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Klinsmann, van Gaal suggest preferential treatment for Germany, Brazil

Jun 23, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

Brazil Soccer WCup US Portugal AP

One coach is talking about the knockout rounds and the other about his final group fixture, but both Jurgen Klinsmann and Louis van Gaal are implying preferential treatment by FIFA toward the favorites of the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann was discussing Germany’s set-up for the two nations’ Group G finale on Thursday, while van Gaal is concerned about a potential match-up with hosts Brazil.

The sentiments were similar. From MLSSoccer.com, here are Klinsmann’s comments on the match-up with his birth country:

“We have one day less to recover. They played yesterday, we played today. We played in the Amazon and they played in the very kind of location where they don’t have to travel much. Everything was done for the big favorites to go and move on. We have to do it the tough way, but we’re going to do it the tough way.”

[ MORE: How the U.S. can advance ]
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This isn’t uncommon in American sports, where home field advantage and preferential treatment reign. In the NCAA basketball tournament, the ‘Big Dance’ is set up to favor the top seeds, as match-ups closer to home are routinely given to top programs to create an easier path to the title.

And it’s hard not to see the concern of Klinsmann and van Gaal, coaches used to two-legged fixtures and regular rest intervals. The Dutch coach, for instance, is wondered why his Group B team will play before Brazil’s Group A today and with less rest should the two meet in the knockout rounds.

From the BBC:

Hosts Brazil played before the Dutch in the first two games but are in action after them in the final group round, which Van Gaal claims is unfair.

“Fifa plays these tricks. It’s not a good thing,” said Van Gaal who team could face Brazil in the last 16.

“It’s not fair play. I think at a World Cup the host country always has an advantage.”

The winners of Brazil’s Group A play the runners-up in Group B on Saturday, while the second-placed team in Group A meet the Group B winners the following day.

Admitting that this site is based in America, it seems Klinsmann has the better gripe here. Even so, your thoughts?

  1. tarotsujimoto74 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I can understand Van Gaal’s gripe about Brazil getting a favorable schedule, but I believe that every other team besides Brazil is drawn into a slot that has already had its schedule made up. Now, the slots for the seeded teams may have been given more generous schedules, but FIFA didn’t do it just for Germany.

    • geejon - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      But JK didn’t say they did it for Germany specifically he said they set it up like that “for the big favorites” … which are the seeded teams. You’re agreeing with Klinsmann.

  2. quackbury - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Props to JK for being forthright. The conditions yesterday were abysmal – it would be interesting to know how many pounds the USMNT starters sweated off in the sauna-like conditions – but that would require some REAL REPORTING, which is beyond PST’s abilities.

    Personally, I am mightily impressed that the USMNT can win in the snow, and play so beautifully in the sauna, only drawing because of that supernatural cross. I’d say the conditioning is pretty superb.

  3. lorenzo463 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    After this cup is over, I expect the USMNT to set a goal of being a seeded team in 2018. A seed might be the difference between barnstorming through Russia in another group of death and a clear path to the elimination round.

    • mikeevergreen - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      That is exactly what JK has on his mind. His path: Win the 2015 CGC. Win or final in the 2016 Copa Centenario. Win or final in the 2017 Confederations Cup. Win the 2017 GCG. Medal in the Hex. And win every GD friendly you schedule, starting in Prague Sept. 3rd.

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