The European section of the World Cup qualifying draw made for some very interesting reading. I have already commented on England’s draw.
However it’s the other groups that really do baffle me. Some of those groups are really very open because some of the teams that deemed top seeds are weaker than some of the second seeds.
Take France as an example. They may have slipped down the pecking order in the FIFA world rankings to 15th but they are still a quality team. They have players playing throughout the top leagues in Europe, yet they are regarded as a second seed.
Now compare those players to those that represent Scandinavian country Norway. Norway may have moved up to 12th in the FIFA world rankings but they have not qualified for a major tournament in over a decade. They are still in with a chance of qualifying for next years European Championship though.
This is not about me being elitist, it’s about wanting the best teams from our continent represented on the world stage at the World Cup. I’m sure fans of football all over the world would rather watch France play than Norway.
This is not a criticism of Norway either, it’s a criticism of UEFA in general. As usual the bureaucrats have put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.
The way the draw has taken shape has given smaller countries the chance to qualify. I have nothing against this either. I would love the likes of Wales or Scotland to qualify for a World Cup because I like to see all the British teams do well in international competition.
This draw has gave some teams who wouldn’t usual have a hope of qualifying with an opportunity to make it to Brazil 2014. Which I suppose is good for fans in those countries.
France were second seeds and have been drawn up against World Champions Spain. This probably won’t have much of an effect on who qualifies, as the eight best runners-up qualify and I’m sure of them will be from that group.
It’s just a matter of who tops the group and who finishes second. This will have a slight effect on how the countries are seeded for the World Cup finals. And also how tough a route into the second round the country will have.
Maybe UEFA have decided that it would be more sporting to seed the teams how they have. I suppose they have done what they feel was the right thing. However the World Cup should be the top national teams in the world trying to prove they are the top teams.
Now the draw has been made I have to accept it. Even though I don’t think the seeding is right I must now accept the draw and look forward to the games ahead. One thing is for sure the qualifiers always bring up some surprises and I can’t see this campaign being any different.
Have the European teams been seeded correctly?