Why are these teams in the World Cup?

There are six conferences in total and the number of countries from each conference that reach the final 32 in the World Cup is decided by a mixture of politics, number of countries in each conference and previous results. Of course, previous results becomes a very politicized matter, as this FIFA ranking sugest, with 8 teams of the top 20 out of the World Cup last 16. Now, look at what happen when we see how many places each conference has in the last 32 and how many they get in the last 16. Europe, with the most countries, and a second place record of champions had 14 in the last 32 and 10 in the last 16 for an effectiveness of 71%, Asia had 5 and none, effectiveness 0%, Africa had 5 and 1, effectiveness 20%, North America had 4 and 1, for a 25% effectiveness. But South America, who has the best record with the most championships had 4 teams in the last 32 with 3 getting in the last 16, for an effectiveness of 75%! Only Oceania did better with only 1 team in both and an effectiveness of 100%. It is very clear that South America has the toughest group of all and it is being short changed with only 4 positions (plus one that has to do an extra match with Australia). Even the rule change that decided that the Champion qualify automatically to the World Cup goes against us, since it means that more than half of the time we have one less place!

The logical thing would be to do something like the Davis Cup and let the previous championship determine the places in the next, not for countries (as the Davis Cup does), but for conferences. Something like one place for each of the last 16, 1 extra place for fourth place, 2 for second and third (after all they both win 6 games and lose 1), and 3 to the Champion. That leaves 8, that can be placed with different strategies, for example one for each conference and the other two to underrepresented ones in terms of number of countries. This will actually provide more variety in countries representation and better teams. At the end of the World Cup I'll let you know how many teams would go from each conference using my method.


Posted by  
on June 25, 2006, 7:38 am
Alfredo, if you need someone to speak about this angrily, curse madly and design various options to avoid unfairness, I can set you an apointment with my 14 year old son.

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