Posts Tagged ‘Finals South Africa’

What’s Wrong With FIFA World Cup Qualifying And How To Fix It

What’s Wrong With FIFA World Cup Qualifying And How To Fix It

There is no pre qualification and all nine countries (normally 10 but Brazil is an automatic as host) play in an all inclusive league that started play in October 2011 and will conclude next month. The length of competition tends to dictate perception as to the number of games involved. South American qualification only involves 72 matches and there is no regional competition that requires pre qualification. Essentially while other confederations play two qualifying tournaments every four year cycle, South America only has one.

For 2014 the top four countries out of nine will qualify automatically while the 5th place finisher will face either Jordan or Uzbekistan from Asia.

The format being used this time is new but it looks like a winner to me. It brings together the two dynamics that “encourage” surprises small groups (ideally no more than four with only one qualifier) and a straight knock out stage.

Fifty two countries entered and five will go to Brazil next summer. It started with the 24 lowest ranked countries playing a two legged knock out. The winners and the other 28 countries were then drawn into ten groups of four. The group stage was just completed on the weekend and with only the group winners moving on seven of the ten were only decided on the final day.

Now a seeded draw will take place next Monday September 16 and the five winners of two leg matches go to Brazil.

Going into the draw will be Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal. Noticeable absentees are countries that have played in recent editions of the Finals South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco, Togo and Angola.

Average number of games per member 7.07.

There seems no reason why each of the confederations (with the exception of South America) cannot copy the Africa model and break their formats into more numerous small groups of no more than four and a final winner goes to the Finals two legged final round.

If the USA does qualify and there is every reason to believe that they will they will be part of a select group. It will be a seventh straight appearance and only Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Argentina have longer current qualifying streaks.

There has been a debate for quite some time in the UK about the importation of foreign players to the Barclays Premier League and the impact on the development of the England national team.

Each side has drawn battle lines in the debate. Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has made it clear that the Premier League has no responsibility for what others consider to be England’s poor performances at recent international competitions.

One thing Scudamore has not pointed out is that if England do make it to Brazil it will be the first time England has qualified for five straight World Cup Finals.

They did match that number of appearances in the Finals between 1954 and 1970 but in 1966 England was an automatic as host and four years later an automatic as defending champion.