Markku Kanervaa digs for Europe's few places in the World Cup – Sports

Continuation contract Markku Kanerva, who became the Huahkajie’s head coach, will get one more chance to aim for a place in the World Cup. Kanerva, 60, piloted Huuhkajat to the European Championships in 2021, but Finland has yet to reach the World Cup spot.

“Even though the World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams, Europe only got three additional places. But we strongly believe in going there. Either through the Nations League or directly from the qualifiers,” Kanerva assures.

Kanerva has closely followed the European Championships that started last week. They have once again shown Europe’s tough level. There are few landslide victories, even though there are 24 countries involved.

Against that background, Europe is left with few additional places. Asia and Africa got more additional places, which as large continents have previously had few places. Even success has been sporadic.

“I understand certain reasons in the decision. But there are no two words about which continent is very level. If you think about football in terms of level, I think Europe would have deserved more places in the World Cup. The best from Europe will certainly get there,” Kanerva said.

The next World Cup will be played in North America, when the games will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico. The last time the World Cup was played in North America was in 1994, when the United States hosted the games.

Finland qualified for the European Championship, which is currently being played in Germany, from the group where Denmark and Slovenia took the place. The countries were also drawn in the same group at the European Championships and played their mutual game already in the opening round. The match ended in a 1–1 draw on Sunday.

Scored Denmark’s goal against Slovenia Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest three years ago when Finland and Denmark met in the European Championship finals in Copenhagen.

“Yes, that goal brought back memories. It’s a great thing that he is still playing at the top level and succeeded. Otherwise, sympathies go to Denmark. I have always supported Nordic teams and now they were in the same starting group. Let’s hope that Denmark will go far.”

By Editor

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