By Kevin Koczwara
Republic of Ireland goal keeper Shay Given has come out and said what other players have been thinking: FIFA has set-up a barrier preventing smaller nations from getting into the World Cup final. By creating a seeding system FIFA has ruled out the chance that big-market nations(larger nations) will play one another in the play-off for the final spots for South Africa from European qualifying (UEFA).
The system that would make sense would be a random draw of teams. It works for the FA Cup and The Champions League and The Club World Cup every year. So, why shouldn’t it work for The World Cup?
This should be a hot topic in the footballing (Soccer) world. This system is surely working in the favor of potential play-off teams like France, Russia, Greece and potentially Portugal (if the stars align properly). And the system works against countries like Ireland, Bosnia, Croatia (in truth they should have no trouble beating just about anyone if they are healthy), Norway, and Scotland.
But FIFA could care less about the smaller countries who have less experience in the World Cup. What if one of those teams went on a historical run and made it to the Finals? That would not draw as many people as France or Russia (except maybe Ireland because people around the world have ancestors there, especially here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.).
Look at the Qualification Numbers for some of the teams that are in Second place and in control of there destiny.
- Republic of Ireland – 3 times
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – 0 times
- France – 12
- Russia- 9
- Norway- 2
- Croatia – 3
- Greece – 1
- Sweden – 11
- Scotland (tied with Norway in points, behind in Goal Differential) – 8