FIFA move is not fair play

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

en­sures that even if Is­rael did slip through the net, they would prob­a­bly face a mam­moth task against one of the giants of Euro­pean foot­ball thanks to a cur­rent rank­ing of 22nd in the world.

There is no harm in that, pro­vid­ing the route was al­ways mapped out. Some still re­gard the Foot­ball League play-offs as un­fair, yet clubs know be­fore the sea­son starts that to be guar­an­teed pro­mo­tion to the Premier League a top two fin­ish is re­quired. Fall short and en­ter the play-offs. Every­one knows where they stand.

That is not true of the World Cup. Who knew what was hap­pen­ing un­til FIFA alighted on the for­mat at the last minute from, by the looks of it, a sub­jec­tive po­si­tion? John De­laney of the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land said that a year ago FIFA ad­vised that the draw would most likely not be seeded. It is this vague­ness that is so wrong. The rules should be known on the day the tour­na­ment be­gins; foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body, of all peo­ple, should not be mak­ing them up as they go along.

Par­ti­san emo­tions aside, we all want to see the best play­ers and the best teams at the tour­na­ment. No­body would be too thrilled if Ron­aldo missed out while Nor­way were given an easy ride; ev­ery­body un­der­stands the logic. Yet th­ese de­tails must be agreed in ad­vance rather than at the push of a panic but­ton. Sepp Blat­ter, the FIFA pres­i­dent, is very fond of fair play; he might like to try some him­self. Martin Sa­muel is the chief sports writer of the Daily Mail, where his col­umn ap­pears on Mon­day and Wed­nes­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.