Thought On World Cup Spots

Thought On World Cup Spots

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 7, 2010
  • 2014 World Cup

For some reason the thought popped into my head about qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup this morning (thank you Steve Davis). Maybe because I’m moving on to the next phase for the US here, which is four years away as far as I’m concerned. But I’ve heard some mentions lately about how FIFA will handle things for the next go-around in terms of how many teams will qualify from their respective regions.

As you know by now the next World Cup is in Brazil. That means as the hosts Brazil gets an auto-invite to the dance. (Not like they weren’t going to make it anyways.) This year there were five South American teams in the tournament. CONMEBOL gets four World Cup spots with one extra decided with CONCACAF, so technically they get 4.5 spots.

The next time around Brazil won’t be in the mix for those other spots. FIFA now has to figure out if South America gets three spots, four spots or 4.5 spots (this being the series with CONCACAF or another region).

In my mind South America will have four spots plus Brazil. FIFA knows that the more South American presence in a South American hosted tournament is a good thing. Which also leads me to think CONCACAF will only get three with possibly no play-in series with another region like CONMEBOL. I say this because our region, like it or not, has no done well at the tournament in a long-while.¬†When was the last time one of our teams got past the round of 16? If you guess 2002 with the US then you are right. You’d think Mexico would be enough but they’ve been an usual push-over in the round of 16 for as long as I’ve been around. In fact they only do well when they host the tournament.

But these spots will be highly contested for the next tournament. Africa got six spots (5 auto bids plus South Africa’s host spot) this year and only one of those teams made it to the knockout round. You gotta bet some folks in Europe will contest that they don’t deserve that many spots next time around. Rightfully so I think.

My guess is if CONCACAF retains its chance at a forth team in the tournament via the play-in game that we’ve seen these last couple World Cups it could be against Africa this time around. Just a hunch guess but FIFA may not go for it though we’ve seen the Oceania countries battle CONMEBOL so why not CONCACAF versus them next time around?

I’m sure after the final this weekend we’ll hear more from European countries wanting more spots for their region and the ball will get rolling on this before qualifying kicks up again in the future. That’s usually how things work with FIFA, they wait on Europe to say something before they act on anything.