Posted: Mon March 18, 2013 11:40AM; Updated: Mon March 18, 2013 11:39AM

Joachim Loew says smaller nations should pre-qualify for World Cup

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Joachim Loew
Joachim Loew and Germany lead their World Cup qualifying group with 10 points in four games.
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Germany coach Joachim Loew would like to see a pre-qualifying round for so-called smaller nations ahead of World Cup and European Championship competitions.

Loew says the international calendar is full and that it should be reduced. Loew tells Kicker magazine he is not sure "it made sporting sense'' to play twice against teams like "Kazakhstan, Andorra, San Marino or the Faeroe Islands.''

Loew was speaking before Germany's two World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan, in Astana on Friday and in Nuremberg four days later. Germany's group includes the Faeroe Islands.

Some German football officials have floated such ideas before. German Football Federation president Wolfgang Niersbach says they have no chance of being accepted by UEFA, the European governing body.

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