No change in distribution of World Cup places

Sat May 30, 2015 6:23am EDT
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ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA will not make any changes to the allocation of World Cup slots among the six continents for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in Russia and Qatar, president Sepp Blatter said on Saturday.

Europe will have 13 places, Africa 5, S.America 4.5, Asia 4.5, Concacaf 3.5 and Oceania 0.5, while hosts Russia qualify automatically in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

A half place means that the team in question has to play off over two legs against a team from another continent for a place in the finals.

UEFA president Michel Platini had on Thursday warned that cutting the number of European teams at the finals was "a red line that must not be crossed".

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Justin Palmer)

Re-elected FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrives for a news conference after an extraordinary Executive Committee meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, May 30, 2015.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann