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Saturday, June 26, 2010
No reduction in African qualifiers

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke insists there are no plans to reduce Africa's allocation of places at future World Cup finals despite a poor showing from the continent's teams in South Africa.

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Five of the six African nations are already out, with Ghana the sole nation making it through to the second round, where they will fly the flag for the continent against USA.

However, Valcke is adamant they would not lose places at future tournaments as a result of the disappointing displays in South Africa.

"There is no discussion about slots for the future, we have 32 teams and we will have a meeting of the organising committee of the 2014 World Cup when we will discuss the rules and regulations, but there is no discussion at all about the number of slots per confederation. Anyone who is saying that is wrong.

"We need to continue supporting African football. There isn't any discussion or reaction of that sort to say we won't have the same number of (African) teams next time around.''

Valcke believes the group stage of the tournament has proved that the other continents were catching up with Europe, though he recognised that a factor could be the continent's long club season.

He revealed that discussions would be held with the 32 World Cup coaches after the tournament regarding any ways that could be found to increase preparation time for teams in future.

"This World Cup has shown that Asia is stronger, South America is very very strong, we have the USA playing very well and it shows that Europe is not as strong as they were in the past,'' he said.

"Some teams have not moved and not changed since 2006 and it shows also that these players have played a lot of games but most of the Brazil and Argentina players play in Europe.''




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