWC's, we all know who benefits the most from ideas like the one you propose, so lets stop faking the all inclusive nature of a WWC pt.2, and just call this exactly what it is for a change.
     
  18. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

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    How is this a WWC part 2?
    The WWC will have 24 teams.
    This tournament would only have 12 teams, and would just include the champions and top teams from all the major tournaments and confederations every 4 years.

    What other alternatives could you have for proposing another major tournament then?
    And adding another major tournament would grow the women's game, not decline it.
    Calling it a celebration would also advertise it as being a success, and having it held in the same year as the men's world cup (right before the men's world cup) gives it the most maximum of exposure that anyone can foresee.

    It can start off as an experimental celebration tournament, and if successful, will continue to be held every four years. They can always exclude the word celebration after they've already held it once, but still call it the Fifa Women's Universal Cup of Champions, or something like that.

    And a WWC requires everyone to go through a series of confederations tournaments to qualify.
    This tournament wouldn't require any other separate tournaments or confederations events to qualify. It's simply taking the top teams and champions from the "existing" tournaments that are already being played (major tournaments and confederation champions, etc). So not much more needs to be added for this tournament to exist. Actually, nothing needs to be added in, except the tournament itself, while the WWC can take up to two years worth of matches to determine who qualifies.

    So how is this a WWC part 2 again?
     
  19. WPS_Movement

    WPS_Movement Member+

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    But now that I think of it, I kind of like your idea better for the name of it.

    Welcome to the 2014 FIFA - Women's Freak Show of Champions
     
  20. Batfink

    Batfink Member

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    The Algarve Cup aka the Mini Mundialito, doesn't have the kudos some people want it to have, while the Olympics won't increase it's scope to accommodate post WWC hangover, so yeah, lets make a new competition to drive the development within niche end of the sport, so that the wider world can all benefit :rolleyes:.

    Come oooon, it's too obvious. Of course adding another competition that only benefits the very few hurts the game, because it encourages three years of short term thinking, in exchange for 1 year of long term planning.

    Hmmm, I don't know, let things continue to grow naturally? That seems to have done a decent job so far. Then when the 24 teams in the increased WWC are competitive, we'll take another look at the grass roots/club game around the globe to see where things go next.

    This. This right here is why your missing the point, because it's all about the the 3-4 years between WWC's.

    Creaming the supposedly best teams off the top to compete against each other, for the spurious service of supposedly promoting the game in one of it's developmental years, simply creates another ACME CO. scenario, forcing a odd club level professionalism amongst the top senior national programs, without any thought to the next wave of promising talent.

    Don't you think it sounds a little devious to propose plans to break up the current links that have helped Germany, France, England, Japan, Australia, DPR Korea, Brazil, Colombia..etc reach the elite levels of the game, on purely semi pro/amateur status infrastructure, before any other new rising programs get their opportunity to do the same?
     
  21. necron99

    necron99 Member

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    Good lord, going a little newsouth with the conspiracy theory. All the North American fans are trying to push the top of the sport to crush the grassroots, to consolidate their power??? Please. The average person in this forum is a fan of women's soccer. They are also from the US. They are watching the support the USWNT has during the WWC and Olympics, and thinking of how 2 pro leagues have failed. They are trying to think of a way to keep women's soccer in the forefront for a longer period of time in the US to hopefully give a new league a better chance of taking root.
     
  22. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    it's only two tournaments if you're not counting the euro and if you're not counting the euro you're leaving out half the top ten nations. so for half the world, it's three already.

    moreover, the "problem" in the OP is only applicable to countries which have no pro leagues. for the countries that do, three tournaments is already pushing the limit, to the point that algarve and cyprus are getting to be pains in the neck and imo are doomed to disappear.
     
  23. Batfink

    Batfink Member

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    Well why don't they do that then without all the fake superficial posturing of thoughtful inclusiveness?

    After every WWC and Olympics we have to go through the same blah blah blah, as to why the women's game is basically under selling it's self, when a quick look around the global women's scene will tell you the exact opposite is actually taking place.

    Flashy pro league credibility, and guess what, this debate isn't happening, but if said league goes bye bye, then all of a sudden the world needs more international competition to make up for it's loss. Hmmmm.

    Why can't the main problem at hand be dealt with first, before creating a whole new set of obstacles, finally ending this bad feedback loop from coming around again, and again, and again, and.......
     
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  24. necron99

    necron99 Member

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    I can agree with some of what you said, not really the style. However this is a far cry from what you said before. Sure the majority of people discussing this are uninformed of the overall women's game across the world and what the possible shortfalls of the plan might be. That is alot different then fully understanding all of the issues and engaging in a plan to undermine the women's game the world over in an attempt to keep the USWNT at the top.
     
  25. SJJ

    SJJ Member

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    you're from Europe, so are looking at things from a EUR perspective...

    But the idea (a women's club world championship) is to get the four confed's that don't have a women's club tournament to create one, hoping that would eventually help women's ball worldwide (at the "grass roots" level that others here are talking about).

    Your argument sounds a lot like a guy who says (about the men's club worlds) that since the top four English teams wouldn't take it seriously, then it obviously should just be scrapped because it doesn't help their personal causes.
     
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