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#61 [url]

Mar 8 12 8:41 PM

I hope North Korea don't qualify. Would be great to see the Philippines do it but I think they are the weakest in Group B.

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#62 [url]

Mar 8 12 11:30 PM

nfm24 wrote:
It is pretty stupid. It would have been understandable if they only qualified as previous winners, but they had to go to a qualifying group. Wouldn't the effort be better spent on a genuine "emerging" nation?

Asian football has become a bit of a joke over the years, with the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup and having four automatic qualifiers for the Asian Cup (the host, the winner, the runner-up and the third place team!!!). North Korean league football is probably more organised and professional than most of the Gulf countries but no one has seen any of their clubs play.

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#63 [url]

Mar 9 12 11:58 PM

Official reason from FIFA as to why only this year's Challenge Cup matches count as continental qualifiers:

"The new international match regulations became valid from 1st August 2011"
Not sure what these regulations are, but it explains why matches before this date are counted as friendly matches.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, changing of the previous matches from "friendly" to "continental qualifier" would have a big impact on the ranking...

So, basically, these smaller teams will be deprived of the points that they deserve just because FIFA is scared that people will criticise it if the ranking changes too much.

And all this time, they see no problem with American Samoa being ranked above Kyrgyzstan...

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#66 [url]

Mar 19 12 11:29 PM

SE-Stubbs wrote:
North Korea win again. I really don't get how they are allowed to compete so I just sent a lengthy email to AFC explaining why they should be 'upgraded'.

Considering what an embarrasment they were at the last World Cup and Asian Cup, I beg to differ. If there is no decent team to get the Asian Cup ticket, then the tournament should be cut off from the qualifying process.

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#67 [url]

Mar 20 12 12:48 AM

I think AFC don't want weaker teams like India qualify

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#68 [url]

Mar 20 12 7:15 AM

let us consider it like giving a wild card.....
is there a chance some of this teams will participate in the AC qualifiyng tournament? Last time Maldives and India (withdrew) did...

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#69 [url]

Mar 20 12 12:49 PM

trekky76 wrote:
Considering what an embarrasment they were at the last World Cup

Bit harsh... they did OK vs Brazil, and they were in a tough group. They had some decent results in friendlies. I don't see many Asian teams that would have done much better. The last Gulf team to qualify was Saudi in 2002 and they were thrashed 8-0 by Germany.

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#71 [url]

Mar 20 12 3:59 PM

Still, it would hurt the image of Asian Cup if the likes of Philippines or Tajikistan qualified. Don't get me wrong, I do think it's good for them to play some better teams in a tnmt formal but they would stand no chance in a continental final. Let's face it, as it is now the likes of Malaysia, Hong Kong, UAE and Indonesia would better suit for the Challenge Cup than Asian Cup.. Perhaps a 3-level tournament with promotions and relegations would suit the AFC better.

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#73 [url]

Mar 21 12 8:37 AM

Well, AFC will have to have a weak team like India qualifying - because in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, North Korea cannot qualify again for the Asian Cup, so the runner-up will qualify if North Korea win again.

I'm not sure North Korea were an "embarrassment" in the last Asian Cup either - they failed to score a goal, but they lost only 1-0 to 2 of the stronger Asian teams (Iran and Iraq) and finished ahead of UAE in the standings. Should we put UAE in the Challenge Cup?

India were much more of an embarrassment, conceding 13 goals in 3 games.

The simple fact is - the qualifying should be based on NATIONAL TEAM strength, not league strength or political considerations. It's a tournament for national teams. North Korea should not be in the Challenge Cup.

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