Why? Personally, I approve. Although technically there is now the danger of the defending champion not qualifying for the next World Cup, in our case it can only help. These are my reasons: 1. For 2002, we struggled so much because we lacked a team. Whereas for 1994, we struggled also, but a far smaller number of players were capped and a competitive team was formed--the team which later won the Cup. 2. With the ever busier soccer calendar, it is getting more and more difficult to schedule friendlies. Brazil would have to play several every year to keep the players sharp and for the coaching staff to observe players. By participating in the qualifying rounds, Brazil will have no choice but to play its best soccer. As a result the team stays in shape and the coach can more easily adapt and adjust as time passes--older, obsolete players can be discarded, younger upstars are screened and the best are added, etc... 3. You get to watch the team play! I don't deny there was a commercial element in this decision. But Brazil will play and that's always good.