Bosnia and Herzegovina will participate in the qualifiers of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. At its meeting of December 11 in Paris, the FIFA Executive Committee agreed in favour of the enrolment submitted earlier this year by the federation of Bosnia-Hercegowina. Thus a total of 172 countries will be drawn during the ceremony to be held on Tuesday, December 12 at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.

172 is the new total number of participants after the withdrawal of Mali on December 11. Due to this withdrawal, the number of African teams dropped to 36 . For this reason it was decided to award Morocco a bye to the first round in Africa and to rearrange accordingly the pairings for the first round.

Decisions by the FIFA Executive Committee were:

  1. Malayisa was confirmed as the host country for the 1997 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Youth Championship.
  2. Norwegian player agent, Rune Hauge was suspended indefinitely for continuing to work as an agent despite a previous provisional suspension of his licence by FIFA. Regarding the issue of licenced players' agents, the Committee ratified a decision by the players status committee to allow the introduction of national licence for agents who only operate within a country and advise domestic players. In general, the regulations for players' agents will be made more stringent.
  3. the "Vision" proposals will be taken up again by the working group of the Confederations' general secretaries for further details. The Executive Committee agreed to refer the proposals back to this body as agenda in Paris did not allow a lengthy discussion.
  4. the issue of matches played in high altitude was discussed. Given the fact that in the first place Bolivia is concerned by this problem, it was felt that the South American confederation Conmebol will have to examine the issue, also taking medical aspects into account.
  5. the Committee took note of a first interim report by the FIFA inspection group which had visited Korea Republic and Japan, the two bidding countries for the 2002 World Cup. The report stated the impression of both countries was very positive.
  6. FIFA will continue to work on the concept of professionalising refereeing in those countries that have a professional league.
  7. the Committee took note of a report from the Medical Committee which pointed out that the number of serious knee injuries had alarmingly increased and will consider appropriate measures.
  8. the Committee took note of the dates of the congresses of the various confederations:

    1. African Confederation: Johannesbourg, South Africa, January 1, 1996
    2. South American Confederation: Mar del Plata, Argentina, March 4, 1996
    3. Oceania: Auckland, March 13, 1996
    4. Concacaf: Mexico City, April 13, 1996
    5. Asian Confederation: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 5, 1996
    6. Europe: London, June 28, 1996

The FIFA Congress will take place on July 3 and 4, 1996 in Zurich, Switzerland.