The average number of countries in all the other confederations is 41.4. Oceania has 11 countries. By all other measurements it’s comparatively much tinier. By population, land mass and GDP, Oceania is an order of magnitude smaller than all other FIFA confederations.
New Zealand has no real football heritage or culture but they are a wealthy country that loves to play and watch sport. As such they are not embarrassingly bad at football. With that underwhelming stature New Zealand towers over all other nations in Oceania as an unbeatable giant. The second best nation in the confederation would be embarrassed by every team at a 48 team World Cup.
Australia left Oceania because the level of competition was so low that it hindered Australia’s development as a footballing nation. Let that sink in. Any country that wants to be a serious football nation and be good enough to get into the World Cup has to leave the confederation to do so!
Oceania gets in the way. When FIFA has a congress or the Confederations Cup or has to allocate spots to the World Cup they have to include Oceania despite Oceania being undeserving of inclusion.
This is all enough to tell you that the Oceania Football Confederation should not exist. So what should we do with the countries that are in it?
The AFC has a bigger population than all other confederations combined. It also has the biggest GDP, the most land mass and the biggest area of all confederations.
Adding Oceania to the AFC is a non-starter. Middle eastern countries like Jordan and Syria have nothing in common with island nations like Fiji and Vanuatu. They could hardly be more different on every dimension; history, culture, geography, climate, environment, language, economy and everything. The traveling distances would literally be from one side of the world to the opposite side of the world. So let’s not do that.
East Asia would include China, Southeast Asia and everything to the east including Australia and the previous oceania confederation.
West Asia would include the sub continent, the stans and the middle east.
This is as neat and logical a divide as you could possibly hope for. It’s quite even in terms of population, number of countries, landmass, GDP and everything.
The top teams from East Asia would be Japan, Korea and Australia. The best teams from West Asia would be Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Oceana and the AFC have a combined 9.5 slots for 48 team world cups. The new allocation could be 4 teams from West Asia and 5.5 teams from East Asia (got to get China in there for the advertisers).
The only way this could get done is for people in powerful positions which they make a lot of money from to voluntarily take less powerful positions which they would make less money from.
I am referring to the people currently running the AFC, the biggest football confederation in the world. If the AFC split in 2 they could only be running 1 of the resulting confederations, which would be smaller, less powerful and less profitable than the current AFC.
It’s not impossible but we would need a very specific set of circumstances and incentives to align which they currently are not.
Maryam is a crypto and igaming content writer who has written over 500 web articles since starting in 2018.