[2014 WORLD CUP] Concacaf will lobby for a guaranteed fourth place at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, hoping to pick off the half berth it shares with Conmebol, the South American confederation.
Concacaf currently has 3.5 berths. The top three teams in Concacaf qualifying advanced to the 2010 World Cup, and the fourth-place team, Costa Rica, met Uruguay, the fifth-place team in South America, in a playoff.
Conmebol wants to hold on the half berth even though Brazil qualifies automatically for the finals, meaning that as many as five out of the nine South American teams in qualifying could reach the finals.
“We believe that CONCACAF deserves another full place at the World Cup finals due to the performances of our teams on the field and the actions of our confederation off it,” said CONCACAF President Jack Warner. “We are unified in our efforts to make this happen.”
This is an election year, and Concacaf's support is critical for FIFA President Sepp Blatter if he faces opposition.
A decision on the 2014 berths is expected to be made at the FIFA executive committee's March meeting.
The 2014 qualifying draw will be held in July, and the qualifying competition is expected to start in the fall.