Sepp Blatter and FIFA can’t do anything right, can they? The draw for the 2014 World Cup is days away and they’ve already ruined it by botching the way teams have been placed into pots. Instead of using common sense and pas World Cup performances to determine the eight seeded teams that theoretically have the easiest road to the knockout stage, FIFA has used the world rankings, an incredibly flawed ranking, to determine the eight seeded teams.
It’s hard to argue that Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany don’t deserve to be seeded, but the other four seeded teams are quite questionable. Uruguay was the last team to qualify for the tournament, and couldn’t even finish among the top four teams in South America during qualifying. Belgium, despite being a team on the rise and a dark horse in the tournament, doesn’t have the track record to deserve a seed. Switzerland and Colombia are also nations that obtained a seeded position in Pot 1 while more deserving teams were left out.
It’s a crime that powerhouse soccer nations like Italy and the Netherlands were not given a seed simply because they didn’t rank high enough in October’s world rankings. It has created a situation in which it’s possible that two of the elite soccer nations in the world could be drawn into the same group as one another, potentially ruining four years of hard work for the other two teams in the group.
There are teams in the tournament like Ghana, the Ivory Coast, the United States, Mexico and others that are capable of making a deep run in the tournament, but not if they end up in the same group as one of the top seeded teams and one of the other teams that should be seeded, essentially weakening the knockout stage of the World cup.
The way FIFA has arranged teams into pots for the draw could be potentially disastrous when the draw unfolds on Friday. Instead of eight balanced groups, there is a possibility that some groups will be too strong and others too weak, which will lead to a less compelling tournament in both the group stage and the knockout stage. Of course, if the rankings end up messing up the draw, FIFA will have no one to blame but themselves.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.
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