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SBD Global/November 7, 2013/International Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Wants To Get Rid Of World Cup Qualifying Playoff Matches

FIFA President Sepp Blatter "wants to get rid of World Cup qualifying playoff ties in future, saying it is a hard way for teams to miss out on the finals," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Twenty teams, plus hosts Brazil, have qualified for next year's tournament via round-robin groups, but the remaining 11 places "will be decided this month, all in two-legged playoffs." Blatter: "It will be drama because you have to eliminate teams now in two matches. I think this is good for television, this is good for the spectacle of football, but I think we should try to find a solution where at the end of the qualification, you are in or out, and not this playoff." Blatter also said that FIFA "was looking carefully at the decision to allow Egypt to play their home tie against Ghana in Cairo because of the security situation." Ghana lead 6-1 from the first leg (REUTERS, 11/5). The AP reported Blatter "has recently urged some FIFA confederations to seek more guaranteed entries in the 32-team World Cup at Europe's expense" (AP, 11/6). ARABIAN BUSINESS' Courtney Trenwith reported Blatter said that he would "raise concerns over working conditions and moving the 2022 World Cup during a visit to meet the new Qatari Emir later this month." Blatter: "There are some social problems linked with working activities there [Qatar]. There are also sporting problems with the calendar, so I will have a very interesting discussion with him and then I will report to the executive committee on the 4th and 5th of December in Brazil" (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 11/6).
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