Cuba seeks World Cup qualification after nearly a century


              Youths train at the Pedro Marrero stadium in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Soccer coaches across Cuba are training dozens of players as part of a new program to elevate the sport's profile and status in a country that last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1938. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Youths play soccer on an old baseball field in the Santa Fe municipality of Guanabacoa east of Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Coaches who were recently trained by international FIFA officials would like to see Cuba once again rise in the standings. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Cuban coaches dressed in orange, prepare a training session with the assistance of two foreign coaches dressed in gray, at the Pedro Marrero stadium in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. This initial group of 16 coaches was recently trained by international FIFA officials with the aim to create Cuba's next generation of professional soccer players on an island long known for birthing baseball and boxing superstars. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Locals play soccer on an old baseball field in the Santa Fe municipality of Guanabacoa east of Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Soccer coaches across Cuba are training dozens of players as part of a new program to elevate the sport's profile and status in a country that last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1938. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Students do their gymnastics homework on the bleachers of the Pedro Marrero stadium while they watch as a group of teenagers train soccer in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. An initial group of 16 coaches were recently trained by international FIFA officials with the aim to create Cuba's next generation of professional soccer players on an island long known for birthing baseball and boxing superstars. The aim is for Cuba to qualify for the World Cup in the next six to eight years. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Locals play soccer on an old baseball field in the Santa Fe municipality of Guanabacoa east of Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. The island's situation has prompted well-known Cuban soccer players to defect during regional tournaments, with several joining teams in the U.S. in the past two decades as talent drains from an island that FIFA currently ranks 167 out of 211 countries. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Coaches speak to youths during a break of a soccer training session at the Pedro Marrero stadium in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. These coaches also will be responsible for training more than 1,500 other coaches across the island in upcoming months. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Youths play soccer on an old baseball field in the Santa Fe municipality of Guanabacoa east of Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. The island's situation has prompted well-known Cuban soccer players to defect during regional tournaments, with several joining teams in the U.S. in the past two decades as talent drains from an island that FIFA currently ranks 167 out of 211 countries. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Youths train at the Pedro Marrero stadium in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Soccer coaches across Cuba are training dozens of players as part of a new program to elevate the sport's profile and status in a country that last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1938. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
            
              Gabriela Alfonso Cabrera trains at the Pedro Marrero stadium in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Alfonso sometimes is still the only girl playing alongside boys who are bigger and stronger than her, but she is not quitting after having waited four years to share a field with them. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)