Everyone knew about San Marino‘s terrible record in International football, but England‘s 8-0 win on Friday night is likely to have made far more people aware of how large the difference in quality is.
The worst nation in International football didn’t show any evidence to as to why they should be in the same groups as higher nations to qualify for the World Cup, other than the ‘right’ to do so.
It seems it would be best to create a pre-qualifying system, where the lower quality of sides, such as San Marino and Liechtenstein face off to decide who then can take part in the normal qualifying groups.
San Marino claim that for them it’s more about taking part, but last night it quite simply proved that they are a pointless ‘challenge’. They haven’t won since 2004. They haven’t scored in a competitive game for four years. Their performance against England really was unjustifiable as to why they are facing such high ranked sides. They will never improve if they don’t get the chance to play winnable games. Instead they were and will continue to be humiliated, they didn’t once scare England or offer any threat of any sort; their only shot was a poor effort from about 30 meters that landed far off in the hills of Tallinn.
I like this idea of having all FIFA nations being given an equal chance to qualify for a World Cup, but when the standard is so incredibly poor and so contrasting to the opposition then you have to surely reconsider and come up with an alternative. How will San Marino ever grow as a football nation when they are being defeated so consistently? How will their funding for the sport increase if they’re constantly losing? What young kids will possibly want to become a professional footballer for San Marino when any possible hero is near pathetic? I know their population is extremely small, but FIFA need to at the very least re-consider nations like San Marino and their involvement in international football because currently it’s close to pointless.