|Title||I hope your favorite national team has not been eliminated|
|Description||only one of those squads, Algeria, would have made it to South Africa. In fact, taking out the eight teams that were last in line to qualify would also have removed Greece, Honduras, New Zealand, Nigeria, and North Korea, none of which seemed up to the task in the first round. All of them lost except New Zealand, which drew with Slovakia at the last minute and drew with Italy. It would be easy to structure a 24-team tournament. We could have four groups of six teams playing a round robin, with the two top teams from each group going directly to the quarterfinals. This system would keep the fans of the 24 teams interested for longer, as each one would play at least five matches. The quality of the soccer would be higher, and so would the television revenue; the tournament would have 68 matches instead of 64. Moreover, because of its longer group stage, the new system would guarantee that the best teams moved on in the tournament.Some of my fellow soccer commentators have responded to my idea by saying that having 32 teams expands the global market for soccer. I think that market is already pretty huge, and it's not likely to grow very much in places like Nigeria, Greece, and Honduras because of their participation in the final stages of the World Cup. In fact, the soccer market is probably growing most quickly in countries whose teams didn't even come close to qualifying for the final 32 -- countries like China, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.What would increase FIFA Coins the global market for soccer -- especially in the United States -- would be matches where the incredible talents of the world's best players were on display in suspenseful games of non-stop action. That's why we need a 24-team tournament again. The egregious mistakes made by World Cup field officials are far more insufferable than the incessant vuvuzelas. I hope your favorite national team has not been eliminated as a result. These kinds of errors, made while the world is watching, can be both embarrassing and dangerous. It certainly can put a dent into your career as a football referee, as the referee from Mali, Koman Coulibaly, soon learned after disallowing America's clean goal against Slovenia. There is a long history of spectator attacks on referees who were just doing their jobs, although doing them badly. In 2009, Kenyan fans knifed an assistant referee who failed to call a goal scorer off sides. Sometimes, referees fight back. In 2004, a South African referee shot and killed the coach who protested the yellow card he had just given one of his players. Football referees have been taking a great deal of heat for falling for player deception, but even vigilance here can lead to trouble. In May of this year, a referee showed a Croatian footballer a yellow card for diving, only later to discover that the player had died from a heart attack. As soon as the disallowed English goal against Germany was shown repeatedly on replay, the cry arose for instant replay.|
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