FIFA cans Oceania's direct entry - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

FIFA cans Oceania's direct entry

By Glenn Cullen 29/06/2003 05:49:54 AM Comments (0)

In a stunning backflip, Oceania has lost direct entry to the 2006 Soccer World Cup after FIFA voted in favour of handing the region's spot to a South American country.

Oceania had won the right to direct entry to the World Cup for the first time in December last year but it was overturned at an executive meeting of soccer's governing body in Paris.

A shattered Oceania Football Confederation president, Basil Scarsella, told AAP from Paris that the decision was farcical.

"In my view, the decision is a disgrace and I think it is politically driven to accommodate the powerful South Americans," Scarsella said.

"It's unethical, it's immoral, call it what you like."

Scarsella said that the reasons given for the about face were that Australia's governing body, Soccer Australia, was in disarray and that the region's other main power, New Zealand, had performed so poorly at Confederations Cup which is currently being played in France.

But Scarsella, who'd lobbied hard for Oceania to receive the unanimous tick of approval six months ago, said these were unacceptable.

"These are excuses more than reasons in my mind," Scarsella said.

"The executive committee had overwhelmingly supported them in the past and now they've gone 180 degrees."

"I don't accept the reasons they are given but in these situations you don't need reasons just an excuse to revisit it.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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