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Ranking the 16 World Cup group stage exiles

Friday 29th June 2018

Can you imagine the fit that club presidents and managers would have if FIFA announced a Europa League equivalent for the World Cup?

Like third-place finishers in the Champions League group stages, the World Cup group also-rans could decamp to a nearby country, let’s say Germany in this case, even though it would give die Mannschaft an unexpected home advantage they could have used in the tournament proper. Wherever the castoffs land, they could play one-off elimination matches to determine a secondary champion.

What to call it? We could go all WWE and label it the Intercontinental Cup, even though that’s already been used by FIFA. Recycling is a good thing, though, isn’t it?

Alright, that’s settled. The next thing would be to seed the countries. Let’s do that. Only, not by their FIFA Rankings or the squad’s general quality. That will have something to do with it, but I’m thinking the primary criterion should be how well or badly they performed in the tournament.

Here then, seeded from top to bottom, are the 16 teams bumped from Russia 2018.

Today's Football Tips
Martin Palazzotto

The former editor of World Football Columns, Martin authored the short story collection strange bOUnce. He appeared in several other blogs which no longer exist. Old, he likes to bring out defunct. If outdated sport and pop-cultural references intrude on his meanderings for It's Round and It's White, don't be alarmed. He's harmless.

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