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Low wants World Cup pre-qualifying

Germany coach Joachim Low has called for a pre-qualifying process to be introduced in order to cut down the World Cup qualifying schedule.

Speaking as Germany prepared to play back-to-back qualifiers against Kazakhstan on Friday and Tuesday, Low - whose side top Group C with ten points - said it was time to ease fixture congestion.

Kazakhstan, a former Soviet state, is one of several nations unlikely to make it to the final stages of a tournament in the foreseeable future.

UEFA currently has 53 member states, with World Cup qualification played in nine groups.

"The schedule is packed, and corrective actions are needed," Low, 53, told kicker.

"You can certainly discuss whether, for sporting reasons, it makes sense to twice play against countries such as Kazakhstan, Andorra, San Marino or the Faroe Islands.

"Personally, I'd prefer the introduction of a pre-qualification."

It is not the first time Low has voiced the idea of pre-qualification. In September 2010, he warned that the quality of matches would suffer if the status quo was maintained.

"The smaller nations live for those games, financially and for sporting reasons," he said. "'But my wish is for the schedule to be straightened out."

Meanwhile, twin brothers Lars and Sven Bender have both withdrawn from the Germany squad for the Kazakhstan double-header. Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender has been ruled out with an inflammation of his left heel and Dortmund's Sven Bender misses out on a trip with the national team yet again with flu.

Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos has also cancelled his trip with an inflammation in his knee. Kroos had already missed Bayern's game at Leverkusen on Saturday.


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