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of places in the World

It is not a case of European countries beating African countries in the qualifying competition, because the qualifying stage is divided into continental groups. Europe was allocated eleven qualifying places (in addition, the holders of the trophy qualified automatically) and Africa only three. Asian countries are similarly aggrieved at receiving only two places in the finals for their forty-one members. South America, in contrast, was allocated four places to be competed for by the ten members. Admittedly, South American teams have won the World Cup eight times to Europe's seven in the fifteen finals thus far, but the other continents argue for a fairer share of the starting line-up for the finals.