World Cup fixture list is overcrowded, says Germany’s Loew

Reuters, Monday 18 Mar 2013

Germany coach Loew wants preliminary ties for small nations in World Cup and European Championships

Germany's coach Joachim Loew (Photo: Reuters

Germany coach Joachim Loew believes smaller nations should play in preliminary qualifying matches for World Cups and European Championships.

"The fixture list is overcrowded so we need some sort of remedy," he told Kicker magazine on Monday.

"We could possibly discuss whether it makes sporting sense to play twice against teams such as Kazakhstan, Andorra, San Marino or the Faroe Islands.

"Personally I would like to see the introduction of a preliminary qualification round," said Loew.

Germany make the long trip to central Asia to face Kazakhstan, 139th in the international rankings, for a World Cup qualifier on Friday before hosting the same opponents four days later.

Their group also includes the 153rd-ranked Faroes.

Second-ranked Germany will be without midfielders Toni Kroos and Sven Bender after both pulled out on Monday.

Bayern Munich's Kroos is sidelined with a knee injury while Borussia Dortmund's Bender has flu.

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