FIFA set to decide on continent allocations

ZURICH - FIFA will decide next month on the prickly question of how many places each continent will be allocated at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a member of the executive committee was reported as saying on Sunday.

Junji Ogura said the matter would be debated and decided at the next FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich on March 2 and 3, Japan's Kyodo news agency said.

A FIFA spokesman told Reuters the meeting had been scheduled and said the agenda would be confirmed in the next two or three days.

The draw for the 2014 qualifying competition is due to be made in Rio de Janeiro on July 30.

Asia Football Confederation president Mohammad Bin Hammam said last month that Asia would not agree to anything less than the four-and-a-half places it has in Brazil.

Australia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan represented Asian in 2010 while Bahrain lost in a play-off to New Zealand, winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament.

Jack Warner, president of the CONCACAF federation representing North and Central America and the Caribbean, has already said that his region want their quota increased to four direct places.

CONCACAF had three guaranteed spots in South Africa last year while Costa Rica lost to Uruguay in a play-off for another place.

South America, which had four-and-a-half places in South Africa, is hopeful of maintaining its quota with Brazil, who qualify automatically as hosts, being an additional team for the continent.

Africa had six teams at the 2010 World Cup including South Africa as hosts, although only one - Ghana - made it past the first round.

Europe had 13 teams at the 2010 World Cup, of which seven were eliminated in the group stage and three made it to the semi-finals.