Four more teams qualify for 2010

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pretoria - Four more international teams have booked their spots in the 2010 FIFA World Cup after another exciting round of qualifiers last night.

Honduras, Argentina, Switzerland and Slovakia have joined the 19 teams and hosts South Africa who have already qualified for the tournament.

In the South American Zone, the goal of Mario Bolatti in the 84th minutes, against Uruguay, granted the Argentineans a right to participate in the next year's football spectacle after a qualification stage which went down to the final minute.

Diego Maradona's charges have now joined Brazil, Paraguay and Chile as one of the four teams from this group which have secured automatic qualification to the World Cup.

In Europe, Slovakia beat Poland 1-0, although a goalless draw would have enough for the Swiss to join their archrivals - England, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands and Germany who have already qualified.

Honduras, in the North, Central America and Caribbean Zone, has surprisingly claimed a spot in the next year's finals after a startling defeat against El Salvador due to Carlos Pavon's goal in the 63rd minute.

The 2010 Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Dr Danny Jordaan has congratulated all the four teams for successfully qualifying for Africa's very first FIFA World Cup.

"As more and more teams qualify for the World Cup next year the focus of the world and its media is beginning to shift toward the reality of the tournament, the teams who will be part of the tournament, the stars in those teams who will grace our fields and the performances we can expect from them," he said.

Jordaan added that the World Cup would not be the same without the presence of Diego Maradona and the Argentineans.

"With their qualification, fans at next year's tournament will also be able to watch one of the world's most talented players in Lionel Messi.

"Argentina has become a fixture in the World Cup and as one of the biggest teams in the history of the tournament, enjoys fanatical support at home and around the world. We look forward to welcoming their fans to South Africa," Jordaan enthused.

He further congratulated Slovakia on qualifying for the World Cup. "We are also eager to welcome their fans when they travel to South Africa next year," he said.

Jordan has assured the international community that fans travelling to South Africa to support their team next year will receive a warm welcome and will truly experience a uniquely African tournament.

Twenty-three teams have qualified for the finals including host South Africa and only nine teams left to sum up the total of 32 teams required in the finals.

The group phase qualifiers have reached conclusion in Europe, Asia, South America and North, Central America and Caribbean but the qualifying action is not yet over as some of the team have to battle it out in the play-offs to advance to the finals.

Action and drama in Africa is anticipated on 14 November as teams will be fighting for their spots with Ghana and C"te d'Ivoire have already qualified leaving their continental rivals such as Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Cameroon with so much to desire.