| VIENTIANE (April 8, 2007) – Three Asean teams have not submitted their application to play in the next FIFA World Cup which will be hosted by South Africa in 2010.
A new record number of teams have entered their intention to play in the preliminary qualifying stages for the 19th FIFA World Cup but three Asean countries including Laos, Philippines and Brunei as well as another Asian country Bhutan have not submitted their application.
There will be 203 national associations taking part in the qualifying tournament for the World Cup – five more than the previous record set for the 2002 World Cup which was held in South Korea and Japan.
There are currently 207 member countries of FIFA and should Montenegro’s application to become a member is approved at the FIFA Congress in May, that number will increase to 208.
For the World Cup, Asia has been guaranteed four places with the fifth-best Asian team having to play the winner of the Oceania Football Confederations’ qualifying tournament – the South Pacific Games – for an additional spot.
COURTESY OF ASIAN FOOTBALL BUSINESS REVIEW