FIFA’s Executive Committee has announced the pathway to the 2010 FIFA World CupTM in South Africa following a two-day meeting in Zurich, with OFC’s qualification route confirmed as a three phase process.
The announcement was made by the FIFA Executive Committee in Zurich under the chairmanship of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
The OFC’s qualification process will consist of three phases.
The first phase will begin at the 2007 South Pacific Games in Samoa with the football tournament doubling as an OFC preliminary World Cup qualifying competition. The gold, silver and bronze medallists will advance to the second phase.
The three medallists will join New Zealand in a home and away round-robin tournament on FIFA match dates in 2007 and 2008.
The winner of this final group will be crowned OFC Nations Cup champions and secure qualification for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
This team will then advance to third qualification phase in the final group stage of the AFC qualification programme.
Previously OFC’s qualifier has been required to playoff against the 5th placed team in CONMEBOL (South America).
The dates for the final competition of the 2010 FIFA World CupTM were set for 11 June to 11 July 2010. The allocation of places will be the same as for 2006, i.e. Europe: 13; Africa: 5; Asia and Oceania: 5 (4.5 + 0.5; play-off); South America and CONCACAF: 8 (4.5 + 3.5; play-off); hosts (South Africa): 1.
The preliminary competition for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM will be played in the confederations as follows:
– Africa: the qualifying competition for the African Cup of Nations will once again be combined with the preliminary competition for the FIFA World CupTM (start date: 13/14 October 2007).
– South America: the league system will once again be used (home and away matches) for a single group of 10 associations, but only double-header dates will be used.
The provisional start date is September/October 2007.
– Oceania: in three phases, as for 2006. The first phase will be combined with the South Pacific Games 2007 and the OFC Nations Cup 2008, and the winning team will enter a group in Asia’s final round.
– Asia, Europe, CONCACAF: in groups that have yet to be determined.
The preliminary draw for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM will be held in Durban on 23 November 2007, and the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 will be held in the five venues of Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), Pretoria and Rustenburg from 14 to 27 June.
With regard to the 2014 FIFA World CupTM, which in accordance with the rotation policy and a decision passed by the Executive Committee in May 2002 is to be held in South America, the committee opened the official bidding procedure for South American member associations.
If only one association submits a bid, and if this association meets all requirements, the procedure will be accelerated. The FIFA Executive Committee will reach a decision on the host country in November 2007.
The FIFA Executive Committee also decided that payments from the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme were suspended until further notice for 59 member associations that still have not submitted their statutes to FIFA for inspection.
This decision affects 22 associations from Asia, 14 from Africa, 7 from North America, Central America and the Caribbean, 3 from South America and 13 from Europe. The OFC was the only confederation who has all countries that satisfied the Statutes revision