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Thread: UEFA boycott of the World Cup?

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    UEFA boycott of the World Cup?

    I can't see it happening but I'd love to see it happen. Following Blatter's re-election, UEFA have got to take some stand. A boycott of the World Cup seems the only option. The World Cup will lose it's prestige if UEFA countries are not a part of it.

    If UEFA surprisingly were to boycott, they should simply stage a European Championship in 2018. I suppose Russia will not agree to it as they'll be hosting it but so be it. For a boycott to be meaningful, I would say over two-thirds of UEFA's nations would have to be in agreement and it will need the support of England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

    UEFA could invite nations outside of Europe to be part of the championships. USA and Australia are two nations likely to be disgruntled with FIFA as well. Actions speak louder than words as they say. Africa is the biggest voting block within FIFA. The only powerful stance Europe can take is by collectively boycotting the World Cup. If Russia go it alone, fair enough. UEFA might just have to consider excluding them European competition both nationally and at club level.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
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    Be careful what you wish for. While I agree with the sentiment, as a guy who loves international football and wants too cling to the forlorn hope that international football can - at least sometimes - remain the pinnacle of the game, dividing up the confederations and FIFA might weaken them and allow the clubs even more control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    I can't see it happening but I'd love to see it happen. Following Blatter's re-election, UEFA have got to take some stand. A boycott of the World Cup seems the only option. The World Cup will lose it's prestige if UEFA countries are not a part of it.

    If UEFA surprisingly were to boycott, they should simply stage a European Championship in 2018. I suppose Russia will not agree to it as they'll be hosting it but so be it. For a boycott to be meaningful, I would say over two-thirds of UEFA's nations would have to be in agreement and it will need the support of England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

    UEFA could invite nations outside of Europe to be part of the championships. USA and Australia are two nations likely to be disgruntled with FIFA as well. Actions speak louder than words as they say. Africa is the biggest voting block within FIFA. The only powerful stance Europe can take is by collectively boycotting the World Cup. If Russia go it alone, fair enough. UEFA might just have to consider excluding them European competition both nationally and at club level.
    I'd be surprised if this happens. Apparently the Spanish and French federations voted for Blatter, as did a few other European federations, so I don't think that UEFA will get consensus. There is no way Russia will boycott it's own World Cup and I'm not sure UEFA will want to lose Russia (the largest UEFA country in terms of population) in the long term. Add Spain and France into the equation and I think a full boycott isn't really on the cards. There might be a partial boycott where say Poland, England, Sweden, the Baltics, the Dutch and possibly Germany all withdraw. Will the World Cup be poorer without teams like Germany, the Dutch (and too a lesser extent England)? Probably, but at the same time major UEFA nations have missed out in the recent past - there was no France in 1990, no England or France in 1994 and we put out the Dutch in 2002 qualification. You would still see top level teams (Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia etc) and you would still see some of the worlds best players (Messi, Aguero, the Spanish players). Even a partial boycott might have problems within UEFA. In this case some other UEFA federations might take the view that without say Germany and the Dutch there is a better chance of winning it (doubled with the fact that 2018 is in Europe) and so a wavering nation (like Portugal or Croatia) might think it's the best chance they have of winning it, and so may send a team. You could maybe even say the same about Belgium, who have a "golden generation" and might think that with players like Hazard, Courtois etc at their peak they couldn't afford to miss the tournament from a sporting stance. Even the "smaller" nations like Wales, Iceland, Hungary might take the view that a depleted UEFA group represents an un-missable opportunity to qualify for a (modern era) World Cup and they might break rank.

    As an aside I think if this is going to happen then the boycotting nations would need to make their stance known before the qualification draw next month. Some qualification has already started (India's already played it's first games and Canada will in 10 days), but the UEFA draw is on the 25th of July and if a country (or group of countries) boycotted after that it would make a total mess of the qualification groups and also might be deemed withdrawal/failure to complete matches by FIFA, which could lead to a 2-3 cycle ban - it would mean boycotting 2018 on it's own would be impossible as a ban for 2022 and 2026 would be likely too.

    The other question is if full (or even partial) UEFA boycott happened, what would the boycotting nations do instead of qualification? After Euro 2016 these nations would have no competitive matches for 2 years (until Euro 2020 qualification). They could try and run a shadow World Cup, but would you really need qualification for that? If it was a 32 team tournament then you would only have to eliminate 10-12 teams (from the boycotting UEFA countries) so the big countries wouldn't even need to play a game (you would just presumably have two legged knockouts between the lesser ranking teams e.g. Lithuania vs Moldova), even if you take it down to 24 teams and invite the USA and Australia, the big UEFA teams are likely to sail through qualification. If you take a team like England, they've virtually already qualified for Euro 2016 (as the top two directly qualify), they would then have a gap while there is no qualification for 2018 (if they boycott), and then another Euro qualification (for 2020) when again (given their seeding and the fact 24 teams make it) they might have qualification sewn up after 6-7 games. The English FA have enough trouble trying to sell tickets for internationals, it would be even harder to try and sell tickets for 6 years of friendlies and "dud" qualifying games. I think it could be the end for International Football in the UEFA region.
    "You have to be fair in football - you have to be honest and well done to you if you've won, but you have to win in a good way." T. Henry, Stade de France, Arsenal 1 - 2 Barcelona, 16-05-2006.

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