It’s an interview with Tony Waiters on a variety of Canadian soccer issues. I agree with pretty much everything Tony says but it’s an oversimplification to assume that because a small country like New Zealand, where soccer obviously runs a distant second fiddle to rugby as soccer does to hockey here, can qualify for the World Cup that Canada should be able to follow suit.
New Zealand had to play six games against Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The winner (New Zealand finished seven points ahead of second place New Caledonia) advanced to a home and away against the fifth place Asian team. This happened to be Bahrain. Bahrain has never qualified for a World Cup. Without diminishing New Zealand’s inspired performance at the World Cup which will see them end up the only undefeated team in the tournament if either Germany or Spain win, their qualification process is nothing like Canada’s.
For a start, imagine Mexico deciding they wanted to qualify via South America and asking FIFA for dispensation to move out of CONCACAF to CONMEBOL. That’s the present New Zealand were given when Australia got fed up winning Oceania and being force fed a home and away against the next best South American team that didn’t qualify. Now Australia qualify through Asia (and just to piss them off, FIFA decided this time around that the Oceania winner, New Zealand, only had to play the fifth place Asian team to qualify. Concacaf, in the form of Costa Rica, had to play Uruguay, fifth in CONMEBOL qualifying, for a spot).
So you’d have to go a long way back to find a team that’s had an easier qualifying route to a World Cup than New Zealand. Again, fantastic gritty results once they were in South Africa, but not a suitable comparison if you’re looking for reasons why Canada struggles so much to qualify.