Loew wants smaller nations to pre-qualify
Germany coach Joachim Low believes international football would benefit if smaller nations had to earn the right to take part in qualifying for major tournaments.
Germany face Kazakhstan home and away in their next two World Cup qualifiers and will be expected to cruise to comfortable wins in both fixtures.
Loew says games like these could be avoided if the majority of lower-ranked nations were sifted out of qualifying by battling it out for a limited number of places in advance.
“I think it can be discussed whether it makes sense to play twice against countries like Kazakhstan, Andorra, San Marino or the Faroe Islands,” he said in Kicker magazine.
“I personally would be in favour of a pre-qualification event. The calendar is already saturated and some help is needed.”
Germany travel to Astana on Friday night before welcoming Kazakhstan to Nuremberg next Tuesday.
The two games give Loew’s side the opportunity to extend their six-point advantage over Sweden at the top of Group C against a side who have lost three of their four qualifying matches already, drawing the other against Austria.
However, Loew is not going to be able to count on Sven Bender or Toni Kroos, who both pulled out of his squad yesterday.
Bayern Munich midfielder Kroos has a knee injury while Bender has the flu. His twin brother Lars pulled out of the squad yesterday due to a heel problem, but Loew has not yet decided whether any additions will be made.