In June, Brazilian soccer team Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 at the World Cup, making it the second-most-played country in world football, after Russia.
Now, the U.S. Soccer Federation is trying to convince FIFA to change its rules on the country’s national team, which currently features just a handful of players.
The U.N. General Assembly voted in January to require the inclusion of at least 15 full-time players from each of Brazil’s 17 teams.
The committee that makes those decisions has previously voted to exclude the country from the World Series for the past four consecutive years, including the 2016 World Cup.
The World Cup would have been Brazil’s first appearance in the tournament since 2008, and it would have given Brazil a chance to qualify for the tournament’s next phase in 2018.
Brazil has not played since that 2014 loss to Argentina, and the team has only won a single game in 2017.
The U-20 World Cup in June was Brazil’s biggest event, and many observers believe the U-17s, who have only made the quarterfinals three times in the past eight years, will be ready for the 2019 tournament.
“It’s going to be a very tough tournament for us, as well as for everybody else,” said Luis Carlos, a U.F.C. player and former member of Brazil for the last two seasons.
“We’re going to need all the strength we can get to beat the best.”
Brazil’s national-team roster is not the only problem for the U, though.
The team was unable to make the semifinals in 2017, and there have been questions about whether the team can afford to pay the players the minimum wage required to be part of the U’s U-23 and U-18 sides.
The U-19 World Cup ended in Brazil’s loss to Colombia on Sunday, with no U-15 or U-16 players participating.
Despite the U being the top-ranked team, the World Cups will still be a struggle for the national team.
The current FIFA rankings place Brazil at No. 7 in the world, but the U is still ranked No. 2 in the FIFA rankings, behind only Mexico.
FIFA, which had not made a ruling on the team since December, has yet to make any official announcement about its selection process.
Brazil, which was ranked No 10 by the FIFA World Rankings in December, will play host to a group of six teams on March 14 in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.
That group is led by Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay.
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