Determining Europe's runners-up
© AFP

Determining Europe's runners-up

When the group phase of European Zone qualifying reaches its conclusion on 14 October 2009, the nine section winners will be guaranteed a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Thereafter, the eight best runners-up will compete in two-legged play-offs, with the continent's four remaining tickets to the world finals at stake.

Group 9 consists of five teams, one less than the other pools. When calculating the best runners-up, therefore, matches played against the sixth-placed finishers in Groups 1 to 8 will not be taken into consideration. The criteria will be as follows;

- Total points
- Goal difference
- Goals scored
- Goals scored away from home
- Disciplinary record *
- Drawing of lots

* Yellow card, -1 point; two yellow cards in the same match, -3 points; red card, -3 points; yellow card followed by a direct red card in the same match, -4 points.

Play-off dates confirmed

The dates for the play-off matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ have been confirmed.

Teams will be seeded on the basis of the next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, which will be published on 16 October. A draw will also be conducted to determine the home teams for the first legs.

The play-offs will be played over two legs on 14 and 18 November 2009. The draw for these matches will be conducted on Monday 19 October 2009 in the Home of FIFA in Zurich.