WTFifa? Even Though They Haven’t Qualified For 16 years, Colombia Seeded Above Italy And Holland
ALL football fans know that FIFA are beyond farce. They fine racist clubs the equivalent of lunch money while doling out huge penalties to people who divert from their sponsors and, of course, look for all the world like the kind of company that MIGHT accept bribes to move to tournaments to Qatar, for the first World Cup to be built on a graveyard.
And now, they’re at it again. The bewildering FIFA Ranking system confirmed that Italy and Holland will not be in Pot 1 for the 2014 World Cup draw. The seeded teams are Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina (so far, so fine), Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland and provided they don’t lose to Jordan in a play-off, Uruguay.
That’d be Uruguay, who didn’t qualify automatically, Switzerland and Colombia who aren’t exactly great footballing nations, and Belgium (we’ll let Belgium off because they’re great at the moment and Enzo Scifo is a god), ahead of Italy and the Netherlands!
The Azzurri and Oranje were runners-up at Euro 2012 and World Cup 2010 and, more importantly, the first nations outside of Asia to qualify for Brazil. They battered their groups, and with a couple of rounds to spare, qualified unbeaten. In fact, Italy haven’t lost a World Cup or European Championship qualifier for 40 games. That’s seven whole years of winning.
Holland meanwhile, have a better competitive record than Spain, winning 26 of its last 28 competitive qualifiers. Yet, here we, with Uruguay seeded ahead of them, even though they’ve not actually got through to the finals yet. Colombia, meanwhile, have won fewer World Cup games than Italy has trophies and last qualified in ’98.
So how has this all come about? Well, the seeds were decided by using the October FIFA Ranking which rewards form rather than past performances, which seems fair enough on the face of it. However, this system is clearly nonsense when you consider that Uruguay haven’t even managed to make the finals yet.
The needlessly complicated FIFA ranking uses information from pointless friendlies, which has flown in the faces of Italy and Holland. They lost meaningless matches while Uruguay have lost just one.
Of course, it is almost funny that footballing royalty is being messed around, and this could make for some surprise nations in the latter stages of the World Cup, however, it takes the sheen off, say, the heroics of Cameroon in 1990, Belgium in 1986 and Bulgaria in 1994, as they squared-up to the bigger teams and won.
Football remains an engrossing, wonderful spectacle yet, at every turn, it seems like FIFA actively loathe it and want to ruin it. Who fancies setting up a new footballing governing body?
Photo: Atletico Nacional soccer fans walk alongside a hearse carrying the remains of feloow soccer fan Dumar Baquero, killed during a game, in Zipaquira, Colombia, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. According to police Baquero was shot in the head by a woman wearing a jersey from rival team Millonarios on Saturday night. Police arrested a 24-year old woman as the suspect for the purportedly revenge attack.