In recent years I seem to have noticed a disassociation from International football within genuine football fans. Watching England in what are important qualifiers seem to be nothing but an absolute disturbance from the world class aspects of the Premier League.
During my early years of watching and learning about football I developed an infatuation with International football supporting England whenever they played; there was nothing better than an entire nation uniting to support their country with incredible passion that rivals any adversaries worldwide. I still absolutely adore viewing England play and relish fixtures versus other great nations around the world.
However, playing qualifiers against countries such as Andorra, Luxembourg and Gibraltar amongst others become redundant employing the mentality of how many we are going to win by rather than the fear of if we are even going to win the game itself. It begs the question of why such nations are still permitted to compete in regular qualifying when it is almost a formality that any country of mediocre quality will dispose of them with ease. There must be a solution such as a pre-qualifying tournament for teams ranked towards the back end of the FIFA ranking system before they are legitimised to enter regular qualifying groups. There is the concern of being disrespectful towards said countries yet it seems futile to compete in in fixtures against countries where a cricket score is more likely than a mundane score line that we are accustomed to seeing on a Saturday afternoon.
If FIFA group together the teams that fall into the bracket of being unfit to compete therefore placing them in a preliminary tournament it may make qualifiers that bit more exciting and difficult. It is no disrespect to these picayune nations whose population is that of small towns in countries such as England, Germany, Spain etc. but they cannot be expected to compete when part-time footballers whom also work regular jobs are defending against formidable attacking foes who consume wages of two-hundred thousand pounds per week as their professional jobs. It is more plausible to create for example two groups of the lowest ranked teams where the champions of each group are able to compete in standard qualifying leading up to a major tournament.
When suggesting an idea such as this it is difficult to not sound condescending but it would give minor teams a chance at miniscule glory rather than being annihilated each game by the immense forces that exist within international football. This suggestion would ensure a more rigid, exciting and competitive qualifying campaign which other than eliminating formalities also creates more meaningful qualifying matches making the matches more appealing to the generic fan of any footballing nation.