World Cup - Platini defends number of European World Cup places

Europe's predominant number of World Cup places was defended by UEFA president Michel Platini on Friday when he pointed out that the region had already given up places at the tournament.

Reuters
World Cup - Platini defends number of European World Cup places
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Michel Platini says pre-determined results would be the death of football

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has recently backed Asia's request to be given extra World Cup places and made a veiled reference to the subject when he addressed the UEFA conference in the morning.

"Those who have more should share with those who have less: this is the principle of our game in the development programmes," he told delegates from UEFA's member associations.

Europe, with 53 national teams currently active, will have 13 places at the 2014 World Cup, compared to five for Africa, four or five each for South America and Asia, three or four for CONCACAF and none or one for Oceania. Hosts Brazil qualify automatically.

"It's to be expected that Mr Blatter will go towards the confederations who wish to have more slots than they have," Platini told reporters after the Congress.

"You know, in 1994 there were 15 European teams and now there are 13, so our solidarity has already been forthcoming.

"We will talk about it at our next executive committee meeting, taking into consideration what Mr Blatter offers in Mauritius (at the FIFA Congress).

"Maybe Mr Blatter could also offer more slots to the Europeans, but he hasn't."

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