Farina says scrap Oceania - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Farina says scrap Oceania

By Glenn Cullen and Guy Hand 29/06/2003 06:41:46 PM Comments (0)

Socceroo coach Frank Farina wants the Oceania Confederation scrapped after FIFA's stunning backflip on its decision to allow a team from the region direct entry to the 2006 World Cup.

World soccer's governing body FIFA announced at a meeting in Paris that the December 2002 decision to give Oceania a direct path to the World Cup was overturned.

Instead the South American confederation would regain an extra half qualifying spot with the top Oceania team expected to battle its way through a murky qualification path as it has done for three decades.

The decision is a body blow to the Socceroos, unquestionably Oceania's strongest team, and would come at an estimated cost of $20 million if they miss out yet again in a qualifying play-off with another region.

An outraged Farina said Australia should forget about Oceania and look to join the Asian Football Confederation because FIFA showed its disdain for the region.

"What's the point of having an Oceania confederation?," Farina asked.

"They've got no respect for the region."

Farina said the decision was clearly a political one to appease the powerful South American lobby seething at originally losing a World Cup finals spot to Oceania.

"It's a disgrace. You don't need to be a brain surgeon to realise it's a political decision," Farina said.

"FIFA should tear up its motto 'for the good of the game' and throw it out the window.

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