"In World Cup football or Euros you don't get nations coming in at a later stage" - Colin Lloyd argues PDC should do away with protective seeding at World Cup of Darts

The 2024 World Cup of Darts took place in Frankfurt at the end of last month. In the end, final victory went to England, who were too strong for Austria in the final, 10-6.

Since 2023, the World Cup of Darts has been played according to a new format. Not only do forty countries participate, but only pairs matches are played as an added twist. 36 countries will begin in a group stage, with the winner of each group of three then going on to the last 16. In addition, the top four seeds are exempt from the group stage, recieving a bye straight into the knockout stages. On this occasion, the four lucky nations were England, Netherlands, Wales and Scotland.

For many, both within darts and watching on, it is unacceptable that the four highest ranked countries only play in the last 16. The players themselves don't seem to be fans of this either, as Kim Huybrechts commented. "I am happy that Belgium is fifth seed and so we have to play in the group stage. If we qualify for the last 16 I think it is an advantage that we have already played two matches. The top countries come into the tournament say cold and that is never easy."

wcod24 final england 4 2
Michael Smith and Luke Humphries after their final win against Austria

Former world number one Colin Lloyd is also not a fan of the current format. "It's not hard at all. Just put them in the group stage," Jaws emphatically says via Sky Sports' Love the Darts podcast. "In World Cup football or Euros football, you don't get certain nations coming in at a later stage. They come in at the beginning. I'd say in darts they should come in at the start, same as everyone else."

As far as the how the four top seeds fared, England of course lifted the title, beating Scotland in the semi-finals in the process. For both the Netherlands and Wales however, it was a disappointing exit after just one game to Belgium and Croatia respectively.

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