Fifa has not tampered with the allocation of World Cup slots among its participating six continents for the 2018 and 2022 finals in Russia and Qatar respectively, president Sepp Blatter confirmed on Saturday.
Europe currently have 13 places, Africa 5, 4.5 apiece for South America and Asia, CONCACAF 3.5 and Oceania 0.5, while hosts Russia and Qatar are awarded automatic qualifications for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments respectively.
“We decided that the slots per confederations for 2018 and 2022 wouldn’t change. We will stick to 32 teams: the same number and the same distribution from the last FIFA World Cups,” Fifa president Sepp Blatter told a press conference on Saturday.
A 0.50 (half) place implies that the best losing teams from the qualifying tournaments of respective continents has to take part in a two-legged play-off tie with a team from another continent with a half place for a place in the finals.
Uefa president Michele Platinni had on Thursday warned that slicing the number of European teams at the showpiece was “a red line that must not be crossed.”