Friday, July 07, 2006

Oceania wants Asian play-off for next World Cup

The Oceania Football Confederation wants its top national team to earn a place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa through a play-off against the fifth-placed team of the Asian Football Confederation. Fiji FA senior vice-president Mohammed Yusuf revealed that an OCF proposal forwarded to FIFA also requests that the 2007 South Pacific Games be used as a preliminary World Cup series for Oceania's Pacific island nations. The new format would see the top three from the South Pacific Games progressing to a second phase playoff with New Zealand, with each team hosting three games.

"All the island nations will be represented at the SPG, so there will be a lot at stake," Yusuf told the Fiji Times. "It'll be the gold, silver and bronze winners up against New Zealand on a home-and-away basis," he said, adding that there would be no grand final with the team that accumulated most points declared the winner and handed a spot in the next qualification round. The OFC wants that to be against the fifth-placed team from the Asian playoff. Australia represented Oceania in this year's World Cup after beating the fifth-placed South American nation, Uruguay. The Socceroos have since transferred to the AFC.

No comments: