UEFA President Michel Platini defended Europe’s predominant number of World Cup slots on Friday by pointing out that the region had already slashed their numbers of places in the past.
Europe, with 53 active national teams, will have 13 slots at the 2014 World Cup, compared to the five for Africa, four or five each for South America and Asia, three or four for CONCACAF and none or one for Oceania. Brazil, being the host qualifies automatically.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is said to be in support of Asia’s request to be given extra World Cup places made a veiled reference to the subject when he addressed the UEFA conference Friday morning.
“Those who have more should share with those who have less: this is the principle of our game in the development programme,” Blatter told delegates present at the conference.
After the congress, Platini, speaking with reporters defended the number of places presently enjoyed by Europe and also stated that Blatter’s view were expected of him (being president of the world football governing body).
“It is to be expected that Mr. Blatter will go towards the confederations who wish to have more slots than they have,” said Platini.
“You know in 1994 there were 15 European teams and now there are 13, so our solidarity has already been forthcoming.
“We will talk about it at our next executive committee meeting, taking into consideration what Mr. Blatter offers in Mauritius (at the FIFA congress).
“Maybe Mr. Blatter could also offer more slots to the Europeans, but he hasn’t.”