Monday, June 25, 2007

Platini slims down Euro WC Qualifiers

UEFA President Michel Platini has made some changes to the 2010 World Cup qualification process for European nations.

Instead of groups of seven and eight teams, European nations will be in one of eight groups of six teams and one of five. The nine group winners will qualify and the best-performing eight second place teams go into play-offs for the additional four places on offer.

Records against the bottom-placed teams in each group will not be taken into account.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter showered more praise on South Africa on his most recent visit to the World Cup hosts last week, again insisting that preparations are on schedule.

"From what I have seen here today and from what I have heard I can say generally we are on track," he told reporters. "You may be assured that nothing, nothing can now be against the World Cup here in South Africa."

Despite the latest charm offensive, Blatter did concede that South Africa's transport infrstructure needs some investment in the next three years.

"There will be a lot of visitors and there is a great need from companies to help with extra capacity for airplanes, buses and local transport," he said.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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