womenforfootball.com – Thanks to the dominance of France, Italy, Spain and Germany in the past decade, it had became a myth that European teams would always dominate the World Cup games from Group stage all the way to the Finals. Many pundits called it the end of an era for likes of Brazil and Argentina and would call for reduction of FIFA World Cup quotas from North American, Central and South American teams in favour of more spots for European teams.
Yet, as World Cup 2014 came to a close, North, Central and South American teams( called American Continent) incredibly matched their European counterparts in terms of their presence in Quarter Finals, Semifinals and the Final. That is while, European teams always enjoy the advantage of having 13 continental quotas for World Cup, while American Continent teams combined have only 8 representatives at each World Cup.
As shown in the chart, the progress report of European continental teams are compared with American continent teams in the span of 8 years(or 3 World Cup Rounds).
• There is a downward trend line by European teams in their recent World Cup appearances. For instance, there used to be 6 European teams in Quarter Finals of World Cup 2006, but in 2014 it was reduced to 4. Also in 2006 and 2010, it was an all European Final but that has been diminished to one European team in the Final of 2014 World Cup games.
• There is an upward trend line by American Continent teams in their recent World Cup appearances. Despite having much fewer representatives than Europeans in World Cup, American teams managed to have 4 teams in Quarter Finals of World Cup 2014, improved from 2 in 2006. Also for the first time in the last three World Cup rounds, in 2014, there was a South American team in the Final.
• In terms of success rate to the Final stage of World Cup, for the first time since 2006, American teams’ success rate match that of European teams; In World Cup 2014, 1 in 4 American teams in Quarter Finals, managed to make it to the Final match, or 25% success rate. That rate matches European teams’ success rate in 2014.
Considering all stats above, one could make the case for a fair World Cup quota allocation by FIFA, so that American teams receive more quotas for the next World Cup games, and declining continental teams such as Europeans receive fewer quotas.