The Perks of Being a World Cup of Soccer Host

During the 1938 World Cup in France, FIFA introduced a new rule which gave the host country automatic entry into the tournament. Big mistake.
204 teams competed over 3 years for a spot in this year’s World Cup. As the host nation, South Africa automatically qualified for the tournament. The host nation is currently 83rd in the FIFA world rankings. Let me put that into perspective a little bit; Canada holds the 63rd spot, 20 ahead of South Africa.
The FIFA world rankings are based on each team’s performance over the passed four years. Matches are weighted according to significance which makes these rankings fairly accurate.
Since the host nation automatically qualifies for the World Cup, they do not have to participate in the qualifying match-ups. This year, South Africa became the first nation to take part in the preliminary qualifying because it also applied for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations (CAF). With a record of 1-4-1 South Africa did not qualify for the CAF this year.
Given that this is the first World Cup to be hosted in an African nation, it’s nice to see South Africa in the tournament. However, given the high-level of competition this tournament possesses, each team (including the host nation) should have to earn their spot on the field.
South Africa won’t make it out of Group A or even win a game in this tournament. This team lacks skill and the added pressure of being a host is a recipe for disaster.
Mexico is ranked 17th and the difference between these two teams was very clear today. South Africa could barely control the ball and had virtually no shots on goal in the first half. They had some moments of brilliance in the second half but still struggled to maintain the ball and work as a team. Playing to a 1-1 draw is an accomplishment but still not a victory.
It doesn’t get any easier for the host country who takes on Uruguay next, a team that has won the tournament twice and ranks 16th. Enjoy watching this team while you can because they won’t be in the tournament much longer.

Day One Results
Mexico 1 South Africa 1

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • comment-avatar

    this is a sad article. The south African team has put their heart and soul into hosting and playing the 2010 World Cup and they deserve a place in this event simply for that reason.
    South Africa has proved in the past that they can be rated the worst at a sport and still come back to make their mark. The fact that they where able to hold their own against Mexico ( having not allowed Mexico a lead through the entire game.) speaks to the fact that they have a right to be there. their Form of soccer may still be unrefined and underfunded but this is not just an opportunity to show their team to the world it is also a chance to create a sence of unity throughout all of Africa.
    Perhaps you should give them a chance to play before you nail them to the cross. The scored the FIRST goal in the 2010 World Cup and that is something all African people can be proud of. I am an Irish-Canadian and I am proud of them.
    Way to play the game South Africa…. Fair Play.

  • comment-avatar

    This article is a combination of poor research and a strong bias. The writer would perhaps feel more comfortable working in North Korea for Mr. Kim Jon Il, a place that would praise such bold conclusions.

    If you’re bitter about Canada (63rd) not playing in the world cup, then how about asking the Croatian, Russian, or Egyptian fans (10th, 11th, & 12th rankings) how they feel?

    Or better yet, why don’t you ask New Zealand how they qualified with a world ranking of 78?

    Instead of wasting your time trying to negate South Africa’s accomplishments, why don’t you redirect your words to the Canadian Government and ask them to rally our country and ensure we get into the next World Cup?