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Europe, South America dominate World Cup's knockout phase

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By RONALD BLUM

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Reduce the African and Asia participants....most were simply horrendous.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The reason European and South American teams do so well is that they have played the game for much longer than the rest of the world, and because it's embedded in their countries' cultures.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Too be honest I am also getting fed up by having the same countries advance all the time and would like some more obscure countries to be able to win but what can you do? European countries have more players that are playing in the top leagues. Budgets also vary per country and of course in some countries the main sports is not soccer.

Anyway rooting that Brazil, Portugal and Argentina get eliminated asap. Will make the tournament a bit more interesting.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Reduce the African and Asia participants....most were simply horrendous.

Why not concacaf if that’s your reasoning? The concacaf participants were pretty abysmal with the notable exception of Mexico. Panama were particularly below standard. The Panama manager saying he was glad to get away with a 3-0 beating by Belgium summed up the gulf in class. Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia were all better. Still, African football has been disappointing over the past few decades, I can remember the Cameroon sides of the 80s and 90s and Nigeria in the 90s making some predict an African winner within 20 years. No African side has looked like potential champions, but Ghana in 2010 were a joy to watch.

Hope to see champions from outside Europe or South America one day. I’d still say Africa looks most likely to produce one giving what we saw from the concacaf and Asian sides.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LudditeToday 04:03 pm JST

The reason European and South American teams do so well is that they have played the game for much longer than the rest of the world, and because it's embedded in their countries' cultures."

Not true, China claims to have been playing for 2000 years and they are still sub-standard.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

JimizoToday 05:02 pm JST

Reduce the African and Asia participants....most were simply horrendous.

Why not concacaf if that’s your reasoning? The concacaf participants were pretty abysmal with the notable exception of Mexico. Panama were particularly below standard. The Panama manager saying he was glad to get away with a 3-0 beating by Belgium summed up the gulf in class."

Concacaf is also weak and is also geographically illogical. And many Central and South American teams (incl. Mexico) rely on altitude at home matches to easily win as opponents are acclimatized.

However, over the years concacaf has done much better at the World Cup than asia/africa combined with mexico into last 16, 5 or 6 times in a row. I agree that Panama was a woeful team, but after Belgium beat Japan 5-0, maybe your opinion might change?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

JimizoToday 05:02 pm JST

Reduce the African and Asia participants....most were simply horrendous.

Why not concacaf if that’s your reasoning? The concacaf participants were pretty abysmal with the notable exception of Mexico."

Let's throw a few numbers at this to check your statement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North,_Central_American_and_Caribbean_nations_at_the_FIFA_World_Cup

Concacaf 5 top 8's , 1 top 4, and a 3rd place(the USA no less in 1930)

I dont think the combined asia/africa numbers come close......next.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Nan Ferra

Asia has produced a semi finalist. Also, Asian teams have produced 7 knockout stage performances.

Africa has produced 8 knockout stage performances including 2 quarter finals.

Concacaf has produced 5 knockout stage performances with one semi final.

It’s worth remembering that some of your ‘top 8’ performances came from the time there were fewer teams and there were only 8 teams in the knockout stage.

Asian teams outperform concacaf teams.

African teams outperform concacaf teams.

No need to combine anything.

It seems the number of concacaf teams should be reduced first by your reasoning, not mine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oops. Ignore the numbers in my last post!

Sorry Nan, my mistake...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While no-hopers have a kick around for a couple of weeks in Japan, nations such as Italy and Holland stay at home, to make way for teams that they would normally beat easily. Hopefully with the 48-team world cup next time this will no be an issue, but it will mean a load more small nations as well.

Anyway, the carnival part of the WC is over and now we are down to business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’d still say Africa looks most likely to produce one giving what we saw from the concacaf and Asian sides.

Agreed, although I do think that Japan will be a force to reckon with 'one day'. The amount of kids playing the game here is really growing, and they know how to train.

By the way, for the 2026 WC Concacaf will provide THREE automatic qualifiers (USA, Canada, Mexico), which means that under the current system they only have room for one more team. And that team has to take part in an inter-continental play off (Australia beat Honduras in it this time). I'm sure they'll change it but the other Concacaf teams must be furious.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...And JAPAN!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Europe, South America dominate World Cup's knockout phase

As they always have and always will. In Europe, football is not just a sport, it's more like a mixture of religion, politics and history.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Not true, China claims to have been playing for 2000 years and they are still sub-standard."

China never played football; football is a recent invention in 1863 Ingurland.

All China (and most other countries) did was kick something, be it a spherical object, including severed enemy heads, or their own women.

Football with rules is an English invention (even though most others, especially the Germans have made it an habit of destroying us and winning everything).

It's just like people claiming that Karate is not Japanese; apart from the fact that Okinawans are also Japanese, Okinawa traditional style was To-de, never Karate. Karate, with the white uniform, kata, kumite and actual rules, including the name is very much Japanese. Not "Okinawan, certainly not Chinese.

So, no, the Chinese haven't played football for thousands of years, as they now want to claim.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The last ones from Asia and Africa came down to simply Japan vs. Senegal - and it was settled on Fair Play

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The best way to reduce the others( Asia, Africa, Oceania, North/Central America +Caribbean sea countries) and to increase more European or South American countries like as: Netherlands/ Italy / Austria/ Chile/ Paraguay Ecuador/Turkey... not qualified in this World Cup is to add more play-offs to competitive teams remain. Just one thing, how the qualified 36 teams will be all of them in the same group the same level? Will be necessary to have more fair-plays/less-red-yellow-cards to go up knock out stage, like Japan this time?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Too be honest I am also getting fed up by having the same countries advance all the time 

If you get bored by seeing the top 16 footballing nations play each other once every 4 years, I recommend you stay far away from Japanese baseball.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Better to turn the whole thing into a single knockout FA cup style competition over a 2 month period. All the countries in the world compete, and the top countries join in the 4th or 5th round.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Europe, South America dominate World Cup's knockout phase

And the gap is only going to get wider. Carlos Queiroz, manager of Iran at the WC and a man who knows what he's talking about, said,

"It’s not just Asia but also Africa and even South America where the gap is growing. In Asia the development process is struggling at both national and youth level and by that I mean absolutely everything.

It means coach education, youth development, infrastructure, facilities – everything – Europe is taking off and the others are being left behind.

People point to Morocco or Senegal as strong African nations, but what they really are is African players playing in Europe. I’ve been coaching for 37 years and I can tell the gap between Europe and the rest – Asia included – is only growing. Eight years ago it was bad, four years ago worse and now it’s even worse.”

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/my/features/queiroz-europe-leaving-asia-and-rotw-behind

Japan, with its population, infrastructure and wealth should be doing better (and probably will eventually) but these are accurate comments given the very poor quality of many of the teams we've seen so far.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By the way, for the 2026 WC Concacaf will provide THREE automatic qualifiers (USA, Canada, Mexico), which means that under the current system they only have room for one more team. And that team has to take part in an inter-continental play off (Australia beat Honduras in it this time). I'm sure they'll change it but the other Concacaf teams must be furious.

The 2026 World Cup definitely won't be under the current system - because they're expanding from 32 to 48 teams

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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