Sport Soccer

Thursday 23 November 2017

Play-offs need to go – Blatter

Ian Parkes

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has suggested the play-offs to qualify for future World Cups may have had their day.

The home-and-away double-header to determine the last few teams to grace the finals has naturally provided drama in the past and is certain to do so again this month.

Blatter (right), however, feels a more straightforward qualification process should now be sought.

Blatter said: "The play-off matches will bring a lot of excitement and a lot of spectators and I would also say not only emotion but passion.

"And there will be drama because you have to eliminate teams over two matches, which is good for television and good for the spectacle of football.

"But we should try to find a solution where, at the end of qualification, you are in or out and not this play-off.

"Okay, it gives more intensive action, but for those teams involved, it is a hard way to go."

Blatter, meanwhile, is first to meet with the new emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad, later this month to discuss the problems surrounding the 2022 World Cup.

"I am mandated by the executive committee of FIFA to make this official visit to the new emir of the state of Qatar and it is in connection with the 2022 World Cup," Blatter said.

"There are some social problems linked with working activities there, there are also sporting problems with the calendar.

"So, I will have a very interesting discussion with him and I will report to the executive committee on the fourth or fifth of December in Brazil."

Irish Independent

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