July 30, 2011

World Cup 2014 Qualifying Draw: Pre-qualifying has already commenced, but the qualifying groups and formats in each confederation have now been determined.

posted by owlhouse to soccer at 11:53 PM - 9 comments

GO AMERICAN SAMOA! Hard to believe, since Danish and American territories are permitted to have national clubs (some agreement from ages ago), that the USA has the quadrillion-to-1 (at best) chance of having four teams in a World Cup. Guam didn't enter tournament.

posted by jjzucal at 08:55 AM on August 01

Don't forget that the UK also has four teams in the tournament, and they all qualified for Sweden in 1958.

posted by owlhouse at 11:28 AM on August 01

It continues to be an absolute travesty to me that Africa has 5 spots compared to South America's 4.5. And Europe has too many places also, at 13. It makes total sense when you look at where the FIFA governing board hail from, but that doesn't mean it's not silly.

posted by Errant at 01:09 PM on August 01

Relative to total number of countries South America and Europe seem to have too many but really I think this is correct albeit counter-intuitive.

Between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay one will have to qualify through playoff, and that's if they all beat out Colombia, Ecuador and Copa America quarterfinalists Venezuela.

Europe have 50+ national teams. 13 might be a bit high but not by much.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:38 AM on August 02

Places in the tournament are ostensibly awarded not based on number of entrants within a confederation but instead on relative strength of the teams in that confederation, as defined by world rankings and recent success in the tournament.

I was however slightly mistaken: I'd forgotten that Brazil have an automatic berth and aren't counted towards qualifiers, so in fact South America have 5.5, which is better. Africa in 2010 had 6 spots including the host, which is absurd when compared to performance; 4 or 4.5 seems more justified than their current 5, comparable to Asia. Europe should probably lose 1 spot. My preferred placement would look something like this:

Africa: 4.5 Asia: 4.5 Oceania: 0.5 Europe: 12 N./C.America: 4.5 S.America: 5

Total: 31 (+ hosts make 32)

posted by Errant at 03:59 PM on August 02

Four and a half teams from CONCACAF? As they say in parts of former Oceania - "You're dreamin'".

After the US and Mexico, are there any teams likely to make the second round at a World Cup? No, I thought not. FIFA only gives extra insurance spots to CONCACAF so that both Mexico and the US are guaranteed to qualify, in case they slip up against the likes of Trinidad and Tobago. You can look it up.

posted by owlhouse at 09:22 PM on August 02

Asia is improving, especially with the addition of Australia. I'd give them another slot ahead of CONCACAF. Australia, Japan, South Korea are probably locks, China are sure to steadily improve and then you have a half slot for the rest to scrap over.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:09 PM on August 02

Don't forget, bill, that Asia also includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Uzbekistan, as well as the money men from Qatar and Bahrain. Not easy teams to beat, and if you include DPRK, certainly a stronger B-list than that of CONCACAF and (probably) Africa.

There are moves afoot to split Asia into West and East (bin Hamman has left a lot of angry people in the eastern part of the region), although I can't see this happening, and it would impair the chances of getting the best teams through qualifying.

posted by owlhouse at 12:50 AM on August 03

Sure, I could see 5.5 from Asia and 3.5 from CONCACAF, although I think that does a disservice to emerging nations like Honduras, Costa Rica, and Jamaica, and overstates the strength of B-list Asian teams. Maybe 5 and 4 is a better way to go. If the metric is "likely to qualify for the second round", though, we might as well go back down to a 24-team tournament, because there's no way there are 5, or even 3, likely 2nd round qualifiers in Africa, and there's no way there are 8 from Europe, never mind 13.

posted by Errant at 04:48 PM on August 03

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.