World Cup Qualifying: Why the European Format Should Change

Liam BCorrespondent IIMarch 5, 2017

BEIJING, CHINA - JUNE 11:  Robin van Persie (L) of Netherlands celebrates scoring their first goal during the international friendly soccer match at Beijing Workers' Stadium on June 11, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Europe has always been considered a conglomerate of some of the best national footballing sides in the world.

Sides such as England, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, France, Germany and many others make Europe probably the best overall region in terms of quality. However, the way that World Cup qualification works in this region is not ideal. I would say it needs to be redone completely.

Out of the six qualification regions, only two have a single qualifying round, while the other four have at least three rounds of qualifiers. This is so the lower-ranked teams play each other before playing the powerhouses of the region.

Europe and South America are the two regions that only have a single round of qualifiers. Having only one round makes sense in South America because there are only 10 teams, so a preliminary round is basically useless. 

Europe, however, is composed of 53 different nations. That's a lot of teams to put in one round of qualifying. While every team should have the chance to qualify, why not have one or two more rounds where the minnows play each other and the survivors of that get their chance to show themselves against the top sides? If you can't draw against Slovakia, you won't draw against Spain. Sorry.

Looking at the current round of qualifying, which is just over halfway done, there are three teams with zero points: Andorra, San Marino and the Faroe Islands.

Why does Germany have to play twice against a Faroe Islands side that hasn't proven anything? It's a waste of two fixtures. With each team having five to six matches played, there are 16 with five points or less. These teams are also completely composed of smaller footballing nations such as Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Belarus, etc.

It's a waste of money and resources for serious World Cup contenders to have to travel to Malta or another minnow that hasn't proven anything. I don't know what other people think about this, but I think it's ridiculous.

If you disagree and think that players who have no professional experience should be facing Robin van Persie from the get-go, please disagree with me in the comments. I will remain skeptical.