By James Crook

114992756May 4 - FIFA vice-President, Northern Irishman Jim Boyce, has warned that he will oppose any move from President Sepp Blatter to reduce the number of European nations that compete at the World Cup as he hinted yesterday at the notion of "balancing" the number of nations from each continent competing at the tournament.

Blatter told the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress yesterday that providing a "better balance" of nations from each continent is something that FIFA will "have a look at".

However, Boyce told Press Association Sport that Europe and South America deserve their World Cup spots due to their influence on the game.

"Europe plays a very significant part in world football and I believe 13 places in the World Cup is a very fair reflection of that," he said.

"I would say the same about South America and their power in world football.

102007261Asian teams such as South Korea have emerged as strong forces in the national game in recent years

"The number of places for Asian and African countries has already been increased and we have seen the emergence of teams like Nigeria and South Korea.

"If they want greater representation then they have to prove it on the field of play.

"I would say the current allocation is very fair and I am not in favour of a change."

Blatter's notion of spreading the game of football worldwide has been one that he has frequently referred to, such as in the decision to award the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar, but the long-serving FIFA President will have a battle on his hands to push this latest idea for "globalisation" of the sport through.

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