01 July 2010 – Day 21

Well I survived a day without any World Cup football to watch and a very pleasant evening it was too, spent having a BBQ. Inevitably though, the conversation did turn to the World Cup and the question of whether the best 32 teams actually qualify for the tournament.

Looking at the top 32 teams as per the FIFA rankings (May 2010) as sponsored by Coca-Cola (I kid you not), 75% made it to South Africa. The teams that made it to South Africa  but are currently outside the top 32 are as follows (rank in brackets):

Slovakia (34), Denmark (36), Honduras (38), Japan (45), South Korea (47), New Zealand (78), South Africa (83) and North Korea (105).

The teams that have missed out are:

Croatia (10), Russia (11), Egypt (12), Norway (22), Ukraine (23), Israel (26), Romania (28) and Turkey (29).

You’ll notice that the list of teams that missed out are predominantly European and this is because of the way the Groups are set up and how subsequently Qualification works. The teams actually at the 2010 World Cup are more representative of countries from all over the globe and the various football federations, which is a FIFA aim.

I had a look at trying to see how the ranking are worked out. In simple terms it is about the fixtures played in the last four years and points earned calculated with regard to match result, match status, opposition strength and regional strength. That is a very, very simple explanation. There are all sorts of variations and calculations that come into it. If you want to fry your brain please go to the link below.


However, lets take the situation that we do away with Qualification through Groups and instead it is based on ranking positions. So regardless of whether the tournament is the African Cup of Nations, European Championships or World Cup, entry to those events is based on ranking position. How do you play it? Do you go for fixtures against the big guns away in the hope of picking up wins and therefore major ranking points? Or is it a home fixture list filled with games against Anguilla, Montserrat, American Samoa, Central African Republic and Papua New Guinea (currently the bottom 5 ranked teams in the world)? Can you imagine the permutations as opponents are selected on the basis of their points?

In this scenario, who would the ideal England Manager be? They’d have the profile of a cross between a Bond villain and a Panto baddie. I like the idea already…….

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Posted July 1, 2010 by Editor in category "World Cup 2010 diary

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