England Football – World Cup Fever?
World Cup, also officially known as FIFA World Cup, is the fifteenth edition of international soccer, the distinguished international soccer governing body. It is probably the most watched sports event in the world, attracting millions of worldwide television viewers each tournament. The World Cup involves teams from all over the world. It also features teams from different seasons, giving fans a chance to see the different teams and players in their own environment.
The term “FIFA” stands for Football Association of Europe. It was founded by FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) and the European soccer clubs association (CONMEBOL). The tournament is held every four years and is divided into two parts. First, the World Cup qualification phase is for countries outside of Europe who have not qualified for the tournament. The qualification stage consists of the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, kick off time of the tournament is fixed and the rest of the teams are placed in the same groups. The second phase consists of the actual World Cup tournament, where the teams qualifying for the world cup play each other.
During the qualification stage, there will be three teams that will be in competition; they are the holders of the qualification spots, host country and the teams from the other countries in the tournament. If any team qualifies from any of the above categories, they are placed in the next stage. This is the World Cup phase where every team plays against all the other teams, with an overtime and extra time play option available to them in case of a draw. So far, the World Cup has become the most attended and watched event, apart from the Olympics, making it even more important to win.
Each of the six nations playing in this tournament play for four years, with a break of two years between each. The format for the tournament was decided at the Round of 16, which has been played every four years since 1992. The quarter finals and the semis have a playoff stage, and the final is played in a one game’s format. The format of the tournament was based on the rankings, but now with the new qualification criteria, qualification for the World Cup has changed. Now if a team doesn’t reach the round of 16, they don’t get to play in the tournament, and their spot was taken by the teams that finished top of the table. Therefore, the teams that qualified to play in this tournament must get through the qualification process in order to keep their spot.
At the World Cup Qualifiers, each of the six teams that qualified has a schedule of matches that they must follow. Each team is given three games to get themselves into the round of sixteen. When these teams have been eliminated, the other teams that didn’t get to compete in the round of sixteen will be given a bye in the tournament. The teams that qualify for the next world cup must get through the next qualifying tournaments in their schedules, and then another round of play to become a permanent participant in the championship.
The teams that qualified for the world cup in its current configuration have a very attractive chance of winning the event in its current configuration. England, in particular, seems to be a team that always seems to be able to surprise with some sort of performance, whether it’s a win or a loss. However, many fans have expressed concerns that if the England team does not win the event in its current configuration, that the team will be sent back to the three-year-olds tournament, where they will surely be hammered. With the added pressure of facing the highly favored Brazilians in the quarter finals, it would appear that this fear is just that: a fear.
So how can this situation be remedied? According to many experts on the matter, the current configuration of the world cup schedule is such that it gives the home team’s more of an opportunity to succeed than they would have otherwise. For example, in its recent history, qualification for the knockout stage was easier than in previous years. In both tournaments before the turn of the twenty-first century, only the best teams survived the group stages, where they had to go up against some of the finest teams in Europe. Now, as qualification moves closer, qualification itself is becoming easier as the top teams prepare to face off against the bottom teams in the quarter finals and semis.
Despite the recent poor performance of England, their fans still remain optimistic. “We’ve seen the best England has to offer this summer,” says Paul Stainton. “The fans are certainly hoping that the home nations can pull of a shock and win the world cup for the fourth time in five years.” Perhaps we will soon see a reflection of just how good English footballers are this season.