Football: Germany coach Loew says smaller nations should pre-qualify

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.

He told Kicker magazine that the international calendar is full and it should be reduced and 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 said they have no chance of being accepted by Uefa, the European governing body.