Sports / World Soccer

World Cup boost for Asia

World Cup boost for Asia
Asian Football Confederation - Association Football - China - Chinese People - David Gallop - FIFA World Cup - Football Federation Australia - Russia - South Korea - Xinhua News Agency
January 12

Chinese state media said the move could help realise the country's "dream" of returning to the World Cup, while New Zealand, which looks set to be a key beneficiary, called the move "fantastic news".

But Sheikh Salman, president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), said it would have a "positive impact on Asian football".

Sheikh Salman is a vice-president of the Fifa council, which on Tuesday approved the move to increase the number of World Cup competitors from 32 to 48 teams, the biggest rise in its history.

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said Fifa's move "recognised the growth of the game outside of Europe and South America".

"As the quality of Asian football continues to improve, AFC member associations will justifiably deserve greater representation at the Fifa World Cup," he said.

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