Sports Letter: Missing the point

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The Independent Online
Sir: The recent announcement by Fifa that three points instead of two will be awarded to the winning team in the opening rounds of the World Cup in the United States next year. This is to prevent teams from playing for draws. However, even a simpleton can see that this will have no effect, as the positions of the teams will not change, and the two strongest teams will still be more concerned with not losing to each other, rather than winning.

It would be far better to change the format to include 32 teams, and have eight groups of four with only the top team going through. All teams would have to play to win all the games, and by as many goals as possible to ensure going on to the next stage. Surely this is what the greatest tournament in the world should be all about and not a preliminary round of jockeying for position, as we get in the qualifying groups.

Also we would get a chance to see more countries at the finals stage and Britain might have a better chance of having a representative.

Yours sincerely,

IAN BUCHALTER

Hale, Cheshire

19 December

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