Euro 2008 Draw: a Bit Potty
The Euro 2008 draw was made this morning, and UEFA’s quite literally potty system produced an odd result. Before the draw in Lucerne, hosts Austria and Switzerland and holders Greece were in Pot 1 along with Holland, meaning the four nations were the top seeds and would definitely be in separate groups. Meanwhile, minnows like France, Italy, Spain and Germany had no such guarantees. Somehow, France were in Pot 4. The result was one big ole’ Group of Death.
Here’s what the Euro 2008 groups will look like next summer…
You don’t need me to tell you that Group C is the one to watch. World Cup holders Italy, World Cup runners up France, a Holland team that’s always dangerous and a Romania team that romped through qualifying. Should be fun to watch, but you have to question UEFA’s system. Any system that places Austria in Pot 1 and France in Pot 4 is literally upside down.
With two of the four teams in Pot 1 being hosts Austria and Switzerland, and Greece being unexpected winners last time out, the draw was always going to be odd. But add in the system where only results from World Cup 2006 and Euro 2008 qualifying games are used, and not the slightly more important results at the actual tournaments and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
It’s meant to reward the teams that perform consistently in qualifying, but by undervaluing the traditional, powerful nations like France and Italy it hurts the smaller team teams who would prefer to avoid them. Ask a Romanian if they feel they’ve been rewarded for their successful qualifying campaign this morning.