Sheikh Salman: Qualified teams deserving of World Cup spots

The AFC President congratulated Iran, South Korea and Australia for securing a place in the tournament, where they will join Japan in Brazil in 2014

Iran, South Korea and Australia have finally cemented their places at the Fifa World Cup in Brazil next year.

Iran topped Group A following a 1-0 win over Korea, who sneaked through on goal difference in second, while Australia confirmed their berth by beating Iraq 1-0.

The trio will join Japan, who were the first to qualify for the world’s greatest football competition.

The third-placed teams from each group, namely Uzbekistan and Jordan, will battle out in a home-and-away encounter on September 6 and 10. The winner will come up against Conmebol’s fifth-placed team in an inter-continental playoff later this year for a spot amongst the final 32. 

AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa extended his congratulations to the three teams upon hearing of their qualification.

“I would like to congratulate the three teams who have earned their deserving places for the Fifa World Cup," he stated.

“It is encouraging to see that the competition is growing in Asia and these three teams could only confirm their qualification on the last day of the qualifiers."

He also credited the efforts of each country individually and hopes that they will do well in Brazil next year.

“Iran have once again proved that they are one of the Asian powerhouses after missing out on a berth in the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” he said.

“Korea Republic is the most successful Asian team in the history of the Fifa World Cup and I hope they will improve upon their previous showing in their ninth appearance in Brazil.

“Australia have become a dominant force in Asian football since joining AFC in 2006 and I am sure they will have a point to prove when they take the field in Brazil next year."

Shaik Salman also took his time to wish Uzbekistan and Jordan all the best for their home and away ties.

“I hope that the best team will represent Asia in the inter-continental playoff," he said.