National Teams

April 17, 2008

World Cup

Even the most casual sports person is probably aware of the World Cup.  The World Cup is held every 4 years with the winner being crowned the top national team in the world with the last champion being Italy in 2006.  National teams are comprised only of players from that nation, much like an Olympic team.  Also like the Olympics, the location moves throughout the world.  The 2010 World Cup will be hosted in South Africa.

What some people may not know is that the World Cup tournament, or final, is preceded by World Cup qualifying.  The qualifying starts about 2 and a half years before the final and is broken into the different regions of the world, Europe, Africa, Asia & Oceania, South America and North, Central America & the Caribbean.  Each region has a different number of teams able to qualify.  Each region also uses different processes to qualify for the final tournament.

Regional Tournaments

In addition to the World Cup, each region also hosts tournaments for national teams.  An example of this is the UEFA European Football Championships, also known as the EURO.  Each region decides the frequency of their tournaments separately.

Wikipedia Links