SOCCER 2010

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Six African nations for 2010
 
 
7 December 2006

The dates for the 2010 Football World Cup have been set for 11 June to 11 July, and the allocation of places will be the same as for 2006, meaning that - with South Africa granted an automatic berth as the host country - Africa will have one extra team at the tournament.

In a statement issued on Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Zurich, Fifa's executive committee said that 32 teams would contest the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Thirteen of these will be from Europe, five from Asia and Oceania, eight from South America and the Concacaf region (North and Central America and the Caribbean), and five from Africa, plus the automatic spot granted to South Africa.

This effectively gives Africa six teams at 2010 - and Europe one less than in 2006.

Of the eight places for South America and the Concacaf region, four are guaranteed to South American countries and three to Concacaf countries. The eighth spot will be decided by a play-off between the fifth-placed South American country in the 2010 qualifiers and the fourth-placed Concacaf country.

A similar play-off between the Oceania champion and Asia's fifth-best team will decide who takes the fifth berth for Asia and Oceania.

Fifa said the preliminary draw for 2010 would be held in Durban on 23 November 2007, and that the Fifa Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 would take place in the five venues of Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), Pretoria and Rustenburg from 14 to 27 June.

The Fifa Confederations Cup is contested by the winners of each of the six Fifa confederation championships - ie the reigning African, Asian, European, Oceanian, South American and Concacaf champions - along with the Fifa World Cup champion and the host country, to bring the number of teams up to eight.

Fifa said it had "listened with satisfaction" to a report on the status of South Africa's preparations for 2010, and "underlined its support for the local organising committee.

"However, the executive committee stated that it was now expecting work to begin, particularly on constructing and renovating the stadiums."

Plans for the construction of four stadiums and upgrading of six others in South Africa's nine 2010 host cities has been completed, and their funding secured, and construction work is due to begin early in 2007.

 

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