Way to Worldcup

The world cup is finally over. Brazil was a class apart and they deserved to win. Though the Germans took the game to the opposition, they lacked the magic that the Brazilians are distinguished for. This world cup saw many countries outside Europe emerge as strong football nations. And it wont be long before an Asian or an African team wins the football world cup.

India too can make it to the big league, taking a leaf from success story of the Korean football team. Though the Koreans didnt win the world cup, they were amazing in the way they played and so was Japan. Indian football needs a shot in the arm. Its not at all unrealistic for India to reach the next Worldcup finals to be held in Germany in 2006.

The governing body of the football worldwide is FIFA(Federation Internationale de Football Association). The world of football is divided into six confederations based on Zones. The six zones consists of Asia, Europe (Russia comes into this zone), North & Central America with Caribbean Islands, South America, Africa and Oceania (countries near Australia).


The Asian zone comes under Asian Football Confederation.. Teams for the Worldcup are selected after the preliminary matches conducted by this confederation. The AFC holds the qualifying matches and the process of reaching the Worldcup finals is a bit tedious for the Asian teams.

The 40 teams from Asia are divided into 10 groups of four teams each. Each team plays against all the other teams in their group twice. The winners of each group go the second round, the losers go back home. The second round is divided into two groups of five teams each. The winners of these two groups qualify for the World cup., whereas the runners up of the third round play among them two games (home and away) and the winner goes to Euro/Asian playoff. Euro/Asian playoff is where they play similar runners up from UEFA World cup qualifiers. The winner of the Euro/Asian playoff goes to the Worldcup. Just for records, this time it was between Ireland and Iran, and Ireland won the berth to the Worldcup.


From Europe, the teams are segregated into nine groups, the group winners going directly to Worldcup finals, the nine runners up and one team from the Asian qualifiers play, and the five winners go through to the world cup finals. The governing body dealing with European zone of football is UEFA (Union des Associations Europennes de Football)

South America and Oceania

Qualifying from South America and Oceania section is simple. South America has one league with 10 teams in it, the top four teams qualify for world cup finals, and the fifth team in the table plays with the winner of the Oceania group. Oceania has two groups of 5 teams each, where the group winners play each other to qualify for the play off with South American playoff team. South american football come under the purview of Conbemol(South American football confederation), and the Oceania teams come under OFC(Oceania Football confederation).


In Africa 50 teams play and the top 25 teams are selected into 5 groups, where the group winners qualify for the world cup. The governing body is CAF(confederation Africaine de football).

North and Central America

Qualifying games in this zone are a bit confusing. The matches are held in two groups. Caribbean Zone and Central American Zone. Caribbean zone has 3 groups and Central America have 2 groups, winners qualify for the semi-final round, and the runners up go for the play offs. One team of the Caribbean runners up play Canada, and the other two play the runners up from the Central America. And the winners go to semi-finals.

There are four automatic qualifiers into semi-final from America., Costa Rica, America, Jamaica and Mexico. These 12 teams play in 3 groups and the top two teams from each group go to the final round. And the top 3 teams from the final round qualify. The governing body is Concacaf(Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football).

In addition to these qualifiers, two other forms of qualifications also comes to play. 1. The host nation of the Worldcup finals is automatically qualified (which is being scrapped now) and 2. The winner of the last Worldcup automatically qualifies. The next world cup is just 4 years away and I will be closely watching the Indian football team, who in this Worldcup-qualifying matches lost in the first round itself. But I am sure, given time, training and support, soon India will also be in the Worldcup finals (fingers crossed!).

back to blog

There has been a long period of sanyas from my journal. The excuses are plenty, but I could have smuggled out some time every day just for my journal. But then again I think about different things to write about and in the process ignore the journal.

I have been really busy at work, and at home engaged in paperwork of my house purchase. Though the number of things in my pending list has reduced to single digit, it unfailingly keeps me occupied. Lately, I have been keeping off my journal due to lack of confidence(anything for an excuse). I do expect that I write something really worthwhile on the journal, rather than ramblings or some quick fix things. The way that I write in English has also put me into the same muddle.

I really do adore many journals on the net, mainly because of the style of writing, the way people say their thoughts in simple sentences. I make a huge mess of the same, and unconsciously use complex words to impress myself. But then on the other hand, I am also aware that the style with which I write is also unique to myself. I am also thinking of changing the design of my site, to make it a more simple one. I havent worked on any of the links of my site since I put it live.

I have never run short of topics to write. I want to write my opinions of the Palestenian conflict, How man can colonise Mars, my ideas for solving third world problems, About the new presidential candidate APJ Abdul Kalam, The idea that is India, The rising infertility in civilsed world (yes, I have got a theory for that), rising fundamentalism and the list goes on. But for all these to appear in bytes it takes a bit of effort., and thats what I am going to do in coming days.

In simple terms, I am back.

why do ships float?

“Why does a massive ship made of iron float, where as a nail made of iron sink in water?”. Rashmi looked at me inquisitively as soon as I asked this question.

We were on a boat cruise, taking a short break at Thames River at Windsor. I never miss a chance to showoff. “I never thought about that” she replied. I cleared my throat as I set about explaining it in one sentence.

“you see” I blurted out, “any object in water will float, if the weight of the water displaced by the object is less than the weight of the object itself”. She innocently stared at me. I was feeling like a High priest of Egypt, explaining the mystery of the pyramids to a common man.

“well, in simple terms” I continued, “say you are falling into the river now and your weight is 95 Kilos..” she threw a sharp look as soon as she heard this. “and if the water you displace in the river by falling into it is either 95 Kilos or more than that, you will float”. I continued ignoring her sharp glance. “In case of ship, the weight that ship displaces is much greater than the weight of the ship and thats why the ship floats in the water”, I concluded.

Obviously, million times smarter than me was Archimedes, who found this principle. Archimedes was an ancient scientist, who is famous for the episode of Eureka! He is supposed to have run naked to palace, when he found the principle of buoyancy.

ps: Many might think this as a silly physics thing, a thing which they have learnt in school. I also have learnt the same principle during my school days. But understanding of the principle is miles apart from having learnt the principle. Unfolding of the principles in natural worlds gives your mind a real boost. You begin to appreciate nature in a new way.