Fifa boss Blatter warns Africa over World Cup slots

By Steve VickersBBC News, Harare
Sepp Blatter
Blatter says African countries must improve at the World Cup

Fifa boss Sepp Blatter says African countries must improve if they want their World Cup slots to be increased.

Six countries represented Africa at last year's World Cup because South Africa hosted the tournament.

But the continent's places at the World Cup will revert to five for the 2014 finals in Brazil.

This has sparked calls by some African countries for the continent's places to be increased in future events.

But the head of the world governing body says Africa will have to work hard to have the allocation of places increased.

"All of the Fifa member countries have equal voting rights, but when it comes to the World Cup, which is the only income of Fifa, our executive committee agrees that those confederations that have the best football should have more representatives," Blatter said in Harare.

"There are no more small national teams, everyone can beat everyone, but it's up to Africa to prove that they deserve more [World Cup places]."

"For the future it depends on the results of African teams in the World Cup."

At the 2010 World Cup only Ghana of the African contenders made it out of the group stages, reaching the quarter-finals.

The Black Stars feat matches that of Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002. whic are the best performances by African sides at the World Cup.

Fifa announced in March that there will be no change in the number of qualification slots allocated to each continent at the 2014 World Cup.

The decision means that Asia keeps 4.5 places, Oceania half a place, Africa five, Concacaf 3.5 and Europe 13.

South America remain with 4.5 while Brazil qualify automatically as hosts of the 32-team tournament, as South Africa did in 2010.