Support for Oceania football merger with Asia

Last updated 17:17 29/11/2013

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New Zealand Football chairman Frank van Hattum is supporting a push towards Asia and Oceania merging their World Cup qualification pathways.

Van Hattum said NZF has been involved in talks with Oceania for several years and is encouraged by discussions between OFC and their Asian counterparts.

"We certainly see merit in the winner of the Oceania section of qualifying joining the Asian Confederation playoff structure in some way," van Hattum said.

"It is an Oceania Football-led initiative with David Chung [OFC President] and Tai Nicholas [General Secretary] heading discussions and we are supportive of their good work. 

"We see that a pathway through Asia would be good for the Oceania winner as it could open up a high quality match schedule while also being a better fit for nations in both confederations in terms of the geography and logistics of any playoff structure leading to a World Cup place."

Any change in the qualification process would need to be ratified by Fifa.

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- Fairfax Media

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