Five Reasons Why The World Cup Draw Should Annoy You

On Friday we'll sit in front of our televisions or Twitter, glued to what is basic administration. Daniel Storey stands on his soapbox and scrooges about the World Cup draw...

Last Updated: 06/12/13 at 09:39 Post Comment


1. It Takes Forever
Rather like the story regarding Japanese soldier Hiroo Onada, who emerged from the Philippine jungle in 1972 after 29 years of believing he was evading the enemy of World War II, there are still a handful of people in small tenements in Seoul watching the final stages of the 2002 World Cup draw from the romantically named BEXCO Convention Centre in Busan, committed to seeing it through to the end.

First up it's the videos of smiling faces. Then the d*ck-swinging from the 'great' and 'good'. Next comes some dancers in colourful costumes to wake up those that have inadvertently fallen into a semi-coma-like vegetative state, immediately succeeded by a figure we have no respect for telling us why we should be so respectful and grateful. Then comes the extended explanation of the rules, followed by more videos and yet more show-off guffery.

In every other area of our lives, we demand speed. We want our meals pre-made, our news up-to-the-second and our shopping delivered to the door. It's time to take the same stand on World Cup draws.


2. Why Only A Half Job On Seeding?
One can understand the seeding of international sides for a tournament, because doing so helps to ensure (or at least aims to) that the more successful sides will compete against each other in the latter stages of the tournament. But, why, unlike the Champions League, does the seeding end with the first seeds? Why are the top teams taken out with everyone else chucked in at the same level?

Doing so leads to the bizarre necessity that countries such as Australia and USA, Cameroon and Chile and Ecuador and Ghana are unable to meet in the group stages as if they have some odd anti-magnetism.

Instead, we could just calculate all the seeds on world ranking, making it remarkably easy to arrange the whole way down:
Pot A - Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Portugal, Uruguay, Italy
Pot B - Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, England, USA, Chile, Croatia
Pot C - Ivory Coast, France, Mexico, Bosnia, Russia, Ecuador, Ghana, Algeria
Pot D - Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Honduras

If they'd only let me.


3. Spoilsport Continental Separation
Whilst we're on the subject of the group arrangement, can anyone offer a justifiable reason for keeping apart sides from the same continent, especially given that they are unable to do so with European sides?

Who wouldn't want to see Uruguay playing Argentina for a place in the knock-out stages, or Mexico and the USA continuing their rivalry. Anyone that doesn't think that Ivory Coast against Ghana would be something intensely joyful isn't invited to my World Cup party.

It's not even as if this is tradition we're tweaking - such rules only came into effect for the 1998 World Cup, hence England, Ireland and the Netherlands in the same group in 1990. With those pots above, you could just create a free-for-all selection without relying on famous people understanding which teams could be drawn from which pots and when - eliminating the propensity for cock-up is a strong argument for change.

It would also stop the possibility of people wetting their pants over the mystical 'Pot X'. I've even seen a related X-Factor joke. Kill me now.


4. Mock Draws
Late last night you could have been a party to sport's (and perhaps even life's) lowest ebb. The mock draw.

One can understand the necessity to actually hold a dress rehearsal of the thing. After all, it's the only sodding thing some of these people have been organising for three years and you don't want an actress coming in and taking the p*ss out of the whole thing like Charlize Theron did before the draw in 2009, but - and this is the crucial bit - that doesn't mean we need to pay any attention.

'Not a good rehearsal draw for Australia with Brazil, France and Italy,' and 'Dress rehearsal draw was good. Hope it's the same for the real draw,' are actual things that you can actually read on Twitter by actual people that quite possibly have actual jobs. This time around, things have got even worse, with a multitude of websites that should know a great deal better allowing us to play out our own draw.

Yet these are the same people that fail to care (or offer to pay me) when I tell them I just record heads, heads, tails, heads, tails, tails, tails, heads, tails with a 10p coin. It means the same.

NB - To save you from confirming my sad suspicions and leaving this page to search for it, England got Spain, Ivory Coast and South Korea.


5. Why Are We Even Watching?
I know photocopying goes on, but I have no desire to watch it. I am aware that people have to frank envelopes, but viewing the procedure does not interest me. The spectatorship of mere administration should never be considered compulsive viewing, with no exceptions. Football matches are different, because there is enjoyment to be gained not just from the end but also from the means, but a World Cup draw comes firmly under administration, and here, the means are of no interest.

And yet we watch, and we moan about how long it is taking. And then when we get the information, we moan about how long it all took. And then we go on Twitter and read others moan about how long it took.


Daniel Storey - follow him on Twitter

The best thing to do is follow the draw live on F365 with the folks at ballstreet.



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