5 Mar 2011

FIFA's move makes World Cup qualifying a lottery

2:08 pm on 5 March 2011

The All Whites won't automatically play an Asian team if they win the next Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament.

FIFA has decided they'll hold a draw involving Asia, Oceania, South America and North and Central America for the last qualifying spots.

The All Whites' pathway to the last World Cup was via Asia with a 1-0 home win over Bahrain enough to book a trip to South Africa, the New Zealanders going unbeaten and the side earning the supreme honour at the Halberg Award for best team ahead of the Kiwis, All Blacks, Silver Ferns and the rowing men's pair.

New Zealand Football chairman Frank van Hattum says FIFA's move to a lottery won't necessarily mean a harder route to Brazil 2014 for the All Whites, as it's difficult for anyone at the final two-legged qualifying stage.

Van Hattum says it's home and away and on the day, and the bottom-placed Asian qualifiers may be even harder to get past in a playoff than the last South Americans, for example.