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Blatter wants more African and Asian teams at World Cup

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media after a meeting of the executive committee in Zurich October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media after a meeting of the executive committee in Zurich October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes there should be more places at the soccer World Cup for African and Asian countries.

Blatter, writing in the governing body's new weekly magazine, said it was wrong that Europe and South America dominated the tournament when they had fewer member associations than other territories.

"From a purely sporting perspective I would like to see globalization finally taken seriously and the African and Asian national associations accorded the status they deserve at the FIFA World Cup," Blatter wrote in the magazine published on Friday.

"It cannot be that the European and South American confederations lay claim to the majority of the berths at the World Cup (18 or 19 teams) because taken together they account for significantly fewer member associations (63) than Africa and Asia (100).

"Africa, the confederation with the most member associations (54), is woefully under-represented at the World Cup with just five places. As long as this remains the case African sides may never win an intercontinental trophy, regardless of progress on the playing side," Blatter added.

For the 2014 World Cup in Brazil 53 European countries have been competing for 13 places in the finals.

The 54-nation African confederation will be represented by just five teams in Brazil. Four Asian countries will play at the World Cup.

"This flawed state of affairs must be rectified," Blatter said. "At the end of the day an equal chance for all is the paramount imperative of elite sport."

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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