Originally Posted by Orange
You make some good points, but the fact remains that CONMEBOL only has ten teams. 50% of those teams usually qualify, that should be plenty.
If you consider Tahiti and the Cayman Islands as football nations you 're right. Otherwise CONCACAF, AFC and even CAF have less 'teams'.
The only option to increase the number of CONMEBOL teams would be to merge your zone with CONCACAF, because in the current system it would be crazy if 7 out of 10 (70%) of the teams in your qualifying were guaranteed a place in the World Cup.
It would be fair, because then USA and the likes would never qualify instead of Uruguay or Chile or Paraguay, but this is a nightmare for FIFA who would rather let hopeless USA fans spend a fraction of their time (and their money) to watch their 10th favourite sport play in the WC and fail miserably, than countries who LIVE AND BREATH FOOTBALL and a WC participation would be a national celebration.
You should also remember that teams like Cameroon, Nigeria, Romania, Denmark and several other great football teams failed to qualify in tough qualifications in their zones.
I already said about the african preliminaries that are the most ridiculous ever (groups are very uneven and only the first qualifies), and as for Europe I haven't mentioned it because I also believe Europe should have had more teams
After all, it was Europe that dominated the World Cup.
Europe dominated THIS world cup, but with more than three times as many teams in world cups has the same number of wins. For a continent with 5 as many teams thats not really exceptional...
It is also important to admit that Brazil and Argentina pull your zone ahead. Behind the two great teams CONMEBOL hardly has results to put you ahead of the best teams from other zones (apart from Uruguay's long lost glory) like Mexico, USA, Cameroon, Nigeria, Australia, and South Korea.
1. Uruguay have won 2 cups, a feat that NONE of the above will ever accomplish, and two more semi-finals (1954, 1970).
2. Chile have reached the semi-finals too (1962) and recently the last-16 (1998)
3. Paraguay have qualified 3 times to the last 16 (86, 98, 02) and have finished second in an Olympics tournament
4. Colombia has reached the last 16 in 1990 and had a remarkably strong team in 1994
5. Ecuador reached the last 16 in 2006
6. Peru reached the quarter-finals in 1970 and in 1978
Bolivia (who has qualified a few times) and Venezuela (without qualifications) who are the poorest sides - although I can assure you that the latter would most definitely beat the likes of Trinidad, Iran or Togo - are the only ones who have never gone through the groups. So they have all tasted a little bit of success and most importantly have produced some nice football and memorable players (Cubillas, Delgado, Valderrama, Higuita, Chilavert, Salas, Zamorano, Francescoli, to name a few)
Of the teams you mentioned USA has gone to the quarter finals twice (once at home), Australia went to the last 16 once (from the easiest group) while they hadn't even scored (!) prior to this WC, Cameroon just made it once to the quarter finals, Nigeria twice in the last-16 and only S.Korea has tasted a bit of success (at home of course) and we all remember how that happened
Finally Mexico who are in effect a latin country, have only reached the quarter-finals, both AT HOME. And lets not argue at how well the South American teams would have fared had there been any world cups hosted in this continent (the last one was almost 30 years ago)
So South America fares better than all of them even without Brazil and Argentina. In no other place in the world is football celebrated more, and more teams should qualify, not to mention that Brazil has to host a WC to see what football is all about AT LAST