A Conversation for Talking Point: Football

A True World Cup

Post 1

Eusebio - squad number 11

Following Australia's hammering of the Pacific Island teams last week, the real inadequacies of the present world cup qualification system were highlited.
Australia must now beat the winners of the other Oceania qualifying group (presumably New Zealand) for the right to a play off match against the fifth placed South American country.
The Aussies are effectivley being punished for being a strong country in a weak confederation.
Isn't it time we had a global qualification group ...

32 places at the world cup final - one place for the holders and one place for the hosts - which leaves 201 countries seeking qualification. That makes roughly 30 groups of 6 or 7 teams with the winner of each group qualifying for the finals.
Just imagine ... we could have Wales in a group with Argentina, Egypt, Fiji, Canada, Lybia and China ... or Scotland in a group alongside Colombia, USA, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, Tahiti and Jordan.

In these days of global travel it shouldn't be a problem and then we wouldn't have the political wranglings about Europe having too many reresentatives receiving qualification places (or Asia having too few).
What do you think ...?


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Post 2

The Nitpicker

How are you going to select the groups though?


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Post 3

androyd

Also the travelling costs would be prohibitive for the smaller nations. The top African players basically pay for their squads to be put up in decent accomadation and get decent food and have first class travel - the local associations tend to be too poor or corrupt or both to manage - so if Fifa was to handle all travel and accomadation etc from a central pool then it might be feasible but realistically we are going to be left with regional qualifiers for the forseeable future. The other arguement is that the current system allows for representatives from every continent even if their standard is not the same as the top European/South American countries. Over the last thrity years we have seen the standards rise in both Europe and in the rest of the world - that result the other week was a result of a specific set of circumstances which meant a team of basicially untried fifteen year olds went up against seasoned professionals so its hardly the basis from which to draw conclusions. If you look at how the game has developed in Africa it would appear that Fifa isn't getting it too badly wrong.


A True World Cup

Post 4

Eusebio - squad number 11

I agree with most of what you are saying, but the point I am making is that the Oceania confederation is very hard done-by.

"The other arguement is that the current system allows for representatives from every continent even if their standard is not the same as the top European/South American countries."

Australia (or NZ) have to beat the fifth best South American team in order to qulaify, Oceania has no direct route to the World Cup final itself, so the Aussies (who have a team worthy of the final stages) are in effect being punished for the lowly rankings of Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa et al.


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Post 5

androyd

'A team worthy of the final stages....' Hmm ..I seem to recall them being 2 -0 up against Iran with fifteen minutes to play and failing to qualify last time around. Surely a team is only worthy of the final stages if it manages to get there...would you claim England has a team worthy of the final stages? Clearly we sometimes do and sometimes don't and our qualifying is a damn site harder than Australia's...so if we qualify we are there on merit otherwise we aint good enough. The fact that we could beat Australia nine times out of ten is irreleveant if they are there and we are not it's on merit and vice versa.
The qualifiers get tweaked each time round but when you are talking about such vasly different places the aim must be to get a reasonable representation from as many places as possible.


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Post 6

Orcus

Scotland would inevitably get brazil every time smiley - sadface


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Post 7

The Nitpicker

And England Germany and/or Argentina smiley - smiley


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Post 8

Orcus

Potential World cup qualifying groups:

The Group of Death

Brazil
France
Portugal
Italy
Argentina
Scotland

The Group Of Sleep

Germany
England
Australia
USA
Belgium
Norway

The Group of Quality

Tonga
American Samoa
Faroe Islands
San Marino
Luxembourg
UAE
Andorra

smiley - winkeye (assuming no seedings of course smiley - smiley)


A True World Cup

Post 9

Bright Blue Shorts

I think you're mistaking football for that game you used to play down your street or that you see non-league and Sunday morning teams playing ....

The sport of football is no longer purely about play but has many marketing aspects to it. Therefore qualification for the World Cup is best serviced by having teams qualify for the finals that are based all around the world. That way an even wider television audience can be reached and sponsors can pay FIFA more money so that they can show their products off to a wider group of people.

If it was purely on football ability the Finals would probably contain about 30 teams from Europe & South America with a couple from Africa (that's another forum for debate). The fact that Australia have to play countries from other parts of the world once they prove they've won Oceania is fair to other teams around the world, but not necessarily good for advertisers.

BBS smiley - smiley


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Post 10

Don Alfredo

I miss a part in this conversation. What about the traveltime and so called jetlag. What if England and Autsralia are in the same qualifying group. It takes a week to get in rythm on the local time.
There is not enough time to play all this games all over the world.
Even now it's hard to play for the national teams in combination with the footballclub a player is playing for.

What about african players who play for a club in Europe and their national team is playing in Australia, Asia or America (North-South).
I don't think this will be good for the matches. Allthough you can have a very good home advantage.

The main reason why there are qualifying zones is to make the travel time short. Even if this means that a relative good national as Australia has to suffer from it. Why not another system where at least the number one of each zone is placed for the final stages??
This seems more honest to me as the way Australia/New Sealand has to fight their way to the final stages.


A True World Cup

Post 11

Eusebio - squad number 11

Or we could have qualifying tournaments

e.g. Wales, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada and Egypt are drawn in the same group and the play a round-robin tournament in one of the 5 countries over the space of a fortnight ...


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Post 12

Don Alfredo

Sounds interesting. smiley - smiley


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