International football in Europe runs full-time. When World Cup places are not at stake, there is the fight to qualify for the European Championships.
The same is not true in South America.
With just 10 footballing nations, two countries from outside are usually invited to make up the numbers for the continent's regional tournament, the Copa America.
The solution then, is obvious - start South America's World Cup preliminaries earlier, the dates coinciding with those of the European Championship qualifiers.
Since the giant clubs will be releasing their local players for the European games, no extra inconvenience is caused by letting their South Americans go.
If ratified, the move would put South America on a permanent World Cup footing. The qualifiers for 2006 would start next year, for example.
Under such a system it would be extremely difficult to continue with the current
practice of staging the Copa America every two years.
To fit in with the international calendar, it would have to be held at four-year intervals.
Indeed, it seems that the next Copa, to be hosted by Peru, will be pushed back a year to 2004.
But for the South Americans - and in particular the smaller nations - reducing the frequency of the Copa America is a price well worth paying.
The marathon World Cup qualifying format has been held twice.