Prandelli says what everyone else is thinking
As the countdown to this afternoon’s World Cup draw in Brazil continues, criticism of the methods used to determine the seedings has grown.
FIFA picked its eight seeds based solely on the world ranking, with host Brazil joined by Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Portugal, Uruguay and Switzerland, while Italy was one of the countries that just missed out.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has questioned FIFA’s seeding system for the World Cup draw, describing the decision to use October’s FIFA Ranking as “ridiculous”.
Quite frankly, he has a point.
Since the seeds were announced, the Azzurri have leapfrogged Switzerland into seventh position, which would have earned it a spot in Pot 1 of the draw, leaving Prandelli unhappy.
“I’d say FIFA should reconsider the draw issue in future,” Italy’s coach told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Everybody can see something isn’t right with the current system. Are we looking at the FIFA Ranking? Alright, we’re seventh again now and have been among the top seven countries for about two-and-a-half years.
“Yet we’re only looking at October. That’s a bit ridiculous. That makes it a bizarre situation.”
It is the presence of Switzerland as one of the seeded nations that has attracted most criticism.
“In general, I find that the world ranking is difficult to understand, for example, Switzerland in seventh ahead of the Italians,” Germany coach Joachim Low told Sportal in October.
Italy, it is worth noting, have not lost a World Cup qualifier in 7 years.
Another country wondering why they have missed out on a seeding is Holland.
The Dutch dropped two points in the qualification phase, in all winning 26 of their last 28 qualification matches.
Louis Van Gaal was mystified when the World Cup seeds were announced.
“Oranje were sixth at the time I started, now we’re eighth, while no official matches have been lost,” he told AD. “This makes me wonder to what extent it is a real reflection.”