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Sao Paulo. Just four days away from the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, decisions on the qualification pathway for Asia's representatives at future editions of the global game's showpiece tournament were being deliberated by the AFC Executive Committee.

Under the chairmanship of AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC Exco met on Sunday and reconfirmed its decision to review the formats of the World Cup qualifiers and the qualifiers for Asia's flagship competition the AFC Asian Cup.
As announced following an AFC Competition's Committee meeting in January, the wide-ranging proposals aimed at ensuring more MAs have the opportunity to participate at the highest level involves merging the preliminary round of qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup.
Depending on the number of entries, the Member Associations will be divided into eight groups after the preliminary stages. The eight group winners and four second best teams will qualify for the FIFA World Cup final round of qualifiers and also the AFC Asian Cup finals. Presently, only ten teams battle it out in the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary qualification round (the remaining four second, third and fourth-placed teams, from the eight groups and four best fifth-placed teams will compete for the remaining slots in the AFC Asian Cup finals in six groups of four teams each.
These proposals will be further examined by the AFC Competitions Committee.
In addition to the decision to review the format changes for the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, the AFC Executive Committee also approved amendments of the 2015/16 budget, with the amendments to the Confederation's financial plan relating to changes in competition format, the introduction of new development programmes and future needs of the AFC administration.
The AFC's journey of reform and renewal continues on Monday with the AFC Extraordinary Congress.