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Binky

The Road to Qatar.

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20 hours ago, Binky said:

We both want what's best for Canadian soccer.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We must be in 10-foot pole country again.

Like I said, Mt. Vic and I both want what's best for Canadian soccer. But, that doesn't mean we want the same thing.

It seems like quite a few that have participated in this thread, really like Mt. Vic idea of Canada traveling the Road to Qatar via the 7-35 route. Like really? What ever happened to Canadian confidence? You all know what I'm talking about. The confidence your Canadian grandfathers had when they came and liberated the Netherlands. If it was for the confidence of your grandfathers I wouldn't be here!

Well, unlike those who like Mt. Vic's 7-35 route, I've got oodles of confidence in our players taking the Hex route to Qatar.

Yes, of course, those HEX matches are way more difficult! But those are the kind of matches our players want to play!!!

I am confident that our lads are going to kick some YANKEE derriere in the Nations League and that we are going to make the HEX, but not thanks to Mt. Vic's format. We are going to earn it with Canadian confidence, just like our Canadian grandfather did 75 years ago! 

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:07 PM, An Observer said:

This!

This ... is the fact: The Road to Qatar goes through the United States.

Canada has not beaten the United States since 1990, when it won 1-0 in Burnaby, B.C. (and this was considered a B-international)

Canada's record versus the United States since then has been:  0-9-6

This streak has to end!!!

 

image.thumb.png.5df3a6d974b10a5a43f2dd5c3059ff62.png

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So what are the two countries ahead of Canada (that we need to pass) doing that Canada is not doing? Well, the answer is very simple: They play more matches! Their results aren't all that impressive, but their national associations spend money, which the CSA does not!!! In the case of Panama, especially. The Panamanians have traveled all over to world to play matches against quality opposition. That's what qualifying for a World Cup Final does for a country! What does the CSA do? Well I'll tell you! The CSA brags about all the goals Canada scores (all against minnows)! The CSA brags about being undefeated in so many matches (all against minnows). The CSA b_tches about how little money it has to work with! Basically, the CSA does F all! The only matches that the CMNT play are the those they are required to play in international competitions! The CSA is the main reason that Canada finds itself in 8th place of the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings behind El Salvador and Panama. It is quite obvious that the CSA does not want Canada to succeed on the Road to Qatar!!!

Final! Here are the results for  El Salvador, Panama and Canada over the past year:

El Salvador (13 matches)

08/09/18  Montserrat  1-2   El Salvador

11/09/18  Brazil  5-0  El Salvador

13/10/18  El Salvador  3-0  Barbados

16/11/18  Bermuda  1-0  El Salvador

20/11/18  El Salvador  1-0  Haiti

06/03/19  El Salvador  3-1  Guatemala

23/03/19  El Salvador  2-0  Jamaica

26/03/19  Peru  0-2  El Salvador

02/06/19  El Salvador  1 - 0  Haiti

09/06/19  Japan  2 - 0  El Salvador

17/06/19  Curaçao  0 - 1  El Salvador

21/06/19  El Salvador  0 - 0  Jamaica

25/06/19  Honduras  4 - 0  El Salvador

Panama (14 matches)

11 September 2018  Panama  0–2  Venezuela

12 October 2018  Japan  3–0  Panama

16 October 2018  South Korea  2–2  Panama

16 November 2018  Honduras  1–0  Panama

20 November 2018  Panama  1–2  Ecuador

27 January 2019  United States  3–0  Panama

23 March 2019  Brazil  1–1  Panama

29 May 2019  Panama  0–0  Basque Country

3 June 2019  Colombia  3–0  Panama

7 June 2019  Uruguay  3–0  Panama

18 June 2019  Panama  2–0  Trinidad and Tobago

22 June 2019  Guyana  2–4  Panama

26 June 2019  Panama  0–1  United States

30 June 2019  Jamaica  1–0  Panama

Canada (8 matches)

September 9, 2018
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Bradenton, United States
23px-Flag_of_the_United_States_Virgin_Is U.S. Virgin Islands
8–0
Osorio Goal 6', Cavallini Goal 9'45', David Goal 32'37', Hoilett Goal 50', Larin Goal 60'80'
October 16, 2018
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Toronto, Canada
23px-Flag_of_Dominica.svg.png Dominica
5–0
David Goal 3', Hoilett Goal 14', Cavallini Goal 18' (pen.), Joseph Goal 47' (o.g.), Larin Goal 82'
November 18, 2018
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
23px-Flag_of_Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis.svg.p Saint Kitts and Nevis
1–0
Hutchinson Goal 44'
 
March 24, 2019
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Vancouver, Canada
23px-Flag_of_French_Guiana.svg.png French Guiana
4–1
Hoilett Goal 11', Cavallini Goal 39'50', David Goal 41'
June 15, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Pasadena, United States
23px-Snake_Flag_of_Martinique.svg.png Martinique
4–0
David Goal 33'53', Hoilett Goal 63', Arfield Goal 67'
June 19, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Denver, United States
23px-Flag_of_Mexico.svg.png Mexico
1–3
Cavallini Goal 75'
June 23, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Charlotte, United States
23px-Flag_of_Cuba.svg.png Cuba
7–0
David Goal 3'71'77', Cavallini Goal 21'43'45+1', Hoilett Goal 50'
June 29, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Houston, United States
23px-Flag_of_Haiti.svg.png Haiti
2–3
David Goal 18', Cavallini Goal 28'

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Posted (edited)

Maaaaannn so... 

If our non official friendly WIN with T&T was ACTUALLY official + closing out the 2nd half vs Haiti for a win, we would be neck and neck with EL Salvador & Honduras for #5-6. Ugh, oh well, have to move forward but still hurts.

So we have a 30 point mountain to climb now, Nation Leagues can't come soon enough!

Edited by apbsmith

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Posted (edited)

What's interesting is the massive bump Haiti got by advancing in the Gold Cup. If Canada can win the group and advance in CNL, Top 6 is very attainable.

Best scenario is beating the USA, avoiding Mexico in the semi-Finals.

Reaching the Finals would qualify us for the HEX, winning the group could prove enough

 

Edited by Ansem

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I'm really excited for Nations League. We know there's a 30-point gap separating us from 6th, but I really like the Nations League group we're in.

Thanks to the posters who figured out the math, it looks like if you win against a team with a similar ranking to Cuba, you earn about another 3 points, so you'd think we will add 6 more points to our total in September. 1318 or 1319 would be nice after September's update. Whether that shrinks the 30-point gap or just keeps pace with it, we'll have to wait and see.

Here's what the other countries in the 5-10 range have for September Nations League matches:

Honduras - Doesn't start Nations League until October, so might schedule friendlies
El Salvador - Home to Saint Lucia, away at Dominican Republic
Panama - Home and away with Bermuda
Haiti and Curacao - Home and away with each other

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2 hours ago, jtpc said:

 

Honduras - Doesn't start Nations League until October, so might schedule friendlies
El Salvador - Home to Saint Lucia, away at Dominican Republic
Panama - Home and away with Bermuda
Haiti and Curacao - Home and away with each other

I follow CONCACAF, but is it bad that my personal calendar is now marked with  the games for all teams #5-9.🙈

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51 minutes ago, apbsmith said:

I follow CONCACAF, but is it bad that my personal calendar is now marked with  the games for all teams #5-9.🙈

Not at all! I'm already looking forward to mid-October. Not only do we have our home match against the US, but the potential is there to gain some significant ground on both Honduras and Panama. Honduras won't be earning any points against Martinique, and hopefully Panama doesn't earn any points in Mexico. Could be a great month all around for CanMNT! 💪 😃

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6 hours ago, Binky said:

So what are the two countries ahead of Canada (that we need to pass) doing that Canada is not doing? Well, the answer is very simple: They play more matches! Their results aren't all that impressive, but their national associations spend money, which the CSA does not!!! In the case of Panama, especially. The Panamanians have traveled all over to world to play matches against quality opposition. That's what qualifying for a World Cup Final does for a country! What does the CSA do? Well I'll tell you! The CSA brags about all the goals Canada scores (all against minnows)! The CSA brags about being undefeated in so many matches (all against minnows). The CSA b_tches about how little money it has to work with! Basically, the CSA does F all! The only matches that the CMNT play are the those they are required to play in international competitions! The CSA is the main reason that Canada finds itself in 8th place of the FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings behind El Salvador and Panama. It is quite obvious that the CSA does not want Canada to succeed on the Road to Qatar!!!

Final! Here are the results for  El Salvador, Panama and Canada over the past year:

El Salvador (13 matches)

08/09/18  Montserrat  1-2   El Salvador

11/09/18  Brazil  5-0  El Salvador

13/10/18  El Salvador  3-0  Barbados

16/11/18  Bermuda  1-0  El Salvador

20/11/18  El Salvador  1-0  Haiti

06/03/19  El Salvador  3-1  Guatemala

23/03/19  El Salvador  2-0  Jamaica

26/03/19  Peru  0-2  El Salvador

02/06/19  El Salvador  1 - 0  Haiti

09/06/19  Japan  2 - 0  El Salvador

17/06/19  Curaçao  0 - 1  El Salvador

21/06/19  El Salvador  0 - 0  Jamaica

25/06/19  Honduras  4 - 0  El Salvador

Panama (14 matches)

11 September 2018  Panama  0–2  Venezuela

12 October 2018  Japan  3–0  Panama

16 October 2018  South Korea  2–2  Panama

16 November 2018  Honduras  1–0  Panama

20 November 2018  Panama  1–2  Ecuador

27 January 2019  United States  3–0  Panama

23 March 2019  Brazil  1–1  Panama

29 May 2019  Panama  0–0  Basque Country

3 June 2019  Colombia  3–0  Panama

7 June 2019  Uruguay  3–0  Panama

18 June 2019  Panama  2–0  Trinidad and Tobago

22 June 2019  Guyana  2–4  Panama

26 June 2019  Panama  0–1  United States

30 June 2019  Jamaica  1–0  Panama

Canada (8 matches)

September 9, 2018
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Bradenton, United States
23px-Flag_of_the_United_States_Virgin_Is U.S. Virgin Islands
8–0
Osorio Goal 6', Cavallini Goal 9'45', David Goal 32'37', Hoilett Goal 50', Larin Goal 60'80'
October 16, 2018
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Toronto, Canada
23px-Flag_of_Dominica.svg.png Dominica
5–0
David Goal 3', Hoilett Goal 14', Cavallini Goal 18' (pen.), Joseph Goal 47' (o.g.), Larin Goal 82'
November 18, 2018
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
23px-Flag_of_Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis.svg.p Saint Kitts and Nevis
1–0
Hutchinson Goal 44'
 
March 24, 2019
2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League qualifying
Vancouver, Canada
23px-Flag_of_French_Guiana.svg.png French Guiana
4–1
Hoilett Goal 11', Cavallini Goal 39'50', David Goal 41'
June 15, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Pasadena, United States
23px-Snake_Flag_of_Martinique.svg.png Martinique
4–0
David Goal 33'53', Hoilett Goal 63', Arfield Goal 67'
June 19, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Denver, United States
23px-Flag_of_Mexico.svg.png Mexico
1–3
Cavallini Goal 75'
June 23, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Charlotte, United States
23px-Flag_of_Cuba.svg.png Cuba
7–0
David Goal 3'71'77', Cavallini Goal 21'43'45+1', Hoilett Goal 50'
June 29, 2019
2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Houston, United States
23px-Flag_of_Haiti.svg.png Haiti
2–3
David Goal 18', Cavallini Goal 28'

Not just the number of games, but significant difference in quality of opponent.

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15 minutes ago, kacbru said:

Not just the number of games, but significant difference in quality of opponent.

Sadly, I believe that because Canada has languished in international doldrums for so long now, that we are no longer an attractive opponent for many countries. Every country has a soccer reputation. How do you think other countries view Canada when it come to soccer. Just go down the CONCACAF list above. What do you think Mexicans think of Canadian soccer? Americans? Haitians? Do you think that these countries admire our play? Do they spend much time thinking about Canadian players? Do they fear playing against Canada? I guess you get the picture. Respect is something you earn on the soccer pitch, and one certainly doesn't get that from playing against the likes of opponents we have been playing against.

The solution? We need to start playing friendlies against countries that find themselves in a similar boat. Countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. If we wait and don't play countries like these until World Cup qualifiers, we end up unprepared for the conditions that those matches are contested in. All our young players need to experience hostile environments before World Cup qualifiers, because they d_mn well will have to play 2 or 3 of those matches if we qualify for the HEX, and will almost certainly have to play one if we have to go via the B route.

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Why don't we just do away with World Cup qualifiers altogether, and just organize one great big global tournament instead?

There are 211 countries eligible for Qatar 2022. Give the top 45 FIFA/Coca-Cola ranked countries a first round bye, and put the remaining 166 countries in a hat. Draw a 83 pairings and have them play a home and home series, with the 83 winning countries joining the 45 countries that received a bye. Put the 128 countries in the hat again and draw 64 pairings. Keep repeating this process for 32, 16, 8, 4, 2, and 1 pairings, and Shazam, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a World Champion. Nothing to complain about, and it would take only 16 match days to complete, which could easily be accomplished in a two-year cycle, and that way we could have twice as many World Champions, and not be forced to go to places like Doha to watch the final, that is unless Qatar made it all the way to the final pairing, and everybody knows that will never, ever happen. This way the Final two matches would always be played in the countries that have the world's best players. And so it should be, IMHO!!!

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On 7/25/2019 at 2:06 PM, kacbru said:

Not just the number of games, but significant difference in quality of opponent.

For all their efforts, those extra friendlies don’t appear to have benefited Panama much from a points perspective. I see a whole bunch of losses and two draws. 

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1 hour ago, Binky said:

Why don't we just do away with World Cup qualifiers altogether, and just organize one great big global tournament instead?

There are 211 countries eligible for Qatar 2022. Give the top 45 FIFA/Coca-Cola ranked countries a first round bye, and put the remaining 166 countries in a hat. Draw a 83 pairings and have them play a home and home series, with the 83 winning countries joining the 45 countries that received a bye. Put the 128 countries in the hat again and draw 64 pairings. Keep repeating this process for 32, 16, 8, 4, 2, and 1 pairings, and Shazam, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a World Champion. Nothing to complain about, and it would take only 16 match days to complete, which could easily be accomplished in a two-year cycle, and that way we could have twice as many World Champions, and not be forced to go to places like Doha to watch the final, that is unless Qatar made it all the way to the final pairing, and everybody knows that will never, ever happen. This way the Final two matches would always be played in the countries that have the world's best players. And so it should be, IMHO!!!

Won’t happen because:

1) Regional interest from confederations

2) Absurd amounts of Travel

3) Objections from clubs - why do you think the old European Champions Cup went the way of the dodo?

4) One bad result and you are done for four years.

5) $$$$$ (not generating enough)

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7 hours ago, Binky said:

Why don't we just do away with World Cup qualifiers altogether, and just organize one great big global tournament instead?

There are 211 countries eligible for Qatar 2022. Give the top 45 FIFA/Coca-Cola ranked countries a first round bye, and put the remaining 166 countries in a hat. Draw a 83 pairings and have them play a home and home series, with the 83 winning countries joining the 45 countries that received a bye. Put the 128 countries in the hat again and draw 64 pairings. Keep repeating this process for 32, 16, 8, 4, 2, and 1 pairings, and Shazam, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a World Champion. Nothing to complain about, and it would take only 16 match days to complete, which could easily be accomplished in a two-year cycle, and that way we could have twice as many World Champions, and not be forced to go to places like Doha to watch the final, that is unless Qatar made it all the way to the final pairing, and everybody knows that will never, ever happen. This way the Final two matches would always be played in the countries that have the world's best players. And so it should be, IMHO!!!

In this hypothetical situation it better be a completely random draw. I want Germany vs England and at the same time have the Bahamas vs San Marino fighting it out in the round of 128. 

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1 hour ago, SkuseisLoose said:

In this hypothetical situation it better be a completely random draw. I want Germany vs England and at the same time have the Bahamas vs San Marino fighting it out in the round of 128. 

I agree.

In order to make the hypothetical format totally fair, as in 100%, which is something that FIFA would obviously never consider, the 45 countries receiving a first round bye should also be drawn randomly out of the hat, instead of awarding those 45 byes to countries based on FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings.

In a completely fair format, countries like the Bahamas and San Marino would have the same chance at receiving a first round bye as would Germany and England. And of course in theory, the numbers 1 and 2 in the world would have the same chance of meeting in the first round as the numbers 210 and 211 in the world.

Like why should any governing body be justified in fixing a draw that favours the number 1 and 2 countries meeting in the final? Yes, I understand that that makes the most money. And we all know that presidents of FIFA and continental confederations are the most greedy, backstabbing f_ckers in the world.

However, don't most fans grow tried of watching the United States and Mexico contest the Gold Cup final 6 out of 15 times, and win the trophy outright 14 out of 15 times? CONCACAF should just scrap the entire Gold Cup tournament and proceed straight away to a one final match, played in the United States of course, between the United States and Mexico. Like this has to be the most boring confederation championship EVER!!!

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5 hours ago, Binky said:

However, don't most fans grow tried of watching the United States and Mexico contest the Gold Cup final 6 out of 15 times, and win the trophy outright 14 out of 15 times? CONCACAF should just scrap the entire Gold Cup tournament and proceed straight away to a one final match, played in the United States of course, between the United States and Mexico. Like this has to be the most boring confederation championship EVER!!!

Yeah, it's called the Gold Cup for a reason. It's just about digging for gold.

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1 hour ago, Kent said:

Yeah, it's called the Gold Cup for a reason. It's just about digging for gold.

Yeah, but ... it can't all be about just one country. Everybody has to be entitled to a few nuggets. How would the United States' monopoly fly in Europe? or South America? or Asia? or Africa? It wouldn't, right? Only in a soccer confederation as bullied as CONCACAF is by the United States, and where the very distant second best economy is comprised of a bunch of polite yes-men, is such a scenario possible. There's a reason that outside of the United States and Canada, the Gold Cup is not considered a true confederation championship. The only Silver-Lining to the Gold Cup is that in spite of the way its run , it hasn't done a thing for the United States Men's National Team when it comes to their performances in the World Cup. Thank God they'll never have enough money to buy that tournament. Ha, they even came up short of cash to Qatar when it came to buying the right to stage the 2022 World Cup. In fact, I wouldn't it be beautiful if the United States, if they qualify, were drawn into the same group as Qatar, so that Qatar could also beat them on the field as well, in their very first-ever World Cup Final match. That would really be the cherry on top of the cake. Go Ró-Ró!!!

Gold Prices - Historical Annual Data
Year Average
Closing Price
Year Open Year High Year Low Year Close Annual
% Change
2019 $1,320.75 $1,287.20 $1,437.05 $1,270.05 $1,426.35 11.29%
2018 $1,268.93 $1,312.80 $1,360.25 $1,176.70 $1,281.65 -1.15%
2017 $1,260.39 $1,162.00 $1,351.20 $1,162.00 $1,296.50 12.57%
2016 $1,251.92 $1,075.20 $1,372.60 $1,073.60 $1,151.70 8.63%
2015 $1,158.86 $1,184.25 $1,298.00 $1,049.60 $1,060.20 -11.59%
2014 $1,266.06 $1,219.75 $1,379.00 $1,144.50 $1,199.25 -0.19%

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8 hours ago, Binky said:

In order to make the hypothetical format totally fair, as in 100%, which is something that FIFA would obviously never consider, the 45 countries receiving a first round bye should also be drawn randomly out of the hat, instead of awarding those 45 byes to countries based on FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings.

In a completely fair format, countries like the Bahamas and San Marino would have the same chance at receiving a first round bye as would Germany and England. And of course in theory, the numbers 1 and 2 in the world would have the same chance of meeting in the first round as the numbers 210 and 211 in the world.

Disagree.

Suppose you have a 16 team elimination tournament. And suppose for the sake of argument there is a huge gap in quality between the top 8 teams and the bottom 8 teams. The top 8 teams are very close in ability and the bottom 8 are also close in ability but the gap between them is huge. If you were to randomly draw 7 of the top teams into one side of the bracket and the other top team into the other side of the bracket, then you've got a very unfair setup.  On one side the good teams are going to war against each other, getting banged up getting yellows and reds, running hard and getting exhausted. On the other side one team is waltzing thru the stages and resting key players. Then in the final game it is a very close match where the team with the easy path wins on a questionable ref call or some such whim of the soccer gods.  A lot of people are going to question the format of your tournament having decided the best team.

Agree that ideally you don't want to use rankings if you don't have to (eg. CONEMBOL world cup qualifying). But most of the time you reluctantly need to consider the ranking info to help seed the tournament fairly.

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Soro17 said:

For all their efforts, those extra friendlies don’t appear to have benefited Panama much from a points perspective. I see a whole bunch of losses and two draws. 

Agree about Panama, it definitely helped El Salvador & Jamaica though imo.

In the long term the format helps us, if it actually stays past this cycle :

1) You need to actually play friendlies (which all us fans want)

2) Getting a results in the friendlies do matter (better quality game)

Edited by apbsmith

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Posted (edited)

I know in hindsight It looks bad but it seems this decision was made long ago and since nobody could have predicted we would have drawn 2 non fifa teams. I also think the CSA and rightfully so felt we would have made the final 4. If we beat Haiti I think we'd be sitting pretty

Its also possible that no Concacaf team including TT was willing to play us in an official game because they know we would win and our calibre is disproportionate to our ranking so it would kill their ranking

I strongly believe right now (insert Haiti comment) we beat more often than not any team in Concacaf except the big 2

Edited by SpursFlu

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5 hours ago, CanSuffer said:

Disagree.

Suppose you have a 16 team elimination tournament. And suppose for the sake of argument there is a huge gap in quality between the top 8 teams and the bottom 8 teams. The top 8 teams are very close in ability and the bottom 8 are also close in ability but the gap between them is huge. If you were to randomly draw 7 of the top teams into one side of the bracket and the other top team into the other side of the bracket, then you've got a very unfair setup.  On one side the good teams are going to war against each other, getting banged up getting yellows and reds, running hard and getting exhausted. On the other side one team is waltzing thru the stages and resting key players. Then in the final game it is a very close match where the team with the easy path wins on a questionable ref call or some such whim of the soccer gods.  A lot of people are going to question the format of your tournament having decided the best team.

Agree that ideally you don't want to use rankings if you don't have to (eg. CONEMBOL world cup qualifying). But most of the time you reluctantly need to consider the ranking info to help seed the tournament fairly.

 

Based on your reply, I don't think that I explained my hypothetical format that clearly. What I was proposing, involved have a draw after the completion of each round. Therefore, there wouldn't be two sides as you interpreted. I suppose at the completion of the tournament that you could if you wanted to, draw up a chart that would show the path of each country, and there would be 1 in a gazillion chance (I'm to lazy to figure out the odds, but if you want just multiply 211 by 210 by 209 by 208 by 207 by 206 by 205 and you'll get the exact odds of that happening, which should be fairly close to a gazillion by my estimates, give or take a few billion). However, such a chart would be after the fact, and not something that was drafted up in advance.

I am curious about when you mentioned the reluctant need to consider a ranking system to help seed a tournament fairly. What kind of ranking system do you consider fair? Is FIFA's ranking system fair? Is there another ranking system that is more fair than the one FIFA employs? Doesn't the fact that ranking systems need to be defined, make them subjective in the first place? Personally, I can't think of any method that would be fairer than a random drawing out of a hat!

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3 hours ago, Binky said:

Based on your reply, I don't think that I explained my hypothetical format that clearly. What I was proposing, involved have a draw after the completion of each round. Therefore, there wouldn't be two sides as you interpreted. I suppose at the completion of the tournament that you could if you wanted to, draw up a chart that would show the path of each country, and there would be 1 in a gazillion chance (I'm to lazy to figure out the odds, but if you want just multiply 211 by 210 by 209 by 208 by 207 by 206 by 205 and you'll get the exact odds of that happening, which should be fairly close to a gazillion by my estimates, give or take a few billion). However, such a chart would be after the fact, and not something that was drafted up in advance.

I am curious about when you mentioned the reluctant need to consider a ranking system to help seed a tournament fairly. What kind of ranking system do you consider fair? Is FIFA's ranking system fair? Is there another ranking system that is more fair than the one FIFA employs? Doesn't the fact that ranking systems need to be defined, make them subjective in the first place? Personally, I can't think of any method that would be fairer than a random drawing out of a hat!

Apologies. I didn't understand it right and was making a long-winded argument against something else (unbalanced brackets in a fixed elimination tournament).  I would say your suggestion might be fair. However, it is a bad idea for practical reasons. If the two best teams play in round one, then the winner of the tournament may have already been decided and the interest for spectators (and even the teams involved perhaps) to be engaged in the many subsequent rounds is gone. Also, it will be hard to look at the results of the tournament when it is complete and draw any conclusions of how each team ranks against all the others. A fixed bracket system does a better, but not perfect job of that.

Regarding ranking systems whether there are good ones or bad ones is not the point. Even a good one will be imperfect. That's why I say that when you have to use one you are reluctant. And it's why you try to have it impact the format as little as possible. The one format that is indisputably fair is a round-robin. Everyone plays everyone and so you can compare everyone to everyone. It's hard to argue that the team on top of a round-robin table isn't the best one. CONEMBOL does this. Also, the English Premier League season does this. Every team plays every other in a completely balanced schedule. The Brits get this and that's probably why they see no need for playoffs. The best team has already been decided in a regular season format where everyone had a fair chance.  The problem with round-robin is there's usually too many games to play for the amount of time available.

I don't know about the other top leagues in Europe. I would expect that many of them have fully balanced season schedules and no playoffs too....  I hope someone will inform me.

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2 hours ago, CanSuffer said:

However, it is a bad idea for practical reasons. If the two best teams play in round one, then the winner of the tournament may have already been decided and the interest for spectators (and even the teams involved perhaps) to be engaged in the many subsequent rounds is gone.

Hey, no problem. But does it really make a difference if the best team eliminates the second best team in the first round, or in the last round? The best team, remains the best team. Take for instance the most recent World Cup, where the United States defeated the Netherlands in the final. Would it have made any difference if the United States had beat the Netherlands in the round of 16? To me, the answer to that question is: no. The United States was already the best team before the tournament started, and they confirmed that fact by winning the tournament.

Returning to the hypothetical format of the 211-country men's World Cup, I disagree with you argument that it's bad idea to have the possibility of the best two teams drawn to face each other in the first round and that if this were to happen that the interest for spectators to be engaged would be gone. I would think that exactly the opposite would be true, because for argument sake let's say Brazil and Germany are seen as the best two countries in the world, and as fate would have it, they are drawn to face each other in the first round. Now if you're a supporter of one of the 209 other countries in the competitions, all of a sudden you like the chances of your own country a whole lot better now, as one of the best two countries will be eliminated after the first round, right? Say that Canada in this scenario had received a first round bye. Now for the second round draw they would face a 1 in 127 chance of being drawn against one of the worlds two best countries, as opposed to a 1 in  63.5 chance of being drawn against one of the worlds two best countries if Brazil and Germany had not been drawn against each other in the opening round and if both had ended up winning their first round ties. Suddenly, everybody likes their chances twice of winning as much.

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