Football

Poland.

What FIFA have planned after Poland 'played' their way into Pot One at the WC

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When the Pots for the 2018 Russia World Cup were announced earlier this week, football fans were both surprised and confused by Poland's inclusion in Pot One.

Poland have only reached the knockout rounds once in 36 years yet they're in the highest Pot alongside the likes of Germany, Brazil and France.

It somewhat makes sense when you consider Adam Nawałka's side won eight out of 10 qualifying games and are currently ranked sixth in the world, but there is a reason they made Pot One.

According to Marca, Poland cleverly 'played' the FIFA World Rankings by playing barely any friendlies, which would usually count towards their points total.

National teams must play a minimum of five games per year to be included in the rankings, which Poland easily managed through World Cup qualifying.

In fact, before this month, their last friendly was against Slovenia in November 2016. They've played two this month, but neither affected their points and FIFA ranking.

So whereas the likes of England and Spain have been playing regular friendlies throughout the year and risking losing points, Poland have stuck to qualifiers and reaped the benefits.

It's a clever but very cheeky way of ensuring a high world ranking - not that Poland will care.

FBL-WC-2018-QUALIFIER-ARM-POL

However, according to The Sun, FIFA have cottoned on to what Poland - not to mention Wales - have been doing over the past year.

FIFA have reacted to Poland making Pot One by planning drastic changes to their rankings system, which a recent statement explained. It read:

"FIFA is reviewing the World Ranking system and will make a decision after the completion of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup if any changes are to be made to improve the ranking."

FBL-WC-2018-QUALIFIER-ARM-POL

From September 2018, European and CONCACAF national teams will be competing in National Leagues on dates that would usually be allocated for international friendlies.

What this means is that nations like Poland and Wales will have no choice but to play more games, thus risking their points total and FIFA ranking.

It's a good idea from FIFA to keep things fair - if only they had realised what Poland were up to before 2018 World Cup qualifying began.

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Topics:
Robert Lewandowski
Wojciech Szczesny
Football
World Cup

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