Las Palmas
Real Sociedad
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Werder Bremen
7:30 PM UTC
Game Details
Burton Albion
Blackburn Rovers
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Birmingham City
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
3:00 AM UTC Feb 25, 2017
Game Details
Melbourne City FC
Sydney FC
Game Details
Brisbane Roar
Wellington Phoenix FC
6:35 AM UTC Feb 25, 2017
Game Details
By ESPN Staff

Blatter calls for end to playoffs

FIFA President Sepp Blatter believes that while the World Cup playoff system provides great drama for fans, it is not the fairest way to decide who qualifies for the tournament.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes World Cup playoffs should be abolished in the future in favour of a more direct qualification process.

FIFA and the IOC are due to meet in order to avoid a clash between the World Cup and the Winter Olympics.
Blatter believes playoffs should become a thing of the past.

A home and away tie will decide the World Cup fate of a number of teams this month with Portugal, Sweden, Mexico and Uruguay among those fighting for one of the few remaining places in Brazil. 

Although the current format offers excitement for spectators, Blatter believes a playoff harms the chances of some nations.

"The playoff matches will bring a lot of excitement and a lot of spectators, and I would also say not only emotion but passion, and there will be drama," he told "There will be drama because you have to eliminate teams over two matches, which is good for television and good for the spectacle of football.

Vickery: Balance in South America
Brazil convention cancelled

"But we should try to find a solution where, at the end of qualification, you are in or out and not this playoff. Okay, it gives more intensive action, but for those teams involved it is a hard way to go."

Blatter is set to meet with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad, to discuss the issues threatening the planning of the 2022 World Cup.

"I am mandated by the executive committee of FIFA to make this official visit to the new emir of the state of Qatar, and it is in connection with the 2022 World Cup," he added.

"There are some social problems linked with working activities there, there are also sporting problems with the calendar. So I will have a very interesting discussion with him and I will report to the executive committee on the fourth or fifth of December in Brazil."


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.