Jordaan backs Blatter over Africa, Asia WCup spots

New South African football president Danny Jordaan backs Sepp

Blatter’s call for a rethink over the number of places given to

African and Asian teams at the World Cup, saying they should be

increased at the expense of Europe and South America.

It’s ”an important matter for debate,” Jordaan said on

Saturday.

Jordaan, the former 2010 World Cup head organizer who was

elected to lead SAFA last month, called for a review following

comments from Blatter in a new FIFA magazine this week that said

Africa, especially, was ”woefully” under-represented at the top

tournament.

”Developing economies should have a lot of say, which is why I

am saying this matter must be fully researched and a proposal must

be formulated,” Jordaan said.

Blatter said African teams will struggle to win the World Cup

because they are given so few places. There are five places at the

World Cup for Africa compared to 13 for Europe. Repeating comments

made by Blatter, Jordaan noted that traditional powers Europe and

South America together will have up to 19 teams at next year’s

World Cup in Brazil compared to a maximum of 10 from Africa and

Asia, yet Europe and South America have far less FIFA member

countries combined than the other two confederations.

Blatter’s comments may be interpreted as an effort to widen his

support base in Africa and Asia ahead of a possible plan to run

again for the FIFA presidency despite saying that this would be his

last term in charge of world football.

African and Asian teams also have struggled to break through at

the World Cup and a European or South American team has won every

title in the 80-year history of the showpiece.

Cameroon was the first African team to reach the World Cup

quarterfinals in 1990 but since then only two others – Senegal in

2002 and Ghana three years ago – have got that far. South Korea is

the only Asian team to reach the semifinals, making history at the

tournament it co-hosted in 2002. In the last two World Cups, no

Asian team and just one African team made the quarters.

Blatter said that was because not enough teams from those

regions were being given a chance.

”At the end of the day, an equal chance for all is the

paramount imperative of elite sport,” he wrote. ”From a purely

sporting perspective, I would like to see globalization taken

seriously.”