Football's world governing body, FIFA has announced that the 2010 World Cup will take place from June 11 to July 11 and that South Africa will receive an automatic berth as the host nation.
The FIFA executive committee decided Wednesday that berths will go to the hosts plus five other African teams, five European region qualifiers, five from the combined Asia and Oceania regions, and a total of eight from South American and CONCACAF (Central, North American and Caribbean) regions.
Asia's fifth place country will face the top team from Oceania for a berth, and the fifth place team from the South American confederation will be pitted against the fourth-place nation from the CONCACAF for the last berth in those regions.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter reiterated his concerns at the lack of progress on planned new stadiums in South Africa. But the chief executive of the 2010 organizers, Danny Jordaan, says building will begin in the first quarter of 2007.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.