Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

India and football world cup

Football World Cup 2010 is going on. India is not one of the 32 countries participating in the World Cup. Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Holland, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Paraguay, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay and USA are the participants.
India was a participant in Hockey World Cup 2010 and Cricket World Cup 2010 which had less than 32 teams. India was not able to make it to Football World Cup 2010. Why was India not good enough for football?
One view is that Indians are not strong enough for football. In cricket 5’4” tall batsman can hit a 7’ tall fast bowler for a six. In football stamina is needed.
That may be a reason but not the only reason. Hockey needs stamina and Indians were in hockey. FIFA rules are complex. We have three countries from Asia, five countries from South America, three countries from North America, twelve countries from Europe, seven from Africa and two from Australia and Oceania.
We see neighbouring countries participating in the World Cup. The twelve countries from Europe and five countries from South America are neighbours. USA and Mexico are neighbours. Algeria and Morocco are neighbours. North Korea and South Korea are neighbours. Ghana and Ivory Coast are neighbours. Cameroon and Nigeria are neighbours. Vast stretch of land from Poland to China is unrepresented.
FIFA plays with geography. Some countries that are part of Asia are considered part of Europe. Some countries not part of Asia are considered part of Asia. Considering Australia and New Zealand as part of Asia deprived two Asian countries of their chance to participate in the World Cup. One could have been India.
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