Africa keeps its SWC slots
Johannesburg - Africa has retained its five places at the Soccer World Cup after the FIFA executive committee met for the first time this year in Zurich.
There had been concerns that Africa would lose one slot for the next tournament after the CONCACAF region requested it be allocated another place at Brazil 2014.
Apart from Ghana, Africa's representatives were disappointing performers at the World Cup in South Africa last year, hence the fears that the continent could be the one to lose out.
But following the meeting in Zurich, FIFA has announced that the six continents will keep the same amount of participants at the next World Cup.
The only amendment to the qualifying process will be in regard to the play-offs, where an open draw will decide the play-off rounds, instead of pre-arranged qualification matches.
In the past, South America's fifth-place qualifying team played against CONCACAF's fourth-placed qualifying team to determine who would play in the World Cup.
Uruguay defeated Costa Rica to qualify for South Africa 2010.
But CONCACAF appealed for a change to the system, hence the new open draw procedure.
"CONCACAF was not so eager to play again in a play-off with South America," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said.
"That's why it has been decided there shall be a draw."
Also at the meeting, FIFA claimed that goalline technology is still on the agenda.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said new tests were scheduled to be carried out.
"The decision is: Do we extend the tests which we at FIFA are ready to do and ready to pay for?" he said.
"Maybe we will do the next tests in England and in a stadium.