Thursday, November 16, 2017

More places for Africa!!

I am going to repeat what I said a couple of days ago: Africa deserves more places in the World Cup.and is plausibly the only continent that deserves more places than their current 5, mostly to the detriment of Europe (please give the four play-off places in Europe to Africa!!!!!!), but I even think that Africa could deserve a play-off with South America´s fifth (Africa´s 6th against South American 5th), against Asia´s 5th, and against Oceania´s 1st (Africa´s 7th would knock out New Zealand).

An African side is not going to be World Champion in my lifetime. But there is no continent where the excitement and passion for football is as alive as in Africa, and the talent is raw and plentiful. Africa should have more places because Africa deserves them.

Now why does Africa not get more places in a 32 team World Cup?
Money, yes, African fans and teams are not as profitable as from other continents (specially fast-growing poor-at-football Asia), and do not attract as many sponsors. Racism, absolutely: in 1966 the rest of the world did not see Africa (or Asia) worth a single spot, and the same tendencies are alive today, where the crumbs of World Cup qualification are thrown at Africa sides. But as an extension of this, there is also the problem of African federations themselves, who band together for the crumbs, instead of insisting more strongly for more African influence in FIFA and in the World Cup.

For Qatar 2022 Africa will go from 5 to 9 teams (17% of their members in the finals) with Europe going from 13 to 16 (29% of their members in the finals. And note that with 6 for South America, it will be more likely to qualify randomly from that federation than not playing at all).
This is an example of more crumbs being given to Africa (and the rest of the World for that sake).

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