Sunday, August 26, 2007

World Cup qualifying matches for Africa start in October

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) - The first African qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup will take place in October.

FIFA said Friday that 10 teams will meet on Oct. 13 in the first leg of home-and-away knockout matches. The return legs are scheduled for Nov. 17.

The fixtures are: Seychelles vs. Djibouti; Sierra Leone vs. Guinea-Bissau; Central African Republic vs. Sao Tome and Principe; Somalia vs. Swaziland; and Madagascar vs. Comoros.

In all, 52 African teams are vying for five spots in the finals. South Africa as host qualifies automatically for the 32-team tournament.

Winners of the knockout matches will gain a berth in the second African qualification round. The best 20 teams in that round will be drawn in five qualification groups, the winner of each clinching a spot in the World Cup finals.

The first qualifying matches anywhere in the world begin Saturday, with a FIFA-sanctioned event at the South Pacific Games that doubles as the first round of qualifying for the Oceania Confederation.

World Cup qualifying matches for Africa start in October | CP