And if a side is significantly weaker, they have no right competing in a tournament to find the best side in Europe. The whole point of competition is to find the best, not so sides can have a jolly couple of weeks out. There is no point a side qualifying for a major tournament if they stand no chance of winning it. It undermines the entire integrity of the competition.H1987 wrote:Ah, so you don't like smaller teams having to play smaller teams to quality.... but it's ok for bigger teams to only play smaller teams to qualify, thanks to the co-efficient?
Sorry. Nah. They waltz through not only because they're better teams, but because they're playing teams that are significantly weaker than them.
I notice you use big and small. I prefer the descriptions good and poor. League D sides in the Nations League are poor. It's why they're in the bottom league. Therefore they have no right to qualify by only playing other poor teams.
The poor teams get weeded out in qualifying, while the best teams advance. It's how it should be. Otherwise it just becomes like those shite school sportsdays where everyone gets a prize for taking part.
We do play a global game. Every team has the opportunity to qualify for the major tournaments. They play the same number of games in a qualifying group against the same opposition as everyone else in the group. If they lose to the other sides, they deserve not to qualify because they aren't good enough. If you qualify in the current system, you're there on merit. It's an entirely fair premise.H1987 wrote: Frankly, i couldn't give a monkeys if they're not in the perceived top 24 sides in Europe. Just like I don't care if the sides at the World cup are not the top 32 best, because I think it's important that we play a global game.
The Cricket World Cup has it spot on. The CWC had it wrong back in 2007, when it allowed all and sundry to take part. You wound up with a bloated competition, with one sided group matches which were a waste of everyone's time. For the same reasons, Euro 2016 was a farce, while Euro 2012 was an excellent competition in terms of matches being equal, unpredictable, competitive and generally of good quality.H1987 wrote: If you want an example of exclusionary logic gone all wrong, take a look at the cricket world cup.
If teams want to qualify, do so on merit, not be given a free pass in. None of the teams who've missed out (Netherlands, Bermuda, Kenya, Scotland etc) stood a chance of winning it, so there's no point in them being there. Meanwhile, we see genuinely competitive fixtures befitting a finals tournament. Not one-sided mismatches with the weaker side more intent on damage limitation. One sided mismatches on the biggest stage do more to damage the image of the sport.
Afghanistan are the one "developing" nation to qualify for the next Cricket World Cup. They've worked hard on developing their infrastructure, facilities, coaching quality. They topped the qualifying tournament and are there on merit. Add in six additional places, and you get a farcical group stage of one-sided mismatches, that is embarrassing for the sport's development.
A side like Malta will gain nothing in terms of development by reaching a tournament under false pretences, and then getting hammered in their three group games.
Nor is there any evidence that playing in major tournaments inspires greater development long term. There's always an initial immediate peak of course, but that dies down and things return to normal. Proper sustained development requires investment in infrastructure, better technical coaching of players, advanced fitness regimes etc.