New Zealand V Bahrain World Cup Qualifier

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bobby s
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Post by bobby s » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:51 pm

I've read this thread with interest - especially the notes on how hard it is to qualify for European countries compared to other confederations. I wonder what the world ranking list is going to show come the final.

Is it time for more qualifiers, say 64, to play off in non regional groups to whittle down to 32? It seems unfair that many European countries will always struggle to qualify despite being ranked much higher than many eventual qualifiers.
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Post by HibeeJibee » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:18 am

I'd like to see OFC taken into AFC, and CONMEBOL and CONCACAF united. I could then envisage Europe getting 14 places, Africa 5, Americas 6, Asia 5 - plus a World Repechage with 1 team from each confederation for 31st slot...

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Post by the hibLOG » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:33 am

I think it depends on how much you absolutely want the finals to be about the 32 best teams in the world, as opposed to a great event for the whole world's football. I can appreciate the disquiet at the ludicrously low level of team that qualifies from the Oceania route and others, but FIFA will always see part of its remit as promoting the game in the less represented parts of the globe.

The reward for New Zealand's qualification is being put at between NZ$10m-NZ$15. That's a massive boost to the game here, provided it is well invested, so next time round maybe they'll be a more worthy qualifier. Same goes for any 'minnow' that gets a share in the pot. Access to that pot should theoretically help improve the standard of the game across the globe (except in Scotland's case obviously).
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Post by the hibLOG » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:46 am

bobby s wrote:Who is McGlincheys dad? Is it Paul, the former Hibs player?
Says in this earlier articlein the Christchurch paper The Press that his father was called Norrie.
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exile
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Post by exile » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:42 pm

A World Cup does need to have teams from around the World but once that is achieved (by having a guarantee of one team from each continent) then the rest of the places should be on merit. How about a qualfying tournament played in the host country the year before the finals?

Unfortunately even if we had 64 teams in the tournament I'm not at all sure Scotland would make it.....

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Post by Scottish » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:39 pm

I've absolutely no objections to all parts of the globe being represented. I don't think anyone wants to go back to the days when representation outside UEFA & CONMEBOL was limited to Mexico & A N Other. It's the specific imbalance between the two leading continents that needs to be addressed.

Regarding a qualifying tournament taking place in the host country, it's a nice idea but a non-starter. The costs for a start would be horrendous and TV rights wouldn't bring in anything near as much as for the finals themselves. It would also be a tournament in its own right as no country would travel halfway round the world for one game so a similar set-up to the finals would have to be employed.

The stadia wouldn't be ready a year in advance in many cases and for a pre-qualifying tournament would need to be doubled in size.

The present international calendar would be scrapped as clubs would refuse to release players for friendlies during the season so international football itself would become an end-of-season 'add-on' to the regular season.

I'm afraid the logistics make it impractical.

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Post by bobby s » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:09 pm

I had a nose at the current fifa rankings and the current top 32 is thus:

5 African
2 Concacaf
6 Conmebol
0 Oceania
1 Asian (Australia)
18 European

On the one hand it's no wonder that European sides do so well, as the 5 weakest teams (teams that can be much better than the sides that qualify from other confederations) are whittled out before the finals tournament.

On the other, it must be getting harder and harder for teams outside the big european nations to qualify because once you take out Italy/France/Spain/Germany/England/Holland you have 25? teams capable of qualifying and 7 places available.

Does that mean for Scotland we should be looking to qualify for 1/4 tournaments? Granted we've not managed that missing out on the last 5 tournaments, but does that it make it such a bad performance?
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Post by Scottish » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:00 pm

bobby s wrote: Granted we've not managed that missing out on the last 5 tournaments, but does that it make it such a bad performance?
Six tournaments if you count the forthcoming World Cup. In terms of performance it's not so much the failing to qualify as the HOW we failed to qualify. The last three European Championships didn't exactly end unexpectedly for Scotland. Sure we'd have liked to have beaten England, avoided humiliation in Holland and finished ahead of either Italy or France but no one can honestly say they EXPECTED us to eliminate any of those sides.

The World Cup is a different story. We trailed in third behind distinctly average sides in Croatia and Belgium in 2002 and in the last two we've twice finished third behind a moderate Norway team.

Generally though I accept the point that the six countries you mention will qualify more often than not and that if any of them slip up there will be a Portugal or a Russia to contend with as well so it does look like there are six or seven places more or less guaranteed.

BUT......when was it ever any different? The real difference is that we used to contend for one of those other spots but from the moment we failed to defend a two-goal lead at Hampden against ten Belgians in March 2001 we have rarely looked capable of even making the play-offs in the World Cup.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:54 pm

Here's the World Cup qualifying record since 1998:

P26 W10 D8 L8 F27 A24 PTS 38

Modest at best but here are the figures for games against the group winners and runners-up over the same period:

P12 W1 D5 L6 F6 A18 PTS 8

That solitary win was in Norway in the 2006 qualifiers. The last time we won a home World Cup tie against a group winner or runner-up was v Austria in April 1997 and, astonishingly that was our only such home success since beating Spain 25 years ago this week.

So there we are. In the past quarter of a century, encompassing six World Cup qualifying tournaments (in two of which we actually reached the finals) we have had just two wins against the group winners or group runners-up. That's two from a total of twenty played (four in four tournaments and two in the ones where Scotland finished second). And these were against the less-than-stellar powers of Austria and Norway.

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Post by exile » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:42 pm

Yes - it's odd that since the early 90s we have done better in European qualifiers than World Cup ones, a reversal of the position in the 70s and 80s.

Bit of idle speculation but had there been 13 European qualifiers for the World Cup in the era of Law, Baxter, Johnstone, Greig, McNeill, and all - would Scotland have qualified for the World Cup or would we have still managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strongest_ ... lo_Ratings

Based on the excellent ELO rankings website it suggests that in the 1960s Scotland were on average 12th best team in the World - probably not far from the truth - compared to 14th in the 70s, 17th in the 80s (and currently 46th)

An ELO ranking of 2000 is around World Champion level, 1900 generally places you in the top 10 or about World Cup quarter finalist level, 1800 "round of 16" level and so on.

Given the rankings don't mean much in Scotland's case until we started meeting non-British opposition in 1930, we reached a ranking of 1876 after the 6-2 win over Spain in 1963 (6th in the World rankings) and as high as 1950 after the 2-1 win over Bulgaria in 1978. (4th in the rankings - no wonder Ally McLeod thought we'd win the World Cup!) Since then it's been a slow decline with the occasional false dawn. The lowest ebb was a rating of 1568 in 2005 - befor bouncing back to 1788 in late 2007 and then plummeting to 1642 after the recent debacle in Wales.

Appropriately enough the highest ever ranking was 2166 - Hungary in 1954.

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Post by Scottish » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:14 am

exile wrote: Bit of idle speculation but had there been 13 European qualifiers for the World Cup in the era of Law, Baxter, Johnstone, Greig, McNeill, and all - would Scotland have qualified for the World Cup or would we have still managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?.
Scotland finished runners-up in the qualifying groups for the 1962, 1966 & 1970 tournaments so we would have made the play-offs at worst if there had been 13 places available.

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